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Instant Impact Stars - Top 10 JUCO Transfers
RB Marion Grice
RB Marion Grice
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 31, 2012


The top ten JUCO players you have to care about this season.

Recruiting 2012 

Top Ten JUCO Transfers

Recruiting 2012 | Recruiting 2011
Recruiting 2010 | Recruiting 2009 

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties  

- Recruiting 2012 - Top JUCO Transfers No. 11 to 25 
 
While blue-chip prep stars are normally recruited for the future of a program, junior college standouts are signed for today. When a kid from a two-year school is inked, he’s expected to pay immediate dividends. These athletes, who amass a following at anonymous, exotic-sounding institutions, like College of the Canyons and Saddleback College, are the quickest means for a coach to fill a pressing need. And why not? He’s filled out considerably since leaving high school, has matured on and off the field, and is better prepared to make a quick transition to the FBS. He also has a smaller, two to three-year window of eligibility, fueling a sense of urgency for all parties involved.

Their time is now. Their need is unmistakable. If you start tossing around their names near the water cooler today, they could make you look rather erudite by the end of the summer.

10. WR Javon Bell, Texas Tech
In an attempt to reverse his team’s 2011 direction, head coach Tommy Tuberville has dipped into the junior college ranks in a very big way. Bell is one of his finds who figures to make an immediate impact in Lubbock. An original commit to South Carolina before failing to qualify academically, he spent the last two seasons building a following at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The jackrabbit of a playmaker operates as if channeling current West Virginia WR Tavon Austin, making defenders whiff in space or appear as if they’re standing still. Bell is the type of athlete the Red Raiders will want to feature liberally on short slants or bubble screens.

9. OT Will Latu, Oklahoma
Latu initially agreed to play at West Virginia, later failed to qualify at Auburn and spent the final hours before signing day deciding whether to become a Sooner or a Ute. Following an official visit over the weekend, he decided to spend the next couple of seasons in Norman. A classic late-bloomer with a high ceiling, he only played one uneventful season of football in high school before emerging at the College of the Canyons in California. Now an athletic 6-5, 320-pounder, he has the feet to handle the flank and the might to drive linemen off the ball from the inside.

8. CB Mohammed Seisay, Nebraska
The Huskers have had a long history of success with junior college transfers. Seisay is bucking to add his own chapter to the legacy in Lincoln. The transfer from Eastern Arizona Junior College has lockdown potential in a 6-2, 200-pound frame, a rare and desired combination for a defender at the position. And unlike most players at this juncture of their careers, he already has FBS experience, having earned Conference USA All-Freshman honors while at Memphis in 2010. He can play multiple spots in the secondary for Nebraska, though helping offset the graduation of star CB Alfonzo Dennard will be his first priority upon arrival.

7. DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee
As the old saying goes, you cannot teach size, especially when the athlete in question goes 6-5 and 340 pounds … at least. If not the best, McCullers is certainly among the biggest of this year’s junior college recruits, giving the Volunteers and new coordinator Sal Sunseri an enormous presence in the middle of a beleaguered defensive line. While McCullers is predictably powerful and able to take up plenty of space, it’s his quickness to the pocket that really jumps off the Georgia Military College film. Not a sloppy athlete, he slides well, and can make stops outside the box.

6. WR Courtney Gardner, Arkansas
Gardner is one of the premier JUCO recruits during this cycle. The Razorbacks are looking for new targets for QB Tyler Wilson now that Jarius Wright, Joe Adams and Greg Childs have graduated. Sure seems like a perfect marriage in Fayetteville. A superb all-around athlete at 6-3 and 215 pounds, he can create mismatches with his speed, quickness or ability to elevate high into the air. After outclassing the competition for 61 receptions and 14 touchdown catches while at Sierra (Calif.) College, he received more than a dozen offers from major schools to take his game to the next level.

5. RB Marion Grice, Arizona State
A change of staff in College Station meant a change of heart for one of the nation’s elite transfer backs, who had originally given a verbal to Texas A&M. Grice had now opened up his recruitment to include Arizona State and hometown Houston among a handful of interested schools before choosing the Sun Devils. Although well-sized at 6-0 and 215 pounds, he’s more of an elusive runner, darting in and out of holes and making defenders miss. While at Blinn (Tex.) College, Grice authored back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, and cobbled together a body of work that’s been digested and broken down by intrigued coaches from the SEC to the Pac-12.

4. CB Travell Dixon, Alabama
The Crimson Tide is looking for help at cornerback following the graduation of DeQuan Menzie and early departure of Dre Kirkpatrick. Dixon is seeking a much bigger stage to showcase his burgeoning skills as a pass defender. This is a perfect marriage of need meeting talent. Dixon used his two seasons at Eastern Arizona Community College to improve his academics, hone his ability on the field and attract the interest of coaches from coast to coast. At 6-2 and 200 pounds, he’s the kind of bump-and-run corner that Nick Saban craves in Tuscaloosa. He has already enrolled in classes, and will be taking part in spring camp.

3. S Gerald Bowman, USC
He’s physical. He’s fast. He’s exactly what the Trojans want roaming the secondary from the safety position. The 6-1, 210-pounder from Pierce (Calif.) Community College harbors all of the closing speed and natural instincts of some cornerbacks, which is why so many programs coveted his signature at the end of last year. Bowman can intimidate opposing receivers and tight ends, much the way USC safeties have down for the past two generations. In Year 1 in Los Angeles, though, he may need to be a little patient as the newest member of a defensive backfield that lost no one to graduation.

2. DE Denico Autry, Mississippi State
After getting a slew of offers from major programs from Oregon to Florida, Autry opted to continue his career with Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs. Mississippi State is getting the top pass rusher at this level, a 6-5, 255-pounder with a great first step and an insatiable appetite for the backfield. His career trajectory could model that of former Bulldog lineman Pernell McPhee, who used a junior college and Starkville as stepping stones to the Baltimore Ravens. Autry doesn’t figure to require too much time to crack the rotation, giving his new school the dominant edge rusher it desperately needs in 2012.

1. WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
The country’s top JUCO wide receiver kept it close to a half-dozen SEC schools hanging on his final decision until the very last minute. Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee were all in the hunt for the 6-4, 212-pound field-stretcher in the passing game and the return game before finally deciding on the Vols. In two years at Hutchinson (Kans.) Community College, he proved to be an immense talent on offense and special teams, using his speed, long gait and open field moves to pile up record-breaking results against overmatched competition. With a game that’s being compared to that of Randy Moss, Patterson has the look of a hired gun that’s going to help ignite whichever offense he joins.

- Recruiting 2012 - Top JUCO Transfers No. 11 to 25