Big 12 Spotlight
In all, 44 junior-college football players transferred to Big 12 Conference schools for the 2008 season. Here are the top five to keep tabs on, ordered with the most anticipated impact player first.
1. Jocques Crawford, Kansas RB (Cisco [Texas] Junior College)
Why the hype: Crawford rushed for 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns last year for Cisco, while being tapped national junior-college offensive player of the year. Combine that with the fact that the Jayhawks graduated leading rusher Brandon McAnderson, and Crawford figures to make immediate impact in KU coach Mark Mangino's spread offense.
2. Swanson Miller, Oklahoma State DT (Butler Community College)
Why the hype: The 6-foot-4, 330-pound Miller should improve a rather exploited Cowboys defensive line, which gave up 177 rushing yards per game last season. Oklahoma State was the 101st-ranked defense in 2007. Miller, who had 12 tackles for loss and three sacks at Butler last season, should help.
3. Brandon SeSay, Texas Tech DE (Visalia [Calif.] College of the Sequoias)
Why the hype: Rivals.com ranked SeSay No. 11 in its 2008 junior-college top 100. That ranking was higher than any other juco prospect in the Big 12, including Crawford (16) and Miller (26). SeSay, listed at 6-6 and 273 pounds, runs a speedy 4.6-second 40-yard dash. It's no secret Texas Tech's offense makes everyone break out the calculators trying to add up the ridiculous numbers. Look no further than quarterback Graham Harrell, who passed for 5,705 yards; or sophomore-to-be wide receiver phenom Michael Crabtree, who caught 134 passes for 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns. If SeSay can solidify the defense, coach Mike Leach undoubtedly will challenge Oklahoma and Texas in the South.
4. Daniel Calvin, Kansas State DT (Bakersfield [Calif.] Community College)
Why the hype: Calvin registered 12 sacks and 75 tackles in 2007. His Bakersfield team went 12-1 and lost in the Southern California championship game against Mount San Antonio (Calif.) College. K-State coach Ron Prince landed 12 of Rivals.com's top 100 junior-college recruits for the upcoming year. Calvin is the highest-ranked Wildcat, at No. 14, on the list.
5. Nathan D'Cunha, Kansas OL (Santa Barbara [Calif.] Community College)
Why the hype: The departure of offensive lineman Anthony Collins to the Bengals in the fourth round of the NFL Draft leaves a void at left tackle. D'Cunha could fill that void. And, oh, don't challenge the Australian native in the weight room. His bench press max is 385 pounds, according to Rivals.com.