Jen Smith on UK Football

Two junior college players added as early enrollees

As expected, Kentucky announced the enrollment of two new junior college signees who will join the team for spring practice in quarterback Stephen Johnson II and defensive lineman Naquez Pringle.

Both Johnson and Pringle come in at positions of need for the Cats.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was rated as the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback in the junior college rankings. In 2015 for College of the Desert, he threw for 4,210 yards and rushed for an additional 429 yards. He had 34 passing and eight rushing touchdowns.

In a release, UK Coach Mark Stoops said Johnson “is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback who has all of the skills to compete in the SEC. He will be able to learn the system and compete with the other quarterbacks in spring practice and as a junior he brings experience and a wealth of talent to our program.”

Pringle, a 6-2, 330-pound defensive lineman from Georgetown, S.C., had 21 tackles and a tackle for loss to go with a fumble recovery last season for Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.

Stoops on Pringle, who fills an immediate need at defensive tackle for the Cats: He is an extremely powerful and fundamental interior defensive lineman who was heavily recruited out of high school. We are very pleased he was able to enroll at Kentucky mid-year and that he will be able to work out and participate in spring practice. He will add much-needed depth to our defensive line.”

These two early enrollees bring the total number to six for the spring, including the four true freshmen announced last week: linebacker Kash Daniel, wide receiver Dakota Holtzclaw, offensive lineman Drake Jackson and quarterback Gunnar Hoak.

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