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Published: Thursday, 12/16/2010

2 junior college players commit to Rockets football

The University of Toledo football team has added a pair of a junior college transfers, coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday.

Colby Kratch, a 6-4, 245-pound tight end from North Dakota State College of Science, and Jordan Barnes, a 6-1, 240-pound linebacker from Western Oklahoma Community College, signed national letters of intent to play for the Rockets in 2011.

Kratch will have two years of eligibility remaining, while Barnes will have three. Both players are expected to enroll at UT in January and are eligible to play next season.

Barnes sat out the 2009 season as a redshirt at Oklahoma State, then transferred to Western Oklahoma, which does not have a football program, last summer. He was recruited to Oklahoma State by Beckman, who was the defensive coordinator there at the time, and is the son of Roosevelt Barnes, who played with the Detroit Lions from 1982-85.

"Jordan is an aggressive and physical linebacker who runs well and has good size," Beckman said. "I recruited him at Oklahoma State so I'm familiar with him as a player and as a person. He is eligible to play next fall, which is important because we are losing Archie Donald and Drey'Lon Pree to graduation."

Kratch had 10 receptions for 99 yards as a sophomore in 2010 at North Dakota State College of Science.

He is the son of Bob Kratch, an offensive lineman who played eight years for the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. Kratch's mother, Kristi, was a high jumper at Iowa.

"Colby is an aggressive, hard-nosed tight end," Beckman said. "He's a tough possession receiver and an aggressive blocker in the run game. He comes from an athletic family."

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