The new proposed UNLV Rebels stadium that would make Jerry Jones jealous has already lured in a pair of California recruits. This past week, UNLV earned verbal commitments from La Canada, Calif., quarterback Jared Lebowitz and offensive tackle Kyle Saxelid who is out of Elk Grove, Calif.
Lebowitz is not rated, at least not yet, by the major recruiting services, but the 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound quarterback was receiving interest from Nevada, Fresno State, Boise State, Colorado, Boston College, Maryland, UCLA plus a few others.
UNLV just hired new offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach who was recruiting Lebowitz at his prior stop at Weber State, and continued to recruit him at UNLV. The Rebels were in need of a quarterback, and Lebowitz fit the bill to merit a scholarship offer:
"He kept the faith in me and recommended me to the staff," Lebowitz said. "They took a look and really liked my film. They just had their top [quarterback target] fall out of the loop, so they called me up. They came hard and aggressive and said I was the top guy on their board. They gave me my first D-I offer...They were willing to take a leap of faith and offer a kid without a lot of stars and all that stuff. They were willing to go off of film and believe what they saw. I appreciate that."
Here are some highlights of Lebowitz:
The other recruit, Saxelid is a 6-foot-6-inch, 240-pound offensive lineman that would be considered a project. He is a two-star player is athletic and agile on his feet, but he does not have the force to knock someone off of their feet, or provide a large burst to a defensive lineman. That will change once he fills out his frame a bit more at college.
Saxelid is a smart kid as he had interest from Cal, Northwestern, Stanford and UCLA, but he said he chose UNLV for what they provided academically:
"The academic side won me over with top-quality schools in the fields I want to major in," he said. "Right now I'm thinking civil engineering, but I'll either double-major or minor in history, because that's my favorite subject. I might get into physics or chemistry as well."
Again, he is very smart which is a good attribute for an offensive lineman, and could be a very good player if he gains more mass and explosiveness off the line.
This new stadium is already bringing in some benefits, and the hope is that once it gets closer to being built it will attract a few more three- or four-star caliber athletes.