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2021 Top 15 Shasta College Returner Rankings: Nos. 11-15

The ‘Top 15’ Shasta College rankings previews key returners to watch for the 2021 spring season.

Shasta County Sports' Top 15 Shasta College Returner rankings for spring 2021, sponsored by Redding Rancheria, features (from left) RJ Bell, Kasey Briggs, Jaiden Harris, Tavian Wallace and Vinny Smith. (Graphic by T.J. Holmes, photos by Mike Daly and Maddie Harrell/Shasta County Sports)

Spring camp has a whole new meaning for the Shasta College football team.

The Knights are gearing up for their four-game season, which kicks off in less than two weeks on March 6 against College of the Siskiyous. Despite a shortened season, the expectations are still running high. Not only to win all four games — two against Siskiyous and two against Feather River College — but to develop the 69 guys on the roster to get ready for the fall 2021 season.

With the season nearing kickoff, Shasta County Sports is putting out its Top 15 Shasta College Returner Rankings for the spring 2021 season in countdown format.

The Knights have only 14 sophomores on the roster, meaning a few guys who redshirted are making the list. All listed are impact players and have been in Shasta’s system but they have yet to take an official snap in JUCO ball.

The Top 15 Rankings for Shasta College is sponsored by Redding Rancheria, a proud partner of Shasta County Sports.

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15. Darian James | 5-6, 150 | WR | Redshirt Fr.

Photo by T.J. Holmes, graphic by Aaron Williams/Shasta County Sports.

Roster turnover is always brutal in JUCO. The Knights only return two of the 11 players who caught a pass last season — both running backs who combined for 11 receptions. Darian James (Lower Lake, Calif.) has been in the system for 18 months now after redshirting during last season’s 7-4 campaign, displaying his speed in practice on several deep routes. But head coach Bryon Hamilton believes James is going to see the field this spring after developing his route running skills.

“Darian’s shifty, speedy, has great hands and is very coachable,” Hamilton said. “He’s been a pleasant surprise and does things right.”

The Knights have been known to put up points with Hamilton calling the plays and a guy like James, who can catch passes at multiple levels and even sneak in a fly sweep, can be a dangerous weapon for an offensive guru like Hamilton.

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T.J. is a national-award winning journalist passionate about local news and telling the story no one else knows about. He’s roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010 and is a content producer from sunup to sundown. Sports are a hobby he shares with his wife Tracy where they’ve spent many dates around a field or court of some sort.

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