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Cam Newton, Keyshawn Johnson: JUCO transfers to No. 1 picks


Signing junior college players doesn't lead to much National Signing Day excitement, but it's extremely likely that a handful of JC transfers who signed Wednesday will end up as notable NFL players.

At least four JC transfers became No. 1 overall picks (Cam Newton, Keyshawn Johnson, O.J. Simpson and Ron Yary), and five 2013 first-rounders were JC guys: Minnesota's Cordarrelle Patterson, Carolina's Star Lotulelei, Chicago's Kyle Long, Denver's Sylvester Williams and the New York Jets' Sheldon Richardson. Some other JC transfers who made their presence felt in the NFL include Corey Dillon, Cortez Kennedy, Aaron Rodgers and Roger Staubach.

While it's doubtful any JC transfers go in the first round in the 2014 draft, there are some who will be drafted, among them Arizona State running back Marion Grice, Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, Tennessee defensive tackle Daniel McCullers, Utah defensive back Keith McGill, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger and Arkansas defensive tackle Robert Thomas.

As for the top JC transfers that signed Wednesday, eight of the consensus top-10 transfers chose schools who had top-10 recruiting classes. Here's a look at the 10, from the's consensus rankings.

1. WR D'haquille Williams, to Auburn. Williams, from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, should get an opportunity to produce right away for a Tigers offense that lacked playmakers on the outside in 2013.

2. OT Dominick Jackson, to Alabama. Jackson, from the College of San Mateo in California, will have an opportunity to start right away because top left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio turned pro early. At the least, Jackson will be expected to be a top backup.

3. RB Tyreek Hill, to Oklahoma State. Hill, from Garden City (Kan.) CC, is a scatback-type. The Cowboys return two of their top three tailbacks, but they do need a speedy back.

4. WR Von Pearson, to Tennessee. The Vols hit it big with Patterson in 2012, and are hoping lightning strikes twice at wide receiver. Tennessee desperately needs offensive playmakers, and Pearson -- from Feather River College in California -- could help in that regard.

5. OT Chad Mavety, to Florida State. Mavety played at Nassau CC on Long Island. FSU returns both starting tackles, and Mavety could end up redshirting and vying for a starting job in 2015.

6. DE DaVonte Lambert, to Auburn. Lambert is from Georgia Military College and will get ample opportunity to play right away. Auburn lost Dee Ford, its best defensive end, and needs a pass rusher.

7. OT Jermaine Eluemunor, to Texas A&M. The Aggies are losing starting left tackle Jake Matthews to graduation, and conventional wisdom is that Cedric Ogbuehi will move from the right side to take Matthews' spot. That opens up the right side for Eluemunor to potentially move in. He is from Lackawanna CC in Pennsylvania.

8. OT Dontavius Blair, to Tennessee. The Vols lost all five starting linemen, and if Blair lives up to his billing, he will be a starting tackle.

9. OT Avery Gennessy, to Texas A&M. As noted above, the Aggies are in the market for a new starting tackle. Gennessy, from East Mississippi CC, will battle Eluemunor for that spot.

10. DT Terrell Clinkscales, to Kansas State. K-State coach Bill Snyder is a master at using JC talent to fill holes, and the Wildcats need one new starting defensive tackle. Clinkscales is from Dodge City (Kan.) CC.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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