It wasn’t that long ago when Cordarrelle Patterson of the Minnesota Vikings was paying his dues and honing his craft in the junior college ranks. In a two-year career at Hutchinson Community College of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, Patterson put up 1,832 yards receiving with 24 touchdown receptions. On top of those impressive receiving totals, Patterson amassed an additional 12 touchdowns, 6 on the ground, and 6 in the return game. The dynamic playmaker was the most highly touted junior college recruit in the country, and took his talents to the University of Tennessee. To make a long story short, Patterson went on to have 1,858 all-purpose yards, with 10 total touchdowns in 12 games for the Volunteers in 2012. His play garnered the attention of NFL scouts and the rest is history. Last year as a rookie, Patterson was selected to the Pro-Bowl as a kick returner and showed the league he is an elite talent. In NFL fantasy football drafts this season, Patterson is one of the most talked about players primed for a breakout season. Enough about the NFL, let’s take a look at this years top junior college, wide-receiver transfers who could be primed to burst onto the scene:
Oklahoma State WR Tyreek Hill
The first thing that needs to be said about Hill is he’s fast, and I mean really really really fast. He has world class speed. After arriving in Stillwater for the second semester last year, Hill competed on the indoor track team and won the Big 12, 200 meter dash, as well as finishing 2nd in the 60 meter event. I could continue to mention all of his accomplishments in track and field but we’re here to talk about football. Having world class speed doesn’t guarantee anything when it comes to competing on the gridiron, but Hill’s sophomore season at Garden City C.C. gives us an indication that he could very well take the Big 12 by storm this season. Hill caught 32 passes for 532 yards with 6 touchdowns, as well as carrying the ball 101 times for 659 yards and 5 touchdowns. Head coach, Mike Gundy said that he wants to get Tyreek Hill 15-20 touches per game. With WR eligibility, Hill could very well put up WR1 numbers. Speed kills, there is a reason the Dallas Cowboys took a 12th round flyer on Carl Lewis in the 1984 draft, although he hadn’t ever played college football. Well Tyreek plays football, and plays football incredibly well. Think Tavon Austin or Percy Harvin. Projection: 600 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving, 10 total touchdowns.
Auburn WR D’haquille Williams
In two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast College, “Duke” caught 118 passes for 2028 yards and 27 touchdowns. Williams is a physical specimen and a very special playmaker who should fit in nicely opposite Sammie Coates in Auburn’s offense. The addition of Williams will be beneficial not only to Coates and the right arm of senior quarterback Nick Marshall, but as much to the Tigers fierce running game. Williams will detract attention from the rest of the offense with his big play capabilities. Auburn offensive coordinator, Rhett Lashlee was recently quoted saying, “Duke’s role is get him the ball.” The number one junior college recruit according to a handful of recruiting services, had an offer list from the who’s who of college football: Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Texas, and Texas A&M to name a few. Williams ultimately decided on Auburn who is in search of playmakers to replace Tre Mason, who darted to the NFL after a Heisman finalist season. The Tigers gave up a go-ahead touchdown with only 13 seconds left in the National Championship game last season, and are hungry for revenge. Many consider returning quarterback, Nick Marshall as a pre-season favorite to win the Heisman. Some of that hype can be attributed to Williams, who emerged in the spring game as a potential focal point in this years offense. Duke finished “A-day”, Auburn’s spring game with 5 catches for 88 yards and 1 TD. Outside of Sammie Coates, the Tigers didn’t have another bonafide playmaker catching passes last season… Look for Duke Williams to fill that void. Projection: 800 yards receiving, 8 touchdowns.
Illinois WR Geronimo Allison
Last year, senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhasse threw for 3,272 yards and 21 touchdowns. His leading receiver, Steve Hull was a converted safety who ended up catching 59 passes for 993 yards and 7 TDs, Holt is now graduated, as well as four of the top five leading receivers from a year ago. The top returning leader in catches and yards is junior running back Josh Ferguson. Looking from afar, one might think the Fighting Illini will have trouble moving the ball through the air this year. Well think again. After landing Oklahoma State transfer, and current starting quarterback Wes Lunt, most believe the Illini have upgraded at QB. To go along with Lunt, Illinois added second-team NJCAA All-American WR, Geronimo Allison. Allison didn’t play football his sophomore or junior seasons of high school. So he lacks experience and is considered a raw talent. But if Hull can make the transition from safety to WR and thrive, why can’t a raw Allison? Especially with a better QB throwing him the ball. After helping lead Iowa Western C.C. to the NJCAA National Championship in 2012, the 6’4 wide-out had a very good season in 2013. He accumulated 69 catches for 872 yards and 8 touchdowns, leading his conference in all three categories. Last season, offensive coordinator, Bill Cubit was able to get a lot out of a little in terms of talent. Well this season the Fighting Illini could have a pretty potent offense. Wes Lunt has a ton of upside; in 2012 he was the first true freshman to start a game for the Cowboys since 1950. With the help of Cubit and Lunt, Allison could very well become a household name by seasons end. Projection: 900 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns.
BYU WR Nick Kurtz
Expectations are high for Taysom Hill and the BYU Cougars offense entering the 2014 collegiate season. Although the Cougars lost no. 1 receiving threat Cody Hoffman to graduation, who by the way had a very successful career at BYU (260 rec, 3,612 yds, 33 TDs), bigger things are expected from this offense. Heisman hopeful Taysom Hill, is looking to build off of his 2013 campaign where he ran for 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns and threw for 2,938 yards and 19 TDs. With the departure of Cody Hoffman, who will emerge as the top pass catching threat for BYU? Enter Nick Kurtz. Unfortunately, Kurtz will begin the year on the sidelines for at least the first 4 games of the season, with a stress fracture to his left foot. But at 6’6 with tremendous ball skills, and 4.5 speed, Kurtz could be one of the finest waiver wire pick-ups all year if he comes back 100% healthy. Kurtz was expected to be Taysom Hill’s (one of college fantasy football’s top QB options) number one target, and rightfully so. When you have offers from programs such as Oregon, LSU, and USC, you’re doing something right. Heck even Wes Welker tried to recruit him to Texas Tech via Twitter. Kurtz was named to the SCFA, All-Southern Conference team in both years while amassing 1,301 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns for Grossmont College. At the very least, keep this kid on your watch list. If you have any room on your roster, I highly advise you add Kurtz before the entire country see’s what this kid is made of. Projection: 8 games played, 600 yards receiving, 6 touchdowns.
Others to keep an eye on:
Cincinnati WR Casey Gladney
Texas A&M WR Josh Reynolds
Tennessee WR Von Pearson
Texas Tech WR Devin Lauderdale
Illinois WR Tyrin Stone-Davis
BYU WR Devon Blackmon
I’m sure I missed a few. Who’d I miss? Feel free to contact me on Twitter @PutBoobieIn to talk football.