Justin Fargas: A Tribute

rob navarraContributor IMarch 17, 2010

Justin Fargas, son of Antonio Fargas (who was Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch), was born Jan. 25, 1980, in Encino, California.

He attended Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, California. There, he broke various school records. He rushed for 6,357 on 668 carries and 82 TDs. Averaging 9.5 yards a carry, he was a top tailback in the state.

In 1997, he was named Parade All-American, USA Today All-USA first team, Super Prep National 50, The Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star Dream Team, Prep Star All-American, ESPN/National Recruiting Advisor All-American second team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star Western Region Offensive MVP, Prep Star All-Western Region Super 30, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division III Offensive MVP, Los Angeles Times All-Valley MVP, Los Angeles Daily News All-Valley MVP, and All-Mission League MVP.

He also played DB for three years and started at FB his sophomore year.

Football wasn't Justin's only sport. He showed off his speed by running track. He won the state 100 meters crown in 1997. His personal best was a 10.47. 

Justin's college career is a little confusing.

He attended Michigan for three years. He was named one of the top 10 freshmen in the country by Sports Illustrated. But he broke his leg freshman year and was redshirted the next.

He originally went there to play RB, but switched to safety in the middle of his 2000 season. He then transferred to USC his senior year. There he rushed for 715 yards on 161 attempts, averaging 4.4 yards a carry. 

It seemed like a reach to draft him in 2003 with a previous broken leg and only one full season at RB.

Knowing Al Davis and the Raiders like I do today, I realize why they drafted him. He had tons of potential, and had a history of injuries.

But the Raiders took him. And he did pretty well under the circumstances.

In seven years for the Raiders, he rushed for 3,369 yards on 827 attempts, averaging 4.1 yards a carry.

Even though he only had 10 TDs, it wasn't just his stats that contributed to the organization.

He was an incredibly hard worker, a good role model, and a great leader. The way he ran the ball with passion, fighting for every inch, made everyone on the team want to work that much harder.

When engaged with defenders in the backfield, most RBs would be stopped.

But not Justin Fargas. He would truck and shake defenders and turn something that would be a three-yard loss into a five-yard gain. He had a great heart and a high motor, which is why he was one of my favorite Raiders.

It is sad to see him leave, but I wish him best of luck whereever he goes—which could be Philly or New Orleans. Either would be nice, as long as it's not KC.

Justin Fargas was also a rapper on the side.


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