While researching the statistical leaders on the NFL.com website Monday night in an effort to make better decisions about my fantasy football team "yallaintgotachance" playing in the Ms. Mae's Bastard Sons league, I made a surprising discovery. At the top of the interceptions leaders list was a name and picture that rang a bell, Tramaine Brock of the San Francisco 49ers. So, I clicked on his name to access his profile, and right there it stated, college Belhaven and hometown, Gulfport, Mississippi.
I could not have been more shocked that the little tiny school located just up the street from where I grew up had produced the leader of any NFL category. Not Miami, USC, Florida, Ohio State, but Belhaven. Soccer teams and Singing Christmas Trees I give Belhaven credit for, but not for producing top notch NFL cornerbacks. If memory serves me correct, the school did not even field a football team untill about 15-20 years ago. I had read during the preseason that Belhaven had a player in the NFL, but the name had escaped me, and I had wrongly assumed that he would be way down the depth chart and would be lucky to still be on the team when the regular season started. Shame on me!
Technically, Brock is not the league's interception leader. He is tied for two with several other players, having intercepted a pass in each of the 49er's first two games. For that reason, the leaders are currently listed in alphabetical order and the name "Brock" is the undisputed leader on that end, so what the heck give him the tiebreaker!
Now for a little more on Brock: Even though Gulfport is listed as his hometown, it was nearby Long Beach where we went to high school and played for the Bearcats. Coming out of high school, he was a two star recruit according to Scout.Com and enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, helping the Bulldogs win a national championship his sophomore year. After community college, he spent a year at the University of Minnesota before transferring to Belhaven for his senior season, where he had 6 interceptions for the Blazers. Now you may think the year he spent playing for Minnesota somehow dilutes this rags to riches story, but he definitely came to the NFL straight from the Blazers and not the Golden Gophers!
This is Brock's second year in the league. He was an undrafted free agent for the 49ers in 2010 and finished up the season on the practice squad. With the pass-happy NFC West that the 49ers play in, Brock definitely has the opportunity for quite a few more picks this season. If he keeps it up, we could have another all pro player coming out of the Gulf Coast, and the first one from Belhaven.
Also listed among the NFL's statistical leaders is running back Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills, who leads the league with 229 rushing yards. His alma mater is Coe College. Where the Hell is that?