RUSTON — Louisiana Tech football coach Skip Holtz announced Thursday the Bulldogs received a pair of national letters of intent from Mitchell Bell and Mitch Villemez.

Both are junior college players who will join the program next season.

Bell (6-foot-4, 330), an offensive lineman from Houston, spent the past two seasons at Navarro Junior College. Navarro JC went 10-2 last year with a 4-2 mark in league play, winning the Heart of Texas Bowl and finishing No. 4 in the nation with the highest scoring team in school history (43.4 ppg). During his freshman season in 2011, Navarro went 10-2, won a conference title and the Heart of Texas Bowl and was ranked in the top 10 for 11 of 12 weeks. He redshirted the 2010 season when Navarro went 11-1 and won the NJCAA National Championship.

Villemez, a 6-1, 230-pound linebacker from Hardin, Texas, comes from Blinn Junior College. He registered 11 total tackles last season.


McMANUS NAMED TIGHT ENDS COACH: In Monroe, Louisiana-Monroe football coach Todd Berry announced the hiring of Jerry McManus as ULM’s tight ends coach on Thursday.

McManus’ contract is pending approval by the University of Louisiana system’s Board of Supervisors.

McManus served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at New Mexico State last season.

Before his time at New Mexico State, McManus served as interim head coach at Kent State for the final game of the 2010 season.

He also coached at East Carolina (1996-04), his alma mater, Wake Forest, (1987-95), Connecticut (1985-86), Tulane (1983-84), Pittsburgh (1982) and Virginia Tech (1978-79, 1981).