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Fresh faces: Kentucky

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Rich Brooks brought in his highest-rated signing class this year, and look for a handful of junior college newcomers to play key roles for the Wildcats.

Mark Crawford, DT: Enrolled in school early enough to go through spring practice, the 6-foot-1, 297-pound Crawford demonstrated a blend of power and athleticism that should make him an effective inside pass-rusher. Having the spring to brush up on his technique will make him more polished when he steps in as a starting tackle this fall alongside Corey Peters. Crawford, who's originally from Indianapolis, played at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, but he redshirted his first year there and will have three years of eligibility at Kentucky.

DeQuin Evans, DE: The Wildcats were already hurting for depth at defensive end before Jeremy Jarmon was ruled ineligible for his senior season. Now, they don't have a defensive end on the roster who's ever recorded a sack in a college game. That's where the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Evans comes in. He was one of the top-rated junior college pass-rushers in the country after playing the last two years at Los Angeles Harbor College. With two starting jobs open at end, Evans will jump right into that race this preseason along with redshirt freshman Collins Ukwu and sophomore Chandler Burden.

Chris Matthews, WR: Matthews looks like the real deal in his junior college tape. He and Evans were teammates at Los Angeles Harbor College, and like Evans, Matthews will be counted on to come in and make an immediate impact. The Wildcats need more pop in their passing game. In particular, they need somebody to complement Randall Cobb on the other side, and the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Matthews is a legitimate deep threat and one of those players with the height and leaping ability to be a force in the red zone. He really goes up and gets the football.