Nearly every program in the Southeastern Conference recruits the junior college ranks relatively well, but there are three that have been a slight cut above this decade.

Here they are.


The Tigers have had more program-impacting players from the junior college ranks this decade than nearly any other program in the country. Two quarterbacks — Cam Newton and Nick Marshall — arrived from junior college and proceeded to lead Auburn to the BCS National Championship game in their first seasons (Newton won it all in 2010). Duke Williams, before he was dismissed from the program, was an outstanding player from a talent standpoint and there was also monster defensive tackle Nick Fairley on that 2010 team.


Being located in the state of Mississippi, the Rebels will always recruit JUCO talent simply because of the large number of football-playing junior colleges and the talent in the state. Ole Miss gets the nod here because Hugh Freeze has had two JUCO quarterbacks — Bo Wallace and then Chad Kelly — manning the ship during Ole Miss’ rise to prominence. There are other positions that they recruit, but quarterback is the most important position on the field and junior college talent has allowed the Rebels to be more than solid at that position during the Freeze era.


You would not think it, but the Crimson Tide does a great job of being selectively smart when mining the junior college ranks. Jarran Reed was a starter for Alabama on the best defensive front in college football this past season. The Tide also has done well with others, including nose tackle Terrence Cody and defensive back Dejuan Menzie, who were part of dominant, championship Crimson Tide defenses.