Stu Cowan: Kicker J.J. Molson making a name for himself at UCLA
It was the greatest comeback in UCLA history and the second-biggest ever in the U.S. College Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A.
The Bruins were trailing the Texas A&M Aggies by 34 points with two minutes remaining in the third quarter Sunday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., but led by star QB Josh Rosen scored touchdowns on their final five drives to win the season opener 45-44.
The winning convert, with only 43 seconds left, was kicked by a player with a name that is very familiar to Montrealers on the back of his No. 17 sweater: Molson.
J.J. Molson is 20 and in his second season at UCLA, where he is majoring in sociology. J.J. stands for John Junior. His full name is John Frederick Stewart Molson and he is the eighth-generation descendant of the first John Molson, who started North America’s oldest brewery in Montreal in 1786. J.J.’s father is also John and his late grandfather was John David Molson (known mainly as David), who was owner of the Canadiens from 1964-71.
J.J. insists he didn’t feel any added pressure growing up in Montreal with the Molson name while playing football at Selwyn House High School and later John Abbott College before earning a scholarship to UCLA. But Molson certainly proved he can handle immense pressure by making the winning kick Sunday night in front of 64,635 delirious fans at the Rose Bowl and a national TV audience. It was one of six converts the 6-foot, 185-pounder made to go along with a 29-yard field goal.