Power Ranking Top-10 JUCO Recruits in Class of 2014
The JUCO recruiting trail can serve as a key tool to a college football program. JUCO players usually have had either academic issues or transferred from a university due to the depth chart. A neat aspect to players coming from junior colleges is that they are further along in their development than many high school players.
Schools like Kansas State, Kansas and Auburn are known to be receptive to JUCO recruits, among others. When a program signs a junior college recruit, they're expected to contribute immediately due to their experience.
Players like Derrick Moncrief, D'haquille Williams and Risean Broussard lead the way this year on the JUCO trail.
10. Eric Lauderdale, WR
Lauderdale attends Saddleback College in Southern California. He is a 6'2",195-pound WR who caught 60 passes for 916 yards and seven TDs last season.
Lauderdale can use his quickness and length to beat press coverage off the line. He has smooth athleticism and flashes deep speed on vertical routes. 247Sports lists Miami, Tennessee and Arizona State as three schools to watch.
9. Davonte Lambert, DE
Lambert was once a 3-star DE in the 2012 class who weighed 260 pounds. He was not a high-priority recruit and many schools overlooked him at Burke County High School.
Today, he's a 6'3", 275-pound DE who attends Georgia Military College and is one of the best JUCO players in the country. Lambert has added power to his arsenal along with explosive quickness. He has good anchor strength and can bully blockers on the edge vs. the run.
He is expected to sign with Georgia.
8. Dontavius Blair, OT
Blair is a perfect example of why playing JUCO football is not always a negative thing. He was once an unknown OT from Anniston School in Alabama who stood 6'6" but weighed only 250 pounds.
At Garden City CC in Kansas, Blair has transformed into a 6'8", 295-pound OT prospect. He has offers from schools such as Oklahoma, Florida State and Georgia.
The Sooners lead, per 247Sports, and could be getting an immediate starter for the 2014 season in Blair.
7. Avery Gennesy, OT
A 2-star recruit in 2012, Gennesy was a lowly 6'4", 290-pound blocker from Southaven High School in Mississippi. He had little interest on the recruiting front and had a ways to go to be ready to play BCS-level football.
East Mississippi CC has helped Gennesy develop into a 6'5", 318-pound LT with good movement skills and agility. He plays with solid balance and has improved his flexibility.
Baylor and Kentucky are two offers Gennesy has, among others, according to 247Sports.
6. Chad Mavety, OT
Mavety was a non-ranked recruit in the 2012 cycle. He stood 6'4", 280 pounds and was not on many people's radars at Sparta High School in New York.
He has since moved on to Nassau CC in New York where he is regarded as one of the premier OL prospects on the JUCO level. Mavety is 6'7", 320 pounds and can play with heavy hands at the point of attack.
Keep an eye on Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State.
5. Dominick Jackson, OT
According to 247Sports, Alabama OL coach Mario Cristobal is personally recruiting Jackson. Cristobal knows talent when he sees it and Jackson has much to spare.
The 6'7", 304-pound OT plays at the College of San Mateo in California. Jackson can mix his sets in pass protection, showing quickness to get deep and the toughness to set up short. He has good strength and flashes the ability to anchor and re-anchor vs. bull-rushers.
4. Derrick Moncrief, S
In 2012, Moncrief was a 3-star safety from Prattville High School in Alabama. He was scheduled to land at Southern Miss but ended up enrolling at Mississippi Gulf CC.
Moncrief has added 26 pounds to his once 6'3", 200-pound frame and has developed into a premier safety prospect. He is a physical enforcer on the back end, showing quick diagnose ability versus the run and the willingness to squeeze into the box to make tackles.
Moncrief also has the range to roam deep and pick off passes. He's committed to Auburn.
3. Jermaine Eluemunor, OT
Eluemunor attends Lackwanna CC in Pennsylvania and is a 6'6", 300-pound OT recruit. He has light feet, solid technique and bends well at the knees.
Eluemunor is a versatile blocker who can play on both sides of the offensive line. His adequate strength could even allow him to become a guard later in his career.
Alabama and UCLA are the main suitors for him, says 247Sports.
2. Josh McNeil, TE
McNeil was one of the elite TE prospects in the 2013 class. He once weighed 225 pounds and stood 6'5", but is now a 6'6", 250-pounder who can help as a blocker while attacking the seams..
From North Carolina, McNeil once attended Hillside High school in Durham and then left for Milford Academy in New York due to academic credit issues. McNeil is now at Copiah-Lincoln CC in Mississippi.
He is a great receiving TE who has good speed and a large strike zone. McNeil can be flexed out on the perimeter while also working as a "joker" TE who is deployed all over the field to exploit match ups.
He is expected to sign with LSU.
1. D'haquile Williams, WR
Williams was rated a 4-star WR in 2011 and played at East St. John High School in Louisiana. He signed with LSU, but various issues lead him to take the junior college route.
The 6'3" WR weighed 190 pounds as a high school recruit, but he's up to 213 pounds and now plays at Mississippi Gulf Coast. Gifted with great play speed, Williams can eat up a cushion quickly and is a dangerous deep threat.
He can separate quickly by exploding in and out of his breaks and has good hands. Williams re-committed to LSU earlier this month only to de-commit several days later.
Look for USC to make a push, but the Tigers will be in the hunt until the end.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.