Runnin' Utes sign top JC prospect Josh Watkins


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Press releaseSALT LAKE CITY - Point guard Josh Watkins has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Runnin' Utes in 2010-11, head coach Jim Boylen announced Wednesday. Watkins becomes the third junior college player to commit to the program in the spring signing period.

"Josh is a lead guard who is a proven winner," said Boylen. "His ability to dictate tempo in the running game and execute the pick and roll makes him a great fit for our system. He brings an experienced toughness to our program along with an ability and willingness to make his teammates better. Josh and I forged a strong player-coach relationship during the recruiting process and I am thankful for his commitment."

Josh Watkins averaged 16 points per game for Howard College.
Josh Watkins averaged 16 points per game for Howard College.

As a sophomore who stands at six feet, 195-lbs., Watkins helped lead Howard College (Big Spring, Texas) to the 2010 NJCAA Div. I National Championship and was named the MVP of the tournament. He was also a first-team All-Region V and first-team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) selection.

"I decided to come to Utah because of the relationships I built with the coaches and the players," said Watkins. "I was very comfortable with everything. I am really looking forward to working with Coach Boylen because he has been at the next level and he knows what it will take to develop my skills and help the team win."

Starting all 34 games last year against some of the top junior college competition in the nation, he averaged 16 points per contest to rank second on the team, while leading the Hawks with five assists per game. He also chipped in four rebounds per game. The WJCAA is considered one of the top junior college athletic conferences in the country, producing three of the last four NJCAA national champions.

Thought by many to be one of the top five junior college prospects in this year's class, Watkins chose Utah after also receiving scholarship offers from Cincinnati and Texas Tech. Other interested schools included Oklahoma, Houston and Kansas State.

Watkins joins Antonio DiMaria, a 6-foot-7 wing from Casper C.C. and Will Clyburn, a 6-foot-6 wing from Marshalltown C.C., as junior college players committing to the Utes this spring.

(Courtesy University of Utah)

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