Entering his 37th season at City College of San Francisco, coach George Rush — the winningest coach in junior college football history with 307 victories — isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
With the way Rush described the 2013 Rams, he won't have a choice of becoming stagnant as this year's team appears to be fast and furious.
A reason for that is despite losing 15 players off a team that went 10-2 and made a third straight appearance in the California Community College Athletic Association state championship game, Rush feels his coaching staff brought in plenty of talent during the recruiting period.
Focusing on speed and quickness during recruiting, Rush said this team may be one of its fastest yet, with speed and athleticism at every position.
"I think we really upgraded ourselves. There were a lot of things needed [this offseason], but I feel this is one of the strongest recruiting classes we've had here in the last 10 to 12 years," Rush said. "We're going to be very fast, very athletic and very physical."
However, the biggest addition to CCSF is quarterback Turner Baty, who led the Rams to the 2011 national championship before bolting to the University of Kansas.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Baty, who came back to CCSF for game experience after it became clear he wouldn't start at Kansas, was spectacular in 2011, throwing for 3,149 yards and 42 touchdowns.
"Turner brings a lot of experience, he knows what he's doing, and his time at [Kansas] played well for him," Rush said. "He brings a lot of maturity and savvy to this team that an 18-year-old right out of high school does not have, so I think that's a big, big plus for us."
Baty will be throwing to a different cast of characters led by freshmen Zati Williams out of Miramonte High School in Orinda who Rush says was the "top recruit in the Bay Area."
The Rams will use several running backs, including freshman Jahray Hayes (Santa Rosa) and running back Ondre Rudolph (Dublin). Protecting Baty's blindside will be athletic 6-5, 290-pound sophomore left tackle David Hedelin, who is receiving 20 to 25 Division I offers.
On the defensive side of the ball, anchoring the defensive line is sophomore defensive end David Tameilau (Serra). Freshman defensive end Favita Faa'Iu (South San Francisco) is expected to show plenty of burst off the edge for the Rams. Also expected to standout are linebackers James Hickman (Antioch), Nick Holt (transfer from Montana) and safety Tyler Meleskie.
With the Rams scheduled to face another stiff challenge from opponents in the rigorous NorCal Conference, Rush believes the key will be the Rams being fundamentally sound.
"We have to be better fundamentally," Rush said. "We got ourselves in a lot of trouble a season ago because we weren't in the right place, but because we didn't finish plays. It appears this team is going to be better fundamentally, but we'll know more Friday night."
The Rams quest for a fourth straight state championship game appearance starts at Diablo Valley College on Friday.