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Filling Out The UNLV Depth Chart Heading Into Summer Practice

Who will be out on the field for the Rebels in a critical season?

The 2018 season was supposed to be a breakout year for the UNLV football program. However, with an 4-8 mark, the Rebels fell short of what it believed would be a bowl season. Things took a turn for the worse when quarterback Armani Rogers went down with an injury and missed six games. UNLV went on a five game losing streak that saw embarrassing losses to New Mexico, Utah State, San Jose State, and Fresno State.

UNLV “saved” its season with a road victory against San Diego State, and a come from behind victory against rival UNR in the “Battle of the Fremont Cannon.” Coach Tony Sanchez also saved his job by the skin of his teeth. Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement following the season that she is looking forward to a successful season including “bowl eligibility.”

There are a lot of new faces in the UNLV program. Some players will be called upon for immediate impact, while some wait for NCAA eligibility. Others will need to step up to give UNLV a chance at bowl eligibility. Here is what to expect the depth chart to look like heading into summer practice:

Offense

Quarterback

1. Armani Rogers

2. Max Gilliam

3. Kenyon Oblad

4. Marckell Grayson/Travis Mumphrey Jr.

UNLV will go as far as Armani Rogers can take them. He is by far the most important player for the Rebels this season as they try to make a bowl game. UNLV will need stout play from the offensive line to keep Rogers upright, and they will need contributions from receivers and backs so Rogers does not fell all the pressure. There is depth at the position, but the drop off in performance is large, last season UNLV struggled with backup Max Gilliam at quarterback filling in for an injured Rogers. Redshirt freshman Kenyon Oblad also saw some playing time with Rogers injured. A healthy and effective Armani Rogers will give UNLV it’s best chance to win.

Running Back

1. Charles Williams

2. Tyree Jackson

3. Chad Magyar

4. Tariq Hollandsworth

Biaggio Ali Walsh*

UNLV must face the daunting task of trying to replace Lexington Thomas. Thomas, a senior who graduated in the spring, leads the program in total rushing touchdowns and is second in total rushing yards. Junior Charles Williams will earn most of the first team reps and will likely be the team’s opening day starter. Coach Tony Sanchez was also impressed with the work from Tyree Jackson and Chad Magyar in the spring game. A big wild card for UNLV is California-Berkeley transfer Biaggio Ali Walsh. He is currently awaiting clearance from the NCAA. If he is eligible to play, he will get significant playing time and will greatly improve the production from the Rebel backs.

Receivers

WR-X-

1. Darren Woods Jr.

2. Andre Collins Jr.

WR-A-

1. Tyleek Collins (Slot)

2. Jacob Gasser

WR-Z-

1. Mekhi Stevenson

2. Elijah Trosclair

Randall Grimes*

Tight Ends-

1. Giovanni Fauolo

2. Noah Bean

When senior Brandon Presley tore his ACL in the spring, UNLV took a devastating hit at the reviving core. Presley was UNLV’s best receiver last season, and the Rebels lack experience at the receiver position. Some of the receivers have minimal to zero division one playing time. The Rebels have brought in some some junior college transfers and division one transfers who will need to step up and contribute for UNLV. One of them is Randal Grimes who transferred to UNLV from USC. The receivers must contribute to help out Rogers, and this group has potential to impress this season.

Offensive Line

LT-

1. Justice Oluwaseun

2. Jaron Caldwell

LG-

1. Matt Brayton

2. Jaron Caldwell

C-

1 Sid Acosta

2. Jackson Reynolds

RG-

1. Justin Polu

2. Julio Garcia

RT-

1. Donovan Outlaw

2. Ashton Morgan

UNLV is coming into the 2019 season with high hopes for their offensive line. They will have the important task of protecting Armani Rogers and creating holes for the running backs. Recently Donovan Outlaw put his name in the transfer portal, likely due to the increase of reps for Ashton Morgan. The potential loss of Outlaw could be a tough blow to the depth of the offensive line. Coach Sanchez was impressed with the work with Ashton Morgan and he could fill in the hole if Outlaw leaves. UNLV has some talented pieces on the line and could be the difference makers for the Rebel offense.

Defense

Defensive Line

DE-

1. Nick Dehdashtian

2. Tavai