Recruiting 2010 - 10 for '10
Instant Impact JUCO Transfers
While blue-chip prep stars are 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 build a following at anonymous institutions, like Blinn and Snow College, are the quickest means for a coach to fill a pressing need. And why not? He’s filled out since leaving high school, is more mature, and is better prepared to make a quick transition to the FBS. He also has a smaller, two to three-year window of opportunity, fueling a sense of urgency.
Their time is now. Their need is unequivocal. If you start tossing around their names today, they could make you look real smart by the end of the summer.
10. ATH Randall Mackey, Ole Miss - With Dexter McCluster out of eligibility, Mackey becomes an ideal candidate to carry the torch as an all-purpose threat out of the Wild Rebel package. A first team Junior College All-American, he was a quarterback at East Mississippi Community College, where he threw 32 touchdown passes, yet has the athletic ability to be used in a multitude of different ways. It’ll be up to the Ole Miss staff to get him prepared as quickly as possible and find unique ways to get him involved in the offense.
9. CB Mike Harris, Florida State - If last season taught the Seminoles anything, it was that the defense needs to improve dramatically in coverage. Not only was Florida State dead last in ACC pass efficiency defense, but its best corner, Patrick Robinson, is off to the NFL. Harris signed where he was most needed, and will have a shot to win a job right away. A physical 6-0, 185-pounder, he has the hips and the leaping ability to stay with opposing receivers when the ball is in the air.
8. DT James Carmon, Mississippi State - Have the Bulldogs landed their version of Terrence Cody? Mt. Carmon, anyone? Dan Mullen should be so fortunate. A 6-7, 375-pound behemoth, he’s an immovable object, who could wind up occupying blockers for the much quicker Pernell McPhee. Carmon needs to work on his conditioning and is more effective when he sheds a few pounds, which is worth monitoring in the offseason. While he can be stiff at times and won’t make many plays in pursuit, that size and brute strength can be real roadblocks for opposing running games.
7. WR Kenbrell Thompkins, Undecided - One of the likely casualties from the Lane Kiffin departure out of Knoxville, Thompkins is keeping an open mind after originally committing to Tennessee. Physically gifted at almost 6-3 and 185 pounds, he runs tight routes and has the jets to blow past the secondary. When covered in man situations, he’s extremely difficult to contain or keep from getting his hands on the ball. After getting offers from just about every corner of the map, he could continue his playing career anywhere from Oklahoma to Oregon.
6. OT Brice Schwab, Arizona State - One of the nation’s top transfers along the offensive line, Schwab’s signature became a jump ball when Pete Carroll abruptly left USC. Dennis Erickson and the Sun Devils seized the opportunity, landing a potential pillar at tackle for a unit that desperately needs one. At 6-8 and 320 pounds, he’s surprisingly light on his feet, sealing off the edge effortlessly in pass protection. As a run blocker, he gets to the second level in a hurry and has the size and upper body strength to maul opposing defenders.
5. DE Wayne Dorsey, Ole Miss - The first thing that jumps off the film of Dorsey is that he’s extremely big and extremely fast off the snap. He was a man among boys at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, using his 6-8, 255-pound frame and athleticism to toy with opposing tackles. A former basketball star in high school, he’s a fluid overall athlete with tremendous closing speed. He’s already in Oxford, looking to join a rotation that lost ends Greg Hardy, Marcus Tillman, and Emmanuel Stephens to graduation.
4. OT John Cullen, Undecided - Depending on who you speak to, Cullen is this year’s most coveted offensive lineman from the junior colleges. That explains why so many schools are hustling to get his signature now that Tennessee is no longer considered his favorite. He could just as easily end up in at Oklahoma, Kansas State, Arizona State, or Utah. Whoever lands the 6-6, 285-pounder is going to love his intensity, long arms, and good footwork, the ingredients of a future all-conference left tackle.
3. DE Bruce Irvin, West Virginia - The coaching staff is absolutely ecstatic that Irvin has switched his allegiance from Arizona State to West Virginia. He’s a weakside end packaged in an outside linebacker’s body, blending explosive get-off with an insatiable appetite for the quarterback. When one-on-one with offensive tackles, he’s just too quick to be contained. Because of his speed at 6-4 and 230 pounds, the Mountaineers would like to disguise him as much as possible, moving him around the field and using him in myriad different ways.
2. S Jakar Hamilton, Georgia - At a time when the Bulldogs are looking to replace both safeties, Reshad Jones and Bryan Evans, Hamilton’s signing could not come at a better time. Originally headed to South Carolina before failing to qualify academically, he used last season to get bigger, stronger, and more experienced in a JUCO All-American debut at Georgia Military College. An outstanding open field tackler, with good pop and closing speed, he’ll be particularly beneficial in run support for the Georgia D.
1. QB Cameron Newton, Auburn - This could be the perfect marriage of the physically-gifted quarterback and the system that helps turn him into a star. A former backup at Florida before being arrested for stealing a laptop, he’s a 6-6, 245-pound athlete, who led Blinn (Tex.) College to a junior college national championship last season. He has a strong arm, outstanding athletic ability, and an opportunity to learn from coordinator Gus Malzahn, who could probably milk 20 touchdown passes out of the Tiger long snapper. If Newton can soak up all he has to learn about the system, he could be a household name by October.