Location: Las Vegas, NV.
Colors: Scarlet and Gray
President: Dr. Neal J. Smatresk
Athletics Director: Jim Livengood
Official School Website: www.unlv.edu
Official Athletics Website: www.unlvrebels.com
Head Coach: Bobby Hauck (Montana ‘88)
Record at UNLV: 2-11 (1 Season)
Overall Record: 82-28 (8 Seasons)
J.D. Williams (Fresno State ’97) AHC/Defensive backs
Rob Phenicie (Memphis ’89) OC/Quarterbacks
Kraig Paulson (Montana ’87) DC/Defensive ends
Robin Ross (Washington State ’77) Linebackers
Cedric Cormier (Colorado ’02) Wide Receivers
Dominic Daste (Washington State ’01) Running Backs
Chad Germer (Montana ’93) Offensive Line
Michael Gray (Oregon ’84) Defensive Tackles
Brent Myers (Eastern Washington ’82) Tight Ends
9-10-11 @ Washington State
9-24-11 Southern Utah
10-29-11 Colorado State
11-5-11 Boise State
11-12-11 @New Mexico
11-19-11 @Air Force
11-26-11 San Diego State
2010 Stats and Rankings:
Passing Yards: 98th (170.9 ypg)
Rushing Yards: 109th (103.3 ypg)
Points For: 110th (18.4 ppg)
Points Against: 116th (39.7 ppg)
UNLV had a lot of problems throwing the ball last season. Mike Clausen got the start at the beginning of last season but was beat up against Wisconsin so badly he hardly took another snap all season. With a fresh start in 2011, the Rebels well have a three way battle for the starting QB position (although it is Caleb Herring’s to lose). If anything the young rebels are another year older and should have a much better year in the air.
Sophomore Caleb Herring (6-3, 190) is the leader of the pack going into fall camp. He is a pure pocket passer which should help their passing attack. Last season Herring completed 28 of 56 passes for 365 yards mostly when the game was out of hand one way or the other. A highly recruited prospect out of California, Herring led his high school team to back to back state championships. In 2011 Herring will have the opportunity to lead UNLV back to respectability on the field.
Sean Reilly (6-4,210) is a JUCO transfer out of Saddleback College and will most likely be the #2 guy going into the fall season. At Saddleback Reilly threw for 2,425 yards and 26 touchdowns with six interceptions. Reilly has a big time arm and should be a capable backup. Redshirt freshman Taylor Barnhill (6-4, 220) will battle Reilly for the #2 position, but being the least experienced quarterback contending he will probably stay in the #3 spot.
The UNLV rushing attack needs a big boost this year after finishing last in the MWC and 109th nationally in rushing. The Rebels will be returning their top back in 2011 along with some talented newcomers to create a more competitive environment.
Sophomore Tim Cornett (6-0, 190) led the team in rushing in 2010 as a freshman by rushing for 546 yards and scoring six times. In addition to running the ball, Cornett was good out of the backfield as a receiver catching 13 passes for 98 yards and a score. Cornett is not a physical back but he does have the speed to cause damage in the open field.
True freshman Dionza Bradford (6-0, 210) is expected to make an immediate impact for the Rebels this season. Bradford should be a little more physical than Cornett between the tackles giving UNLV a legitimate hard nose inside runner to compliment Cornett’s outside running ability. Bradford will push Cornett for the starting job but expect both of them to carry the load and take most of the carries.
Behind Cornett and Bradford will be a few talented backs looking to get their hands on the ball. Senior Deante Purvis (5-11, 195) was the team’s third leading rusher in 2010 running for 223 yards in limited action. Sophomore Bradley Randle (5-7, 195) rushed for 109 yards and a score in 2010, while Elijhaa Penny (6-2, 245) is a huge body who will probably see more reps at fullback which will help the rebels in short yardage situations.
In 2010 the rebels defiantly spread the wealth by throwing the ball to18 different receivers with Michael Johnson leading the team with 51 catches for 571 yards and five touchdowns. The problem is Johnson has been suspended for academic issues and may not return, and it will be up to the others veterans to step up and pick up the slack.
