I am listing the Junior College players that I think will be the biggest impact on their respective teams next season. This is not necessarily a list ranking the players on how good they are long term.
1. Chad Kelly – Ole Miss QB: Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly’s nephew is a bad boy. But, he has a strong arm and is more fleet of foot than one would think. He originally signed with Clemson and was not named the starter and something happened that caused Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to boot Kelly from the team. He transferred to East Mississippi Junior College where he put up record numbers. Kelly got in trouble immediately after arriving in Oxford, but he is the most talented
Quarterback on campus so he will play in 2015. Kelly should step right in for departed 3 year starter Bo Wallace.
2. Jovon Robinson – Auburn RB: The top rated Junior College Running Back in the nation last season is the favorite to beat out Roc Thomas and Peyton Barber to take over as the star Running Back for Auburn. At 6-0, 235, Robinson is a big back with excellent speed and power. Robinson set the NJCAA rushing record in 2013 with 2,387 yards on the ground and 34 Touchdowns in 12 games. His production dipped dramatically in 2014 because of turf toe, but he was still the top JC Running Back recruit in the nation. Auburn lost last year’s sensation Cameron Artis-Payne to graduation and Robinson should step right in. Auburn is expecting big things out of Robinson in 2015 and I believe they are correct.
3. Devonte Fields – Louisville DE: As a true freshman in 2012, Fields was outstanding for the TCU Hornfrogs. He totaled 53 tackles with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He also hurried the Quarterbacks 3 times and he broke up 4 passes, plus forced 2 fumbles. He was a super star from day one in Fort Worth. The Frogs booted him from their program after numerous violations and he wound up at Trinity Valley Community College. Fields should be a difference maker in 2015 for Louisville.
4. Davon Durant – Arizona State LB: The Arizona State Sun Devils return 9 starters on defense from last season, or 7 depending on who you talk to. Davon Durant is a talent, but he may never see the field now. I had this list made up before learning that he might not ever play for alleged domestic abuse. This is getting ridiculous. I have already removed players from this list because of various arrests. The guy can play, but Arizona State should probably boot him and definitely if he is guilty.
5. Lorenzo Phillips – Florida State LB: Phillips has an excellent playing opportunity at Florida State and that is one of the reasons he chose them. Phillips began his career at LSU and transferred to East Mississippi Community College where he was a star and became a heavily recruited
He should have an instant impact for the Seminoles.
6. Marcell Frazier – Missouri DE: Missouri has become something of a Defensive End University in recent years. From Michael Sam to Markus Golden and Shane Ray the Tigers have produced some top pass rushers the past few seasons. Frazier redshirted 1 season in Junior College so he is eligible for 3 seasons at Missouri. Frazier has some good quickness which could help the Tigers out immediately.
7. Paris Palmer – Penn State OT: The Penn State Nittany Lions have had their struggles along the Offensive Line lately, mostly because of a lack of bodies due to the Sandusky scandal. Palmer is projected to start at one of the tackle positions and at 6-8, 305 he has the size and talent to help our right away.
8. DeQuan Hampton – USC WR: The Trojans lost Nelson Agholer and George Farmer and there is opportunity for Hampton at USC. Hampton is a big Wide Receiver at 6 – 4, 200 with very good speed and was considered one of the top JC Wide Receivers in the country. The Trojans return Juju Smith and other talent and could have a great season in 2015.
9. Alvin Kamara – Tennessee RB: Kamara was a former 5 star Running Back that signed with Alabama out of high school, but he transferred to Junior College and now will face Alabama wearing the Orange of Tennessee. The Vols have power back Jalen Hurd returning for his sophomore season, but Kamara will give their offense a different type of weapon because Kamara is more of a speed guy. Kamara should play from day one and contribute much to the Volunteer offense.
