With the current undefeated success of the American River football team, it brings to mind past talent that has come through the program.
The path from community college football to the NFL is a difficult one, but ARC has had a small share. Former Beavers quarterback Tony Eason played eight seasons in the NFL in the 1980s, and Gerald Willhite for the Denver Broncos from 1982-88.
But most recently, former Beaver Jarrett Bush has made the successful move to the NFL.
Bush earned All-State, All-Region, and All-League honors while playing at American River College in 2003-04. He then spent two years playing at Utah State, where he started 13 games before being signed by the Carolina Panthers as an un-drafted free agent in 2006.
Now a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers, he spoke with the American River Current about how he spent his off-season and his journey from Vacaville, Calif., to Super Bowl champion.
Current: How did you spend the past off-season, following your teams’ Super Bowl victory last season?
Bush: I went overseas and saw a lot of military troops in the Persian Gulf, which was pretty cool. We also went to Jordan (Egypt), Ireland, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Also we went to three aircraft carriers. We definitely saw a lot of military troops, and shook a lot of hands. We wanted to show them the reason why they’re out there. Give them support, and put a smile on their faces. It was good to share stories with them, and it was a great time and experience to travel that far and know we have people from the United States that are representing our country out there. We don’t hear much about it, and I hope to do it again someday.
How did you overcome the adversity, and many negative comments said about you, to become the valuable player you now are to the Packers defense?
Actions speak louder than words, and you just got to go and do it, play football. There’s a small margin of people making it and not making it. I don’t worry about the little things, and just worry about what I have to do on the field.
How has playing behind Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson made you a better player?
You learn so much from him. He showed me how the game is supposed to be played. He showed me how to play in the NFL. I’m just trying to take what I learned from him, and run with it.
With most super bowl winning teams coming out flat the following season, how has the team and yourself stayed focused, and remain undefeated?
Even though were undefeated we don’t feel like it. We have more to improve. Which is pretty scary with our defense and how far we can still go even though we are playing so good so far.
How is living in Wisconsin compared to living in California?
It’s a complete 180. The weather is a complete 180. You got a lot more people, and the beach over there in California. In Wisconsin you don’t have much. You got flat grounds, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and restaurants. It’s kind of a college town; you got the (University of) Wisconsin Badgers and the Packers. So it’s really a college town with a pro team in it.
Who would you say your role model is, the person or people you would credit your success too?
I would have to say Charles Woodson (since being in the NFL). To credit my success, there’s a bunch of people. You can say my (defensive back) coach when I first got here, you can say my DB coach in college (Utah State, American River College), you can say my dad, you can say my family, you can say just about anybody who gave me valuable information that helped me along the way.