UNLV wrapped up spring football last weekend and one of the big questions was who would be replacing Blake Decker to be the starting quarterback. The competition came down to Kurt Palandech and Johnny Stanton and after their 15 practices there was no decision on who would be the starter.
Palandech played last year and was brought in as a change of pace quarterback, while Stanton is a junior college quarterback who began his college football career at Nebraska.
Head coach Tony Sanchez has both listed as co-starters but he does give an edge to Stanton.
"Stanton's a little bit ahead. That's why we gave him the start in the (spring) game, just for his ability to be a natural thrower," Sanchez said via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "A lot of coaches want to bring in their guy. I don't really care about that. I want us to win."
One key advantage that Stanton has over Palandech is that his arm is stronger than the sophomore-to-be, and it showed last year when he came off the bench that his throwing ability was not quite where it needed to be. Palandech completed just 75 of 152 passes with nine touchdowns and five interceptions, and that includes four starts from last year.
As for when a starter will be named, Sanchez wants to get that out of the way early so that the new quarterback can get into a rhythm and prepare for their opening game on Sept. 1 against Jackson State.
Whoever Sanchez picks as his starting quarterback there will be plenty of talent at wide receivers in what could be the best in the conference with Devonte Boyd, Kendal Keys and redshirt freshman Darren Woods Jr. who had a great camp.
"Boyd and Keys are great players, and the great thing about them is they're now being pushed because [sophomore Brandon] Presley and Woods are right there on the same talent level with those guys," Sanchez said. "Those guys are going to be good."
Sanchez also see's some true freshman to come in and compete in the two-deep and provide some much needed depth to Rebel football. Those incoming players who should make an impact are wide receiver Mekhi Stevenson, a trio of offensive in linemen Jaron Caldwell, Julio Garcia III and Matt Brayton, running back Charles Williams, defensive lineman Leevel Tatum and linebacker David Tate.
Here is UNLV's post-spring depth chart:
(Starter listed first)
QB Johnny Stanton/Kurt Palandech, Dalton Sneed
RB Lexington Thomas, Xzavier Campbell, David Greene
(FB) Marc Philippi, Tim Holt
WR (X) Devonte Boyd, Brandon Presley
WR (A) Darren Woods Jr., Brandon Presley
WR (Z) Kendal Keys, Brandon Presley
TE Andrew Price, Trevor Kanteman, Tim Holt
LT Kyle Saxelid, Charles Howard
LG Chris Lopez, Michael Chevalier
C Will Kreitler, J'Ondray Sanders
RG Justin Polu, Gavin Peterson
RT Nathan Jacobson, Jacob Becker
DE Jeremiah Valoaga, Mark Finau
DT Mike Hughes Jr., Jason Fao
DT Salanoa-Alo Wily, Dominic Baldwin
DE Antonio Zepeda, Tui Maloata
SLB Matt Lea, Gabe McCoy
MLB â Ryan McAleenan, Brian Keyes
WLB Tau Lotulelei, Bailey Laolagi
CB Torry McTyer, Tim Hough
SS Troy Hawthorne, Dalton Baker
FS Kenny Keys, Evan Austrie
CB Robert Jackson, Darius Mouton
NB Tim Hough, Robert Jackson