College Football Recruiting: Top 10 Junior College Recruits for 2011
Recruiting junior college prospects can be a bit of a mixed bag.
On one hand, schools usually don’t have as much competition when recruiting an individual player and that allows them to zero in on certain guys, but on the other hand, most of the top recruits in junior college are there because they’ve had some sort of issue whether it be academics or being dismissed from a former school, so there are usually a few red flags to watch for.
That’s not to say that great players don’t come out of the junior college ranks every year though.
Last year’s top junior college prospect, Auburn’s Cam Newton, who played at Blinn College for a year, is now the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy.
There is certainly talent that can be harvested from the JUCO level, so let’s take a look at ten players who could make an impact next season.
1. DT Sheldon Richardson, College of Sequoias
Committed to: Missouri
Richardson committed to the Tigers coming out of Gateway High School in St. Louis back in 2009 when he was rated as one of the top defensive lineman recruits in the country. However, academic issues forced him to opt for the junior college rout instead of heading to Columbia.
The 6‘4 285 lb. defensive tackle still stands firm on his commitment, especially after witnessing the Tigers upset victory of Oklahoma first hand on his official visit.
Richardson, who is on track to join the team in December, looks like he’ll offer Missouri a versatile defensive line prospect who is capable of playing either end or tackle.
2. DT Jesse Williams, Arizona Western
Committed to: Alabama
Williams was one of the most heavily recruited JUCO prospects in the country this year before he decided to pledge his services to Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The 6‘4 320 lb. former Australian rugby player, who reportedly bench presses over 500 pounds, held offers from over 20 FBS schools.
The big tackle's pure brute strength and overwhelming size makes him a valuable candidate to play the nose position in Saban’s 3-4 defense.
It seems Alabama fans could soon have a Mount Williams to root for.
3. WR Anthony Denham, East Los Angeles
Schools Considering: Washington, Oregon, Utah, Georgia, Alabama
After not receiving a lot of major recruiting interest coming out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles, Anthony Denham decided to head for the Junior College circuit to enhance his value.
The decision seems to have paid off as Denham now holds offers from ten FBS schools.
The 6‘5 215 lb.s receiver doesn’t have the elite long speed you're looking for, but he does have a great pair of hands and offers an offense a nice big frame that could be utilized nicely in red zone situations.
4. OL Jacob Fahrenkrug, North Dakota State
Schools Considering: Arizona, Florida State, Auburn, Arkansas
Jacob Fahrenkrug, who is rated as a four star recruit by both Rivals and Scout, is the most highly touted offensive line prospect in the junior college ranks this year.
Fahrenkrug has been dominant during his time at North Dakota State College of Science.
The 6‘4 320 lb. lineman has what it takes to play either guard or tackle at the next level although he seems most likely suited to use his big frame at guard where he can push around defensive lineman in the run game.
5. DE Cornelius Carradine, Butler County
Schools Considering: South Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Pittsburgh
Cornelius Carradine looks like this year’s edition of Bruce Irvin, a physical specimen who is a tremendously explosive pass rusher.
Carradine may be a bit undersized for the defensive end spot at just 6‘5 245 lbs. but he is a well put together athlete and definitely deserving of his nickname “Tank.”
The Ohio native originally committed to Illinois coming out of Taft High School back in 2008 but academic issues forced him off to junior college.
It will be interesting to see whether Carradine goes to a school that employs a 3-4 or a 4-3.
6. RB Aaron Harris, Southwestern Community
Schools Considering: San Diego State, Cincinnati, Hawaii, USC, Nevada
Aaron Harris, a 5‘10 200 lb. running back originally from Granite Hills High School in California, is an explosive athlete with track speed.
Harris is rated as a four star prospect by both Scout and Rivals and is considered by both to be the top Junior College running back prospect this year.
Harris broke multiple SWC rushing records during his freshman season at Southwestern, rushing for over 1,000 yards and scoring 14 TDs.
7. DT John Jenkins, Mississippi Gulf Coast
Committed to: Oklahoma State
They don’t make them much bigger than John Jenkins.
At 6‘4 340 lbs. Jenkins possesses the type of body that you can throw in the middle of your defense to eat up blockers.
Jenkins, who is ranked as a four star prospect by both Rivals and Scout, made his commitment to the Cowboys after visiting Stillwater for their game against Nebraska.
He is the type of defensive lineman that could make an immediate impact at the college level and he’s obviously a huge get for Mike Gundy and his staff.
8. QB Zach Mettenberger, Butler County
Schools Considering: LSU, Alabama, Arizona, Texas A&M, Louisville
Zach Mettenberger was a highly regarded quarterback prospect coming out of Oconee County High School in Georgia back in 2009.
The 6‘5 230 lb. pro style dropback passer signed with Georgia but was dismissed from the team this past Spring following an arrest for public intoxication.
Mettenberger has all the tools you want in a big, tall pocket passer and he would be an ideal fit at another SEC school like LSU or Alabama.
9. DE Meshak Williams, Hutchinson
Committed to: Kansas State
Meshak Williams originally committed to the Kansas State Wildcats back in 2009 but was forced to make a stop at Hutchinson because of academic issues.
Williams, who is a pass rushing nightmare, is still firmly committed to Bill Snyder and the Wildcats.
The 6‘3 230 lb. defensive end is a little on the lighter side and will have to bulk up once he gets to Manhattan, but his speed off the edge makes him a tough match up for opposing offensive lineman.
Rivals ranks Williams as a four star prospect.
10. DT Quinton Dial, East Mississippi
Committed to: Alabama
Quinton Dial originally signed with the Tide coming out Alabama’s Clay-Chalkville High School in 2009 as one of the top defensive recruits in the country. However, he didn’t qualify academically and had to make a stop at East Mississippi before he could suit up for his in-state school.
Dial possess superior strength for a defensive lineman and his big 6‘5 310 lb. body would be a valuable edition up front for Nick Saban’s defense.
Dial has a chance to be a special player if utilized correctly and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him make a considerable impact next season.