C.J. Anderson is accustomed to starting at the bottom and working his way to a prominent position. He did it as a running back at Cal, then as an undrafted player who eventually scored a touchdown in a Super Bowl victory.
And now that his seven-year professional playing career is over, the 29-year-old Vallejo native is taking the next step in his football journey as a voluntary coach on Cal’s offensive staff.
Anderson, who retired from the NFL last month, hinted on social media that a coaching assignment was in his immediate future.
Asked by a fan a couple weeks back about becoming an NFL assistant, Anderson wrote on Twitter: “I want to coach a college team 1st. I’ve learned a lot from great players and coaches. I’m excited for my opportunity to grow and get my own program one day. If a NFL team calls about running them I’ll be ready.”
Turns out that first coaching opportunity comes at his alma mater, where in 2011 and ’12 Anderson rushed for 1,135 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“C.J.’s going to join us in a voluntary position, off the field, to support our offense and the football staff as needed,” coach Justin Wilcox told reporters on Tuesday. “He can’t coach the players — there’s rules as to what he can and cannot do. But we’re excited to have him here.”
Bradrick Shaw said on a Sunday call with reporters that Anderson has been part of recent Zoom meetings with the running backs.
Anderson got his start at Jesse M. Bethel High in Vallejo, where he rushed for nearly 4,000 career yards. Mostly overlooked by college recruiters, he attended Laney College for two seasons, where he attained JC all-state honors as a sophomore in 2010 when