Joliet Junior College Preview

We've been focusing quite a bit on the California JCs in our previews, so we thought we head to the midwest for one and there's nowhere better to start than about 30 minutes south of Chicago at Joliet Junior College. Head coach Tom Minnick's roster has lots of D-1 and D-1AA talent on it and he spoke with recently to talk about several of them.

WR Christian Graham "He's probably our big-play guy out at wide receiver. Last year he had something like 20 catches in sort of a rotation role and the player whose place he is taking had over 50 catches so he should see plenty of chances to make plays. We'll throw it to him about 80 percent of the time.

"He's already been offered by New Mexico and he's a bounceback from Purdue so that should tell you he's a pretty talented guy.

"He's about 6-2, 190 and he's very quick and has good speed and great hands. He's coming off a great spring and we're really excited about what he's going to bring to our offense this fall."

WR Jerramy Gettis – "He's most definitely a D-1 player, but he's going to have to go D-2 because of his clock. He's 6-2, 195 and he transferred here from Tennessee State.

"He's very physical and loves to block. I mean, he really gets after it and just hammers people and that really helps out our running game. He'll just light guys up.

"He's more of a possession-guy, but he's a guy that will really make an offense go and he's just a great kid to have in your system."

WR Jeff Gustafson "He's another great possession guy and he's just huge (6-3, 225). He's just a great athlete and he runs the best routes on the team.

"He's a mid-major kind of a guy – a player that would do really well at a MAC or WAC or Conference USA team. He's so physical and so big that it's very tough to cover him one-on-one."

QB Deron Putman "We've got two quarterbacks who will be vying for the position. Devron had a really good spring for us. He's 6-1, 190 and he's got really special feet. He can really make teams pay when they rush the passer and don't stay in their lanes. He'll make you miss."

QB Mitch Watkins - "He's a big kid (6-3, 218). He played in our bowl game last year and he didn't get a lot of time, but he was really special when he was in there. We're excited about both of our kids at quarterback and think they'll both do really well for us."

RB Anthony Stewart "He's small (5-8, 180), but he's lightning-quick. I mean just scary quick. He was all-conference last year and we expect more of the same from him this year. "He reminds me a lot of Darren Sproles who played for Kansas State and now is with the Chargers. Kansas State is really interested in him.

"He's a tough, hard-nosed kid. He's not a burner, but he'll just run over you and he's got incredible vision. He sees a lot of stuff before it happens. He's really instinctive. He makes people look silly when they try to tackle him."

OL Jason Donnal "Jason's 6-3, 320 and can really move and run for a man his size. He put up a 4.9 forty in our spring testing and we don't fudge that stuff at all. It's legit and that's just scary for a guy that size to move that fast. He could probably play defensive tackle for us and be one of the best in the conference. He's just that talented.

"He needs to get in a little better shape and that just shows you how good he can be with how good he already is and he's not even in the best shape he could be in. He's a guard for us this year, but he played tackle last year because he has excellent feet and he's got a nasty attitude out there.

"He was a Big 33 guy from Ohio and Buffalo offered him in high school and they've already offered him again. Illinois was all over him in high school too and they are after him again too."

OL Byron Stingly "He only weighed 250 last year and at 6-6, he was sort of a string bean out there, but he held his own. This year, he's already up to 295 and that's good weight. He's been solid in the weight room and he's added a lot of muscle to his frame.

"He's very athletic. Illinois is already all over him and Iowa State and Wisconsin are heating up on him. He's got a ton of schools looking at him because of what he can do and how raw he is and how much potential he has. He was a full-qualifier out of high school and he'll be able to leave in December. He'll have some big-time offers to look at before he leaves here."

OL Mike McDaniel "He's a huge man. He goes 6-9, 330 and he'll be big time just because of his size and athleticism. He moves really well, but he needs to just work a little harder to be the best he can be. We've got him working on some things and he's starting to sort of ‘get it' when it comes to being focused all the time on the things he needs to be."

CB Eric Bogan "He'd normally be a sure-fire D-1 corner, but because of his clock, he's going to have to go D-2. He transferred to us from Itawamba and he's a legit 6-0, 210 corner who can run a sub-4.5 forty time. We are really excited to have him."

CB DeAndre Durr – "He's another transfer (Dodge City) and he came to us and said he wanted to play here. We couldn't be happier he's here. We're really excited to have him in the fold. You combine him (6-1, 208) with Bogan and you have two very big, fast and physical corners."

LB Austin Cook "We play a 3-5-3 and Austin is one of our outside guys. He's a D-1 guy. He'll have to play strong safety at the next level because of his size (6-1, 205), but he's most definitely a big time player for us and will be a very good player at the next level."

LB Bruce Cabell "He's our other outside guy and he's 6-0, 205 and he's a guy who just flies around and hits guys all day. He's another guy who will have to play strong safety or a rover position. He might be able to play a weakside position in D-1, but I think he's probably better suited to play strong safety.

"We had two really good outside guys last year in David Robinson (Delaware State) and Chris Patterson (Kansas State) and I expect these guys to be even better than those two. To me, that says it all really. They are really good and they'll make some program really happy to have gotten them."

LB Shannon Cobb "He's a really good football player. He's more of a traditional outside linebacker because he carries his weight well. He's 6-0, 230 and he's a guy who could play either strongside or weakside. He makes a ton of plays for us."

DT Dan Moore "Dan transferred here from Eastern Illinois because he felt like he could play at a higher level and wanted a shot to play D-1. When he got here he was 245, but now he's 6-2, 295 and just solid as all get out. He's pretty immovable inside for us and that really helps out against the run.

"The Big 12, the Big 10 and a couple other schools are all after him. He's getting a ton of attention already and we expect even more to come for him before he decides."

DE Kenny Cooper "He's had a pretty tough time of things. He had a family member die so he had to quit school and take care of that and when he came back it's taken him some time work back into things, but he's just a great kid. He's someone you root for to succeed because of all the stuff he's had to go through.

"He's going to have to go D-2, but he'll do really well there and he's got a ton of talent. He's a really good player."

Other Joliet players to keep an eye on: LB Darius Quinn, LB Anthony Eckles, TE Will Napier, DT Montez Singleton, OL Lawrence Smith, QB Chris Wally (Fr.) and WR Brandon Bond

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