April 29, 2004
INFORMATION: Bruce Battle or John McElwain, (661) 362-3432 or 3494
Three Former COC Football Players Join NFL Ranks
SANTA CLARITA Three former players from the College of the Canyons football program joined the NFL ranks this past week: the San Francisco 49ers used their 4th round pick in the last weekend's NFL draft to pick former Cougar defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga (1999-'00); the Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Cougar tight end Mike Gomez (1999-'00) as a rookie free agent; and the Cincinnati Bengals signed former Cougar wide receiver Jamal Broussard (2001) as a rookie free agent.
Sopoaga, who set a national record with 31 sacks for the Cougars in 2000, joined Hawaii after leaving College of the Canyons. Sopoaga, who hails from Somoa, attracted nationwide attention from NFL scouts with his quickness and strength. Sopoaga earned Conference Player of the Year, All-State and All-State Defensive Player of the Year and All-American awards for College of the Canyons in 2000.
Broussard led the Cougars in receiving yards in 2001, amassing 423 yards and five touchdowns on 26 receptions. Broussard transferred to San Jose State in 2002, where he played for two seasons, totaling 1,396 yards and six touchdowns on 117 receptions over two seasons.
Gomez played two seasons for the Cougars, with his best season coming in 2000 as a tight end. Gomez caught 14 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Gomez transferred to Illinois, where he was used specifically as a long-snapper.
Sopoaga, Broussard and Gomez are the first former College of the Canyons players to join the NFL since the college reinstated its football program in 1998 after a 17-year hiatus.