Top 100: Bhawoh Jue, Football

Top 100: Bhawoh Jue, Football

During a playoff game against Herndon, Dan Meier’s Chantilly team was down 3-0 and Herndon had just taken possession of the ball at it’s own 20-yard line. Speedy Herndon running back Doug Kushin took the handoff and broke through the line of scrimmage. By midfield, Kushin was clear.

"Everyone in the stadium knew that he was gone," said Meier. "He was twenty yards away from anyone."

Like a streak, a Chantilly uniform came into view and began to close in on Kushin. Chantilly defensive back Bhawoh Jue caught up to Kushin and tackled him on the 4-yard line, saving a touchdown. The Chantilly defense held Herndon from breaking into the end zone and Herndon settled for a field goal.

"We ended up winning 14-6. Had they scored a touchdown and gotten a 10-0 lead, who knows what could have happened," said Meier. "People still stop me and tell me that it was the greatest play that they had ever seen. "

Bhawoh Jue, whose first name translates to "very powerful man," got his start playing at the varsity level when he was a sophomore at Chantilly.

"He was one of the few [sophomores] that played at the varsity level at that time," said Meier.

Jue started out as a wide receiver but by the playoffs that year, he was spliting time as a running back.

"In our playoff victory over Centreville, he caught a short pass and took it all the way for a touchdown. We saw right away as a sophomore that he was a special player," said Meier.

Jue also played on defense as a cornerback when the opposing team had an impressive passing game and as a safety when they had a powerful running game. By the end of his senior year, Jue played on every single team except for the extra-point team.

"He was a very complete player," said Meier.

THE HIGHLIGHT of Jue’s high school career came when the Chargers won the AAA state championship in 1996, his senior year, beating George Washington High School 14-7 in the state finals. Jue was the starting tailback and led the team in tackles during the game. He was named the Concorde District and Northern Region defensive player of they year.

"He was the reason they won a state championship," said Centreville head football coach Mike Skinner, whose team fell to Chantilly in the playoffs that year. "They were not a great team, but he was a great player."

The week leading up to their game with the Chargers, Skinner’s team worked on punting the ball away from Jue.

With the game tied, Centreville’s punter kicked the ball down the sideline, seemingly away from the dangerous hands of Jue. The Chantilly star raced over to the sideline and caught the ball and returned it more than 70 yards for a touchdown.

"The punter turned around and said, ‘You’re right coach, we can’t kick it to him’," said Skinner. The Chargers won the game 16-8.

Jue finished with more than 1,200 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns that year.

"You hated to look across at the opposing team sideline and see a thoroughbred in uniform," said Meier. "I try to remind myself that we had Bhawoh and the other coaches had to look across and see him."

COMING OUT of high school, Jue chose to go to Penn State to further his football career. At Penn State, Jue was used on special teams and a backup defensive back until his senior year, when he was given an oppurtunity to start as a defensive back. During his senior year, Jue finished sixth on the team in tackles with 43 and led the team in pass breakups with 13. He was named an All-Big 10 honorable mention.

His final year at Penn State earned him interest from the NFL and he was drafted in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Last year, Jue signed a three-year deal with the San Diego Chargers and led the team with three interceptions. For his five-year NFL career, Jue has a total of 132 tackles, 35 assists and six interceptions.

"I’ve had many athletes that had similar athletic talent but they didn’t have the discipline or the drive [that Jue had]," said Meier. "It’s that combination that gets you to the NFL."

Bhawoh Jue is 35 in a survey of the area's Top 100 Athletes by Connection Newspapers in 2000.