Phillip Payne (6-3, 205) will becomes the team’s No. 1 target after a decent 2010 campaign hauling in 40 catches for 689 yards and a team leading 17.2 yards per reception. Payne is a big target which should help Caleb Herring and the offense improve on last year’s numbers. Payne, who has suffered from concussions in the past, should be a big factor if he can stay healthy.
Sophomore Marcus Sullivan will get an opportunity to become a starter in 2011. Last season Sullivan hauled in six catches for 102 yards with two touchdowns. Sullivan has extreme quickness and t he ability to be a big playmaker for the Rebels down the road.
Eric Johnson (5-7, 170) a JUCO transfer will be a hybrid for the Rebels serving as a running back and slot receiver. Johnson is not a very big guy but he is a big playmaker who will be fun to watch as the coaches will find different ways to use him. Redshirt freshman Taylor Spencer (6-1, 190) who moved over from the defensive backfield will look to get some time in the rotation as a backup.
Senior Anthony Vidal (6-5, 250) will be the Rebels starting tight end in 2011. Last season, Vidal hauled in 14 catches for 107 yards and a score. Although he became a starter midway through last season, Austin Harrington (6-4, 235) was the leading receiver at the tight end position catching 16 balls for 163 yards. This season both of them working together should dramatically help both the running and passing game.
The offensive line was the main source of the Rebels Offensive problems in 2010. The offensive line gave up 36 sacks, countless pressures, and did nothing to help the ground game. With a good mixture of veteran and newcomers in the program, look for the Rebels to try people at different positions until they get a good mixture of chemistry they are comfortable with.
Yusef Rodgers (6-2, 250) will anchor the line at left tackle. Rodgers isn’t very big but he is strong and moves well. True freshman Cameron Jefferson (6-6, 265) will also be in the mix at left tackle. UNLV does not have the luxury of redshirting all their freshman so some will probably be thrown into the fire before they are ready.
Sophomore Sean Tesoro (6-2, 310) will start at right guard in 2011and should give immediate help to a struggling running game. The left guard position will consist of the combination junior Doug Zismann (6-2, 290) and junior Jason Heath (6-3, 280). Heath and Zismann are interchangeable as they both can play guard or center if needed.
Junior Andrew Mack (6-1, 275) will lock down the center position in 2011. Mack is a smart player who is getting better at run blocking all the time can be called upon to play guard if needed. Redshirt freshman Robert Watermann (6-2, 275) will look to back up the guard position and he has just enough quickness to play tackle as well. The coaches are very excited about Watermann and thinks he will be a big time player by the time he is done at UNLV.
The Rebels were able to get Allen Carroll (6-3, 290) a big time JUCO from the College of the Sequoias. Carroll played guard at Sequoias and should give immediate help somewhere in the interior of the line.
The UNLV defensive line was not very productive in 2010. The Rebels were only able to muster up 12 sacks, finishing 116th in the nation against the run, and 118th in tackles for loss. Part of the problem was the defensive line was not very talented. If this unit can’t improve, then look for teams to run all over them as they did a year ago.
Senior James Dunlap (6-1, 265) will anchor the defensive line at one of the end positions. Last season Dunlap made 38 tackles with a tackle for loss, but must improve production in 2011. JUCO transfer Trent Almang-Wilder (6-6, 280) will rotate with Dunlap and will look to spark some life to the defensive line.
Senior B.J. Bell (6-2, 260) who was a JUCO All-American a few years ago has been a disappointment as a pass rusher with just 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, but was a little better versus the run with 51 tackles in 2010. Bell will rotate senior Matt Kravetz (6-1, 255) who is a former walk on who was played mostly special teams to this point.
Sophomore Nate Holloway (6-3, 250) stepped in as a true freshman making 15 tackles as a reserve last season. UNLV is hopeful the presence of Holloway in the middle will help slow down opponents run game. Sophomore Tyler Gaston (6-3, 265) will rotate in at tackle, but can play end as well. As a reserve in 2010, Gaston made 13 tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss.
True freshman Desmond Tautofi (6-3, 300) and Alex Klorman (6-2, 260) will rotate in at the other tackle position. Tautofi who was recruited by several PAC-12 schools should make an immediate impact up front, and Klorman was a reserve in 2010 while racking up 10 tackles.
