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LB In NFL: Long Beach Poly Alums DeSean Jackson, JuJu Smith-Schuster Dominating

With eight players in the NFL including two dominating the highlight reels, this is a new golden era for Long Beach Poly football fans. Yes, there have been plenty of Jackrabbits in the league before, but what’s happening this year is special, and Poly fans had better be savoring it.

Poly alums DeSean Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster are two of the NFL’s top five receivers in terms of production so far this year. Jackson, at 31 years old, leads the NFL with nine catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns, with a league-leading average of 30 yards per catch. Smith-Schuster has 18 catches for 240 yards, fifth-best in the NFL.

Jackson’s 75-yard touchdown catch against the Eagles Sunday was a special one, coming as it did against the team he spent most of his career with. It also tied him with Jerry Rice for most-ever touchdown catches of over 60 yards with 23.

“That was for my Pops,” said Jackson, who lost his father a few years ago to pancreatic cancer. “We talked about this, when I was younger, being legendary and leaving something for the league to say I made my mark. I still got a lot of ball left in me.”

Jackson lent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick his postgame wardrobe after seeing the QB (who leads the NFL in passing) heading to the podium in a regular-looking outfit. Instead Fitzpatrick took the podium in Jackson’s chains, sunglasses and tight jacket with the zipper down halfway and his chest hair out for the cameras.

Jackson is now just 238 yards away from the 10,000 career receiving yards mark.

The Tennessee Titans got their first win of the year with a strong defensive effort against the Texans, good news for the two Poly alums on the Titans D. Jurrell Casey got a pair of sacks, the 40th and 41st of his NFL career, each of which also come with a $999 donation from Casey to Starlight, a charity benefiting hospitalized children. Jayon Brown had two tackles for the Titans.

Kaelin Clay had two punt returns for the Giants but left the game with an ankle injury; he’s expected to be available this week. Marcedes Lewis’ Green Bay Packers tied with the Vikings, with Lewis playing half the Packers’ snaps in a blocking capacity. Jamize Olawale and the Cowboys picked up a big win on Sunday night.

Wilson

Bruins alum Joel Bitonio has been laboring away in Cleveland for the Browns, as part of a franchise that went 0-16 last year. This season the Browns have a tie and, after last week, a loss. They’ll look for their first win at home Thursday night against the Jets.

Jordan

Panthers alum John Ross had one catch for eight yards in Cincinatti’s Thursday night’ win over the Ravens.

Lakewood

Lancers alum Matt Pryor didn’t get a chance to play for the Eagles as he was listed as inactive for the second week in a row.

Compton

Tarbabes alum Datone Jones is on the injured reserve list for the Cowboys.

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Mike Guardabascio
Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.
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