10. Justin Evans – Texas A%M DB: Slated to start at Safety for the Aggies and if you believe the SEC hype involved with everybody he has a chance to be really good. Evans transferred in from Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi and is very athletic and aggressive. New Aggie Defensive Coordinator John Chavis recently hired from LSU has a chance to turn this defense around if given free reign.
11. Quincy Vasser – Texas DE: The former Georgia commitment should see early playing time at Texas because they lack depth and he could even start right away and be a difference maker. Texas head coach Charlie Strong is a known developer of talent and especially on defense. Vasser is big and strong and quick enough to be a strong Defensive End for the Longhorns.
12. Jeremiah Ledbetter – Arkansas DT: The Razorbacks are an up and coming team, but they lost some defensive talent from last year’s team. Ledbetter should be able to step in immediately. The highly sought after 4 star recruit is super quick, strong and can handle being double teamed pretty easily. At about 6-3, 280 Ledbetter could possibly replace outstanding Arkansas Defensive End Trey Flowers. Watch out for Bret Beliema and the Arkansas Razorbacks this season in the SEC.
13. Anthony Fotu – Arizona DT: Other than the man, Scooby Wright, the Wildcats had their struggles on defense and maybe Fotu can help. Fotu will bring some size and strength to their defensive line. The Wildcats run a 3-3 defense and could move Fotu across the front. I believe he sees a lot of early playing time and could be a difference maker.
14. Brandon Hodges – Texas OT/OG: Texas Offensive Line is such a mess that Hodges may be
guaranteed a spot somewhere. Hodges may start at either Tackle position and has a big chance to help Texas’ Offensive Line turn a corner. His main competition could be true freshman Connor Williams who was an early enrollee that has looked better than expected. Hodges is probably not among the best JC transfer Offensive Linemen, but he has probably the best shot at starting and making a difference.
15. Anthony Mahoungou – Purdue WR: Not many players are from Paris, France but Mahoungou is. He has limited experience as a football player, but at 6-4, 200 and playing for Purdue his ceiling is pretty sky high. He caught 39 passes at West Hills Community College in California and this guy has almost unlimited potential if he lives up to it. Purdue is badly in need of help and Mahoungou could be the guy.
16. Chris Carson – Oklahoma State RB: Prime opportunity in Stillwater, Oklahoma with the Cowboys for Carson to get some quality playing time. He was a long time Georgia Bulldog fan but switched to Oklahoma State at the last minute and we can assume for playing time because the Bulldogs are loaded at Running Back and the Cowboys are not.
17. Tony Bridges – Ole Miss CB: Bridges is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi but played last year at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The 4 star recruit was considered the top Cornerback prospect in the nation and is expected to start in 2015.
Dane Cruikshank – Arizona CB
Paul Magloire – Arizona S
Timmy Hamilton – Arizona DE
DeOnte Reynolds – Arizona State DT
Raymond Epps – Arizona State TE
Dominique Reed – Arkansas WR +
Jeremiah Ledbetter – Arkansas DT
Jason Smith – Auburn Ath
Maurice Porter – Baylor OT
Antoine Albert – California CB
Derron Williams- Brown – California DB
DeVante Williams – California DE
Jordan Fagan – Illinois OT
Henry Enyenihi – Illinois RB
Camion Patrick – Indiana WR
Demond Tucker – Iowa State DT
Michael Mathis – Kansas Ath
Jeremy Smith – Louisville RB
Jahair Jones – Miami OT
Charlie Rogers – Minnesota DB
Donald Gray – Miss St WR
Martinas Rankin – Miss State OT
Traver Yung – Miss State LB
Johnathan Calvin – Miss State DE
Tyler Howell – Missouri OT +
William Johnson – Oklahoma CB
Jamal Danley – Oklahoma OG
Motekai Maile – Oklahoma State DT
DJ Jones – Ole Miss DT
Tony Bridges – Ole Miss CB
Terry Caldwell – Ole Miss LB
Justin Martin – Tennessee CB
Isaac Whitney – USC WR
Nehemiah Mitchell – Vanderbilt DE