Published July 30, 2012 - 1:50pm
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It’s seldom that JUCO transfers work out or make an impact in their first season in the SEC. And you don’t want too many newcomers – JUCO or prep school – transferring in on your team, either. But a perfect blend is often times attainable. And sometimes you do find that hidden gem who makes an impact in year one.
The SEC West has had some very good impact transfers over the course of the last couple of years.
We can certainly start with Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, but who can forget Mount Cody at Alabama? All of these guys were impact JUCO transfers for their teams in their first season.
Here are five players from the SEC West who are transferring in who will make an instant impact:
Denico Autry, DE, Mississippi State
Denico Autry will be arguably the biggest impact transfer in the SEC. He was the country’s most explosive JUCO lineman, and he looks to give MSU some much-needed help on the edge rush. The SEC-ready 6-6, 255lb Autry enrolled last January, and he will benefit from going through a complete spring with the team. He really turned heads, too. Autry came to MSU from Mississippi Community College where he recorded 11 sacks, 81 tackles and 41 quarterback hurries last year.
Deion Belue, CB, Alabama
Nick Saban always has a way to reel in coachable impact JUCO players. Belue will be no exception, and much like DeQuan Menzie last year, Belue will be filling a major role in the Tide’s secondary because of the mass exodus to the NFL. He’s a quick learner and a headsy player, the perfect formula for Saban and his beloved defensive backs. Coming to Alabama from Northeast Mississippi Community College, he should start opposite Dee Milliner in week one.
Pierce Burton, OT, Ole Miss
Ole Miss just needs big bodies that can bust a grape along the offensive line. And Pierce Burton fulfills that role nicely. Burton had Ole Miss neck-and-neck with Florida for his services but elected to play for new head coach Hugh Freeze in Oxford. He started his career at San Jose State but transferred to City College of San Francisco. He will start at right tackle this season and be an impact player at the position.
Austin Flynn, DE, Arkansas
There’s a new burly, bearded man in Fayetteville, and his name is Austin Flynn. But the beard isn’t the only thing he’s bringing to town. He’s got game at a crucial position for the Hogs. His addition to the lineup allows the process of Tenarius Wright moving to linebacker flow a little easier. Besides, Jake Bequette is now gone, and Flynn will try and adequately fill his shoes. He is an immediate impact guy for the Hogs who will very much be a factor in the defense’s success, or lack of it.
Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn
Jay Prosch is one of my favorite transfers. He will be a huge addition to the Tigers’ running game. More like a battering ram than a fullback, Prosch should open up some big holes for backs Onterio McCalebb, Tre Mason and others. Prosch transferred in from Illinois, and he is also a very good special teams player, too. I want to see this kid crack a helmet with some bigger SEC linebackers. He will hold his own against anyone.
Brandon Williams, RB, Texas A&M: Definitely an impact player for the Aggies, but his status of playing in year one is still uncertain. We should have an answer in the next month.
Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss: Wallace transfers in already having knowledge of Hugh Freeze’s offense from his previous stop at Arkansas State. However, Wallace is still battling it out with fellow quarterback Barry Brunetti, who also happened to transfer in from West Virginia last year. We’ll keep an eye on this one.