Today is June 3, meaning we are just over three months away from the start of the Nevada football season. Here's some news and notes surrounding the team.
Phil Steele released his predictions for the 2015 College Football season, including his picks for the Mountain West. Eleven Wolf Pack players made his list: DE Ian Seau to the First Team All-MW, DL Rykeem Yates, TE Jarred Gipson and K Brent Zuso to the Second Team, WR Hasaan Henderson, LB Matthew Lyons and LB Jordan Dobrich named to the Third Team, and finally, QB Tyler Stewart, WR Jericho Richardson, P Alex Boy and LB Bryan Lane Jr. were named to the Fourth Team. RBs Don Jackson and James Butler were not named to any teams. The most intriguing pick is QB Tyler Stewart, as head coach Brian Polian still has not named a starter at the position, which leads me to....
The Quarterback Battle: With Cody Fajardo graduating, the Wolf Pack look to replace the prolific play-caller with one of four n-house options: Junior Tyler Stewart, Sophomore Dante Mayes, RS Freshman Hunter Fralick, and freshman Christian Stolo (likely redshirt). Stewart is the only one with any previous in-game experience and the strongest arm, Mayes is the most athletically gifted, while Fralick is the local kid with the "it" factor. At the moment, Stewart seems to be the favorite due to size, arm strength and experience. One could draw some similarities between this QB battle and the last one in Reno: A four year-starter graduates, and there's an experienced player and a freshman vying for his spot. Will the same come true again?
5Dimes released their over/under win totals for the Mountain West this upcoming season. They projected Nevada at 7 wins, the highest of any team in the "West" Division of the MWC (note: San Diego State was excluded from their predictions). It isn't unrealistic to think the Wolf Pack could win over 7 games, with winnable games against UC Davis, Buffalo, UNLV, Fresno State and San Jose State. If they can pull out wins in 3 games against any of New Mexico, Wyoming, Hawai'i, Utah State and San Diego, there's an 8 win season and a bowl game. As exciting as it would be, I don't see them beating Arizona at home or Texas A&M at College Station. Prediction: 8-4, 1st Place in the West
Nevada's strongest position at the moment looks to be their front seven. They lost Brock Hekking to graduation, but still have Ian Seau and Rykeem Yates on the ends. Three of their four starting linebackers were named to a MW preseason team by Phil Steele. Hopefully their strength can make up for the weak secondary behind them.