Impact JUCO transfers headed to the SEC in 2016
Every season, junior college transfers make an impact at various programs across the country and in the Southeastern Conference.
In the 2016 cycle, there are again several high-level junior college players heading to the SEC. Here are six on which to keep an eye.
1. Jonathan Kongbo, DE, Tennessee
There’s a reason that Kongbo was ranked as the No. 1 overall junior college prospect. He’s 6-foot-5.5, 264 pounds and an explosive pass rusher. Kongbo is the perfect addition to the Vols defensive line, which is talented, but young, and should make great strides next season.
2. John Franklin III, QB, Auburn
The question here is this — can lightning strike a third time for Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn? Cam Newton and Nick Marshall both were JUCO quarterback transfers and led the Tigers, once with Malzahn as offensive coordinator and once as head coach, to their best seasons this decade. Franklin signed with Florida State out of high school and has a good skill set.
3. Paul James, DE, Auburn
James is a Miami native with excellent strength and explosiveness and should give the Tigers an older player that can step right in and get snaps on the defensive line, where Auburn continues to try to build. James has good pass rushing skills and also is strong against the run. He may be the forgotten man in a great defensive line class.
4. Charles Baldwin, OL, Alabama
Baldwin has already arrived in Tuscaloosa and the Connecticut native has the potential to step right in on the Crimson Tide’s offensive line and see snaps. He’s got the size, athleticism and tenacity (on film) that you want in an offensive lineman and also is somewhat versatile.
5. Dre Massey, WR/KR, Florida
Massey was grossly underrated by the recruiting media industry as a mid-three star prospect, so chances are his emergence will be a big storyline in Gainesville in the near future. While it will be unexpected from a national narrative standpoint, it won’t be here. Massey is an electric, explosive playmaker who can contribute all over the field on offense and on special teams in the return game.
6. Mark Thompson, RB, Florida
The Gators needed a running back to get in the mix after Kelvin Taylor declared for the NFL draft and the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Thompson is an intriguing option to throw in the mix with the young backs Florida already has on campus. It will be a battle this spring to see who will start, but it could be Thompson just going off of skill set.