JC Top 101 List (Pre-Season)

This weekend JCFootball.com will unveil the 2002 Pre-Season JC Top 101 list. The list consists of student athletes from around the nation who are impact players for their teams and likely to move on to play D1 football. With only a handful of days left before the list is published, we're still evaluating more than 200 student athletes for inclusion.

Every year in recruiting circles the hype is around blue-chip prep prospects, with junior college transfers thought of as throw-ins or added bonuses to a recruiting class. But savvy recruiting coordinators and truly knowledgeable fans know different. It's no secret that many JCs in a recruiting class will step right in and make an immediate, positive impact on offense, defense, or on special teams. The JC Top 101 is a list of players who we expect to make a splash at the next level.

It is no easy task to rank America's top 101 junior college football prospects because there is so much talent. As I said above, we could potentially list well over 275 athletes, who will sign 1A letters of intent in either December or February. But through a careful process of evaluations - which began over a year ago - we have come up with a great list.

In 2002, there are outstanding players at every position but especially tight end, defensive end, wide receiver, safety, cornerback, and defensive tackle. Additionally, there are several tremendous running backs one or more of whom could have an impact on their team like former Fresno CC running back Maurice Morris had with Oregon in 2000 and 2001. By the way, he was drafted early in the second round of last year's draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

Going through the JC Top 101 list  you will likely recognize names of kids who were prep All-Americans a couple of years ago but didn't have all the academic pieces to move on. Many, like running back Brandon Jacobs (Coffeyville) committed to Auburn but didn't qualify. The same can be said for safety Donte Nicholson (Mt. San Antonio) who signed with Washington after graduating from Diamond Bar HS in southern California -- and many others.

Additionally, there are several bouncebacks from four-year schools; kids who signed and played or were enrolled at four-year schools but transferred to junior colleges. El Camino College noseguard Brent Pollock -- an ex-BYU Cougars player -- comes to mind.

Not all junior college blue-chippers were of elite status in high school, however. Take defensive tackle John Guydon (Fullerton College) for example. He was a not-ready-for-prime-time player in high school but is good student, fiery leader, and has filled out during his time at Fullerton. He's now a JC Grid-Wire Pre-Season All-American and getting looks from colleges all over the country. So there are many players at this level who were late bloomers -- and excellent students -- who used JCs to hone their skills and help them earn a scholarship. 

You will likely be curious about a few omissions, too.

This list does not include athletes who have more or less run out of 1A eligibility, which can happen in a number of ways. We call these 'clock' kids and they usually will opt to play D2 for two years versus the one they could have at a 1A school. On occasion you will see a 'clock' kid go 1A but it's relatively rare. We'll find another way to give these guys their due!

Several JC Top 101 players were injured in the first week or chose to sit out for one reason or another. These guys will be noted separately and not included on the pre-season 101 list. A 'for instance' is Coffeyville tailback and Missouri commit, Damien Nash, who is unquestionably a 101 player. An unfortunate week one knee injury has sidelined him for the season, however, so we're putting him on the 101 Injured Reserve and freeing a spot for someone else.

The JC Top 101 is full of thoroughbred athletes, who are being recruited by the likes of Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon, Nebraska, Washington, and other BCS-ranked teams.

So get ready for the list, which is coming this weekend. JC Grid-Wire PLUS subscribers will get the first, exclusive look before our general release.


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