By Trevor Horn | Contributor
Justice Shelton-Mosely is the Sacramento version of Boobie Miles from the acclaimed 2004 film “Friday Night Lights.”
The junior for Capital Christian High in Sacramento does it all ““ almost.
“The only thing I am not doing is playing Nifae (Lealeo’s) position,” Shelton-Mosley joked about the national football lineman recruit headed to Stanford.
All kidding aside “¦ his name is Justice, and he is the authority on scoring touchdowns.
* * *
Shelton-Mosley gave himself a goal this season “” score seven touchdowns in a game. The junior halfback, tailback, slot back, fly back, cornerback, safety and returns specialist for Capital Christian High School in Sacramento has all of the chances to do that.
Seven touchdowns in a single game is a great goal for a team in a single game. For a player, it’s absurd. But on Oct. 18 against Marysville in a Golden Empire League game, he almost did it. Shelton-Mosley reached the end zone six times against the Warriors. Four of them came on the ground on runs of 80, 60, 60 and 45 yards. He caught a 31 yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff to pay dirt.
The effort was asked for by Cougars coach Phil Grams, and his star responded.
“I told him after he scored the first two, “˜You might need four more,'” Grams said. “And he said, “˜OK coach.’ He got the four more. There’s not too many kids that you can tell that to.”
There are also not too many players that do what Shelton-Mosley has done this season. There are two dozen players in the 197-member Sac-Joaquin Section that have scored touchdowns in at least three different ways, and Shelton-Mosley might be the most dynamic, explosive and well-rounded of them all.
Standing 6-foot and a muscled 180 pounds, Shelton-Mosley will not blow you away on the initial eye test. But with bursts of speed and strength (benches 235 pounds), he has garnered high praises and comparisons from Grams.
“Back in the day, I remember seeing Austin Collie play against Granite Bay,” Grams, a former Granite Bay assistant coach, said of the 2000s Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills star now playing wide receiver for the New England Patriots. “I thought that was the greatest high school player. And I think I’ve seen a better high school football player now. Justice’s performance (against Marysville) was unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Like Collie, Shelton-Mosley has NFL in his bloodline. His father, Anthony Mosley played one season of running back for the Chicago Bears in the 1980s. Now, father and son spend two days a week honing the 16-year olds skills and learning the traits of the game.
“The understanding of the game is probably the one thing he gives me the most,” Shelton-Mosley said of the relationship with his dad. “Just knowing what to do or when to cut back or take those simple yards.”
He hasn’t taken many “simple yards” this season. Shelton-Mosley is averaging 283.8 all-purpose yards per game. On the ground he is averaging 9.2 yards per carry and has scored 18 rushing touchdowns. Add in seven receiving touchdowns, passing for one, and scoring on three kickoff returns and one punt return.
“When you’ve got a guy like that, I’m going to put him everywhere,” Grams said. “(Former Granite Bay coach Ernie) Cooper said to me once that when you’ve got a guy like that, make sure you give him the ball. So I’m going to get him the ball.”
After an offseason of helping the Cougars basketball team win a section title and working out all summer, the hard work has paid off and he is having a blast doing it.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I had high expectations for me this season because I worked hard and God has blessed me with a lot of gifts. So I just want to score a lot.”
It’s Grams, though, who feels like he was handed a gift in Shelton-Mosley.
“Justice would be a great son for anybody,” Grams said. “If I were to have a son, I would wish him to be just like Justice. He is just an unbelievable human being.”
An honor student with a 4.24 GPA, Shelton-Mosley is wise beyond his years. He understands that a career in football can only go for so long. So he is using his athletic gifts to put himself in the right position to succeed as an adult once the game ends.
“It’s hard work in the classroom, and whenever I get a chance to do well. I am trying to work hard to be the best at everything I can do,” Shelton-Mosley said. “I’m looking for more of an academic school. The Harvards and the Northwesterns.”
His coach agrees.
“If Princeton or Harvard were to offer him today, he would go on to one of those schools,” Gram said. “He knows that the chance of playing in the NFL “¦ is tough. So he knows he needs to be a doctor or a lawyer or have a professional career that is going to provide for his family. So for him, having the highest education is the most important thing.
“He has his priorities in line. I love that about him. I think that this guy could be the leader of our country someday.”
Justice Shelton-Mosley stats through eight games.
Category Car./Rec. Yards Avg. TDs
Rushing 106 1,110 9.2 18
Receiving 17 394 21.6 6
Interceptions 10 190 19 “”
Kick Return 7 394 56.2 3
Punt Return 6 182 30.3 1
TOTALS “” 2,270 “” 28
Other SJS players with touchdowns scored in more than three ways:
Tyrell Anderson Center-Antelope
Kamare Bailey Mariposa County-Mariposa
Angelo Bermudez Central Valley-Ceres
Andrew Brown Ripon Christian
Kenny Camden Hilmar
Cameron Chew Brookside Christian-Stockton
Ryan Fugit Ripon
Darin Gentry Chavez-Stockton
Frank Ginda Pacheco-Los Banos
Calvin Green Burbank-Sacramento
Alex Laurel Manteca
Ryan Martinez Le Grand
Jordan Moore Sheldon-Sacramento
Walker Perry Woodland Christian
Lonny Powell Sacramento
Daniel Ruffin Stagg-Stockton
Mason Stahley Christian Brothers-Sacramento
Christian Williams Le Grand
Kameron Williams Rosemont-Sacramento
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