Bay Area stars shine in NFL playoffs

January 16, 2008 8:14:39 PM PST
The NFL playoffs are creeping towards Super Bowl XLII and a local high school boasts four former players in the post season.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is one of four De La Salle graduates that made it to the NFL playoffs.

"I'm really proud of them when they are at that level, playing in a game like that in the NFL. It's so hard to make it in the league to begin with, let alone get on the field and contribute," says Bob Ladouceu, De La Salle Head Coach.

The Jacksonville Jaguars also had former Spartan, Derek Ladri, starting on their defensive line and he still talks with his former coaches after games.

"First thing I said was 'did I just see you intercept a pass' and he's like, 'I told you I should have played linebacker;" says Ladouceu.

New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer and Patriot backup quarter back Matt Guterriez also graduated from De La Salle. What is it about this school that prepares these athletes to succeed at this level?

"A strong emphasis on discipline, both on and off the field. In our program and in the classroom, we try to teach our kids hard work, commitment, and fundamentals and to get the job done. I think all this does carry over. You have to have that good base somewhere," says Ladouceu.

Anthony Salvador played with both Derek and Maurice at De La Salle and joined Landri at Notre Dame as a walk on. Most of these Spartan graduates are considered overachievers -- guys who never give up.

"It doesn't matter if someone says you're to small or someone says your not going to do it. It's what you think and its working towards that, no matter what. That's what Derek and Maurice did," says Salvador.

De La Salle should be proud. I'm not sure there's a high school in the nation that can claim they had four alumni in the NFL playoffs.