Brooks announces JC Signings

Heggins is a happy man

Two junior college offensive linemen, Jess Beets and Josh Winchell, have signed to play at Kentucky and will enroll in January, Coach Rich Brooks announced.

Beets (6-2, 290) is the No. 97 junior college prospect in the nation, the No. 15 juco offensive lineman, according to Rivals.com. He was chosen second-team All-America by JC Gridwire. He played at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., the same school that produced recent Wildcats B. Jay Parsons and Chris Bernard.

Winchell (6-4, 330) comes to UK from Northwest Mississippi Community College. Winchell signed with South Carolina out of high school and redshirted the 2004 season before transferring to NW Mississippi and playing two seasons there.

"I believe both Jess and Josh have the ability to play multiple positions in the offensive line," Brooks said. "Josh has good size, feet, and movement. Jess is a very active lineman who has the flexibility to play several spots.

"Obviously, we'll have depth problems going into the spring in the offensive line (UK graduates six senior linemen) and this helps begin to address that issue. Recruiting offensive linemen is a priority for us this year."

Each player has two years of eligibility remaining. Extensive biographies of the players are below.


Kentucky's future center?

Jess Beets,
Offensive Lineman,
6-2, 290, Jr-JC,
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
(Tesoro/Saddleback College)

Second-team junior college All-American as chosen by JC Gridwire … First-team All-California offensive guard both years he played at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo … Also first-team All-Mission Conference each season … Helped Saddleback to an 11-1 record his sophomore season, including a Mission Conference championship, a win in the National Bowl, and reaching the quarterfinals of the juco state playoffs … Saddleback averaged 37.3 points per game, ranking fourth among the state's 72 junior colleges that play football … Averaged 421 yards per game of total offense, fifth in the state … Team went 7-4 his freshman season, winning the US Bank Beach Bowl … Rated the No. 97 junior college prospect in America by Rivals.com, including the No. 15 player among offensive linemen … Comes from the same school that produced a pair of recent Wildcats, wide receiver Chris Bernard and defensive end B. Jay Parsons … Coached by Mark McElroy … Received a "Scholar-Baller" Award for junior college student-athletes who excel in the classroom … Played two years at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. … Started at center both seasons and was named first-team All-Pacific Coast League each year … Tesoro was a new school, going 1-9 in its inaugural campaign his junior year before improving to 8-4 and advancing to the second round of the state playoffs his senior season … Coached by Jim O'Connell … Also played baseball and was a wrestler at Tesoro … Batted .505 as a designated hitter his junior season before giving up baseball to concentrate on football … Placed second in the league in the heavyweight wrestling division his senior year … His father, Rick, played college football at Pittsburg State in Kansas … Picked Kentucky over Colorado.


Winchell adds depth at guard

Josh Winchell,
Offensive Lineman,
6-4, 330, Jr-JC,
Southaven, Miss.
(Southaven/Northwest Mississippi Community College)

Sizeable offensive lineman who played center, guard, and tackle during his two seasons at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Miss. … Part-time starter his freshman season and was a full-time regular as a sophomore … Helped NW Mississippi to a 6-4 record his soph season, winning the divisional championship and advancing to the semifinals of the state playoffs … Team ranked second in the state in total offense … Named honorable-mention all-state … Coached by Randy Pippin … Originally signed with South Carolina in 2004 … Redshirted with the Gamecocks his freshman season before transferring to Northwest Mississippi … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Southaven (Miss.) High School … Just as he did in junior college, he played every position in the offensive line during his high school career … First-team all-state as a senior … Second-team All-American by ESPN … Was the No. 10 prospect in Mississippi that year by Rivals.com and recruiting analyst Tom Lemming … The No. 22 offensive guard in the country by Rivals.com … Won the "Trenches Award" for being the top lineman in the state … Three-year all-region selection … Coached by Calvin Aldridge … Four-year member of the track and field team, throwing the shot and discus … Second in the state meet in the shot put his junior and senior year … Best finish in the discus was sixth at the state meet … Finished second in the state in powerlifting … Currently lifts in the 400-pound range in the bench press and approximately 600 pounds in the squat lift … Has lifted as high as 455 pounds in the bench press and 705 in the squat … Also receiving recruiting interest from Oregon, Kansas State, Kansas, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State when he chose Kentucky.

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