UNLV will be replacing all of their starters at linebacker in 2011. Although the unit will have to replace their most productive defenders from a year ago, the cupboard is not bare with plenty of veterans and new comers who have seen time and ready to take the spotlight.
Senior Nate Carter (6-1, 235) will be expected to be a big producer in the middle this season. A career back up he is ready to jump in and be a leader on defense. Carter has good size and is very quick. In 2011 he should be a force in the middle and he will be relied on to improve the Rebels run defense from a year ago.
Sophomore Tim Hasson (6-2, 195) and Junior C.J. Cox (5-11, 205) will work together and combo the strong side linebacker position. Last season as a reserve, Hasson made 19 tackles with a tackle for loss. Cox, who has moved from running back, has the speed and quickness but needs to prove that he is physical to handle the day to day beating a linebacker will take.
Sophomore Tani Maka (6-1, 240) should be penciled in as the starter at the weak side position. As a reserve in 2010 he was able to rack up 34 tackles and two tackles for loss. Maka has great ability and could spend some time in opposing backfields if the Rebels decide to blitz him several times a game.
JUCO transfer Princeton Jackson (6-0, 230) has great ability and is extremely fast. Jackson is good enough to play all three linebacker positions, and the UNLV staff intends on using him everywhere to disrupt opposing offenses.
In 2010 UNLV gave up 228 yards per game, 25 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. However, you can’t blame all the bad numbers on the secondary. Last season the Rebels simply did not put any pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Rebels should be a little better this season as they are stacked at the cornerback position and will have a mix of veteran and new talent at the safety position.
Senior Quinton Pointer (5-10, 185) will be the leader in the secondary. After missing most of last year due to an injury he will be back and will have the ability to shut down half the field against most teams. Pointer is the complete package and should be one of the best corners in the MWC. Pointer has great speed, makes good plays on the ball, and is a good open field tackler. The Rebels will need him to stay healthy if they are to make the improvements they need in the secondary.
Sophomore Sidney Hodge (5-8, 175) is back after starting for half the year and making 44 tackles with no interceptions. Rotating in with Hodge will be senior Will Chandler (5-11, 185) who is athletic and has great coverage skills. In 2010, Chandler was the only defensive back who made plays on the ball as he intercepted five of the teams’ seven interceptions. Sophomore Cedric Coleman (5-9, 150) should also get into the rotation some in long yardage pass situations.
Sophomore Eric Tiuloma-Vaa (5-11, 180) took over the last month of the season a year ago at strong safety. Tiuloma-Vaa should be solid at strong safety as he racked up 48 tackles in 2010. JUCO transfer Corbin Brown (6-0, 175) should see plenty of time rotating in with Tiuloma-Vaa. Brown is a hard hitter who should bring some added toughness to the Rebels secondary.
Redshirt freshman Tajh Hasson (6-1, 185) looks to be the starter at free safety. Hasson has the size and athleticism to be a rising star for the Rebels over the next few years.
Sophomore Nolan Kohorst was the starting placekicker right out of high school as he hit 8-of-11 field goals and did a good job on kick offs. JUCO transfer Chase Lansford has been brought in to push Kohorst but don’t look for a change of the guard at place kicker. Lansford however will be asked to do the punting and help improve the field position battle.
Marcus Sullivan averaging 27.9 yards per return in 2010, but the punt return game was subpar with Michael Johnson averaging just 2.4 yards per return. Sullivan should be an even better kick returner this season while Deante Purvis will handle the punts and try to improve on the 2.4 yards a return average from a year ago.
Bobby Hauk and his staff really inherited a team that didn’t have the horses to really compete at the division 1 level and it showed in 2010. However, the last two recruiting classes for UNLV have been pretty good; they have several young promising players who should be good players in the future for UNLV. After last season, Coach Hauk and his staff decided they had enough of getting pounded and brought in several JUCO players to provide immediate relief. I think UNLV will be much better in several key positions and even have an outside shot at a bowl. However, realistically they are still at least a year away from a bowl as they will probably win 3-5 games in 2011.
Next up: Wyoming