While there’s plenty of blue-chip talent in high school, some of the best prospects come out of the NJCAA, the junior college NCAA football league, with some of the best college and NFL hopefuls around battling it out on the gridiron. With an interesting season coming up, here are the conference predictions for the NJCAA season.
Iowa Community College Athletic Conference
Winner: Iowa Western Community College Reivers
Iowa Western is a perennial powerhouse in Junior College Football. The Reivers finished at number four in the nation last year, and are stacked again. They have the number one player in the country, Defensive Tackle Perrion Winfrey. He is 6 foot 4, 305 pounds, and is committed to the University of Oklahoma. In a weak conference, the Reivers will be tough to beat.
Best Player: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Iowa Western
Kansas Jayhawks Community College Conference
Winner: Independence Community College
The Jayhawk Conference is considered by some the best conference in the nation. Unlike every other conference, they can have an unlimited number of out of state players, so they have some of the most talented teams in the country. Independence or #DreamU of the popular Netflix series Last Chance U, is loaded this year. They have three of the top ten players in the country with Nabab Joseph, a Cornerback, who is deciding between Alabama and Georgia, Deandre Butler, who plays defensive end and is committed to Auburn, and Jeremy Flax, an offensive tackle headed to Kentucky. Although there are many talented teams like Hutchinson who finished third in the country last year, Butler, and Garden City, it is really hard to pick against Independence this year.
Best Player: Deandre Butler, DE, Independence
Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges
Winner North Division: East Mississippi Community College
Winner South Division: Copiah- Lincoln Community College
Winner: East Mississippi Community College
The other conference that is considered the best conference in Junior College football is loaded again this year. With last year’s national champion, Mississippi Gulf Coast, East Mississippi, Copiah- Lincoln, Northwest Mississippi, and others, the conference is wide open. East Mississippi, also featured on Last Chance U, is a perennial powerhouse. They have five national championships under their belt and could easily win another one in 2020. Copiah- Lincoln did not perform to expectations last year, but they have plenty of talent on their roster, headlined by defensive end and Mississippi State commit Jordan Davis, the number two player in the country. Although a handful of teams could win this conference, I like East Mississippi and Copiah-Lincoln facing off for the title, with East Mississippi taking the crown.
Best Player: Jordan Davis, DE, Copiah- Lincoln
Minnesota College Athletic Conference
Winner Eastern Division: Rochester Community College
Winner Western Division: North Dakota SCS
Winner: Rochester Community College
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference has not had a lot of national success as of late. Rochester went to the national championship in 2015 and was crushed by Northwest Mississippi. Because there is no powerhouse in this conference, it is a very competitive league. Basically any team could win on any day. The highest ranked player in the conference is Rayshaad Roddy, defensive tackle for Fond Du Lac Community College. He is the 193rd ranked player in the country and committed to the University of Charlotte. Rochester and North Dakota SCS have had the most success recently on a national stage, so I have them playing for the championship, with Rochester, historically the best team in the conference winning it all.
Best Player: Rayshaad Roddy, DT, Fond Du Lac
Northeast Football Conference
Winner: Lackawanna Community College
With only three teams in this conference, it does not seem like there is a lot of firepower, but they make up for their lack of quantity in quality. Lackawanna played for the national championship last year, and Monroe College went to a bowl game. The Northeast is not a known power throughout Junior College football, but there is a lot of talent in this small conference. There are four players in the top 50, with three of them at Lackawanna, led by safety Ji’Ayir Brown, a Penn State commit. Due to Lackawanna having the most talented and most known program in the conference, I have them winning it all.
Best Player: Ji’Ayir Brown, S, Lackawanna
Southwest Junior College Football Conference
Winner: Blinn College
Another conference full of talent and history. This Conference is full of well known teams at the national level like Kilgore, Trinity Valley, New Mexico Military, Tyler, and Blinn. Many current and former NFL players have come out of this conference. Blinn finished last in the conference last year, but I have them going from worst to first, mostly based on the talent they have on campus. They have three of the top-twenty players in the country, including the #8 player in the country in Josh Ellison, an absolute beast at defensive tackle, headed for Oklahoma at the end of his JUCO career. There are a couple other teams who will challenge Blinn, especially an extremely talented Kilgore roster, but I have Blinn winning it all.
Best Player: Josh Ellison, DT, Blinn