Junior college transfers can make a huge difference for a program in so many ways whether it be a disruptive pass rusher or cover corner added to defense or a playmaking wide receiver to bolster a depleted corps, JUCOs tend to make an impact as soon as they step on campus. Unlike their freshman counterparts, junior college transfers are more developed and have been playing at a higher level than at high school which makes their transition much smoother. Below we will take a look at the top ten fantasy prospects in this year's junior college class.
Blake Jackson, TE- Oklahoma State
One of the best things for a young quarterback in his first year as a starter is to have a big target to throw to when things break down and that is exactly what Jackson could be for whoever wins the starting job at Oklahoma State. Jackson is big and athletic much like former Cowboy Brandon Pettigrew and could make an early impact.
Javon Bell, WR- Texas Tech
The Red Raiders have plenty of weapons in the passing game like Marcus Kennard, Eric Ward, Darrin Moore, and Alex Torres but Bell brings a Tavon Austin-like speed and shiftiness to the slot position which could see him carving a niche early in Lubbock.
Courtney Gardner, WR- Oklahoma
There is no mistaking the pure athletic ability of Gardner with his 4.4 speed and huge frame. However, what will determine how much impact he makes is how fast he can build a rapport with Landry Jones. Even without Ryan Broyles, the Sooner receiving corps had plenty of talent but we all witnessed how bad the passing game struggled as Jones failed to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. The Sooners have some major talent in Kenny Stills, Jaz Reynolds, and Trey Metoyer but Gardner has the size edge over them all.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR- Tennessee
Much like Oklahoma, there is already plenty of talent in the Volunteer receiving corps but Patterson is just too good to not see the field. Tyler Bray will certainly target Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter (assuming he is healthy after tearing his ACL) but Patterson, who has the size of Rogers and the speed of Hunter, will demand attention early and often in Knoxville.
Marquez Clark, WR- Kansas State
Clark reminds me a lot of former Wildcat Brandon Banks only a bit bigger but with the same blazing speed. Clark will operate likely out of the slot and is the type of guy who does his damage with the ball in his hands. That is good for Collin Klein who is not the most polished passer in the world. Add to the fact that the Wildcats return only one player with more than 21 receptions last year and you have a perfect situation for Clark to see action right away.
Damien Williams, RB- Oklahoma
With the health of Dominique Whaley somewhat in question and the absence of another workhorse-style back on the roster, Williams could be leaned upon in his first year out of Arizona Western. Solidly built at 6'1, 215 pounds, Williams should be in the rotation right away and could wind up being a 20-carry-a-game guy.
Marion Grice, RB- Arizona State
Grice will have to compete with Cameron Marshall and Deantre Lewis for carries but you don't bring in a junior college to just ride the pine. Todd Graham likes to run the ball so there will be plenty of opportunities for all.
Sadale Foster, RB- Texas Tech
Foster has already impressed early this spring for the Red Raiders and his versatility to play in the backfield or out of the slot makes him a prime candidate to see playing time early.
Lance Ray, WR- East Carolina
Maybe it is the fact that he shares the same name as Lance Lewis but I see Ray being involved in the Pirates' wide-open offense right away. A former Arkansas Razorback, Ray is a big bodied receiver who has been clocked at a sub-4.4 40-yard dash. The Pirates will be breaking in a new quarterback and if he knows what is good for him, he will look Ray's way often.
James Gillum, RB- Minnesota
Gillum comes from the same community college as Vick Ballard and could make the same impact for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota moved Lamonte Edwards to linebacker and Donnell Kirkwood is the only returning rusher with more than 57 rushing yards. Gillum has good size (5'11, 208 pounds) but is fast enough to take it the distance at any moment. If Gillum picks up on pass protection, he could be an every-down back for the Golden Gophers.