What 5-star recruit Rashad Vaughn's commitment means for UNLV

USA TODAY Sports

The 6-5 guard from Findlay Prep announced Tuesday on CBS Sports network that will be attending the University of Nevada Las Vegas next season. With Vaughn in the fold for the 2014-2015 season along with Dwayne Morgan and Goodluck Okonoboh, the Runnin' Rebels appear to be set with one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.

It ultimately came down to two schools for Rashad Vaughn. Iowa State had begun their courtship of Vaughn early in his high school career, before the power-conference schools got involved and were considered the heavy favorites to land the Findlay Prep star. While Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky became possible suitors for Vaughn as well, it was UNLV that emerged as the #2 possibility.

With Rashad Vaughn coming from Minnesota to Nevada to attend Findlay Prep, the Runnin' Rebels did have an edge over Iowa State because Vaughn was able to see games and practices on a regular basis, becoming more familiar with the program and the Las Vegas atmosphere. He was able to build a close relationship with head coach Dave Rice and his staff, which includes assistant coach and former Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon.

Vaughn will definitely make an immediate impact for the Rebels next season. UNLV needed a scorer who can consistently knock down jumpers from the perimeter. Five-star forward Dwayne Morgan has NBA potential given his athleticism and ability on both offense and defense, while the 6-foot-9 Okonoboh is arguably the best shot blocker in the country. And assuming UNLV will get starters Roscoe Smith and Khem Birch back on the inside, as well as point guard Deville Smith, the Runnin' Rebels will have as much talent as nearly anyone in the country, up front in particular. And now Rashad Vaughn gives them a high production scorer on the wing.

"I know with the pieces we got next year and the team we have next year, I feel like we can win a national championship, and that's what's most important to me." Vaughn said on CBS Sports Network.

While the ability to recruit big name, talented players has always been a highlight of Dave Rice's time as UNLV head coach, this is by far the best class we've seen coming in under Dave Rice's tenure. This almost certainly adds a ton of pressure for UNLV to succeed in the 2014-2015 season. With UNLV suffering disappointing early NCAA Tournament exits every year under Dave Rice. If history repeats itself with all the talent that will be on the floor next season, it could very well mark the end of Rice's tenure with the Runnin' Rebels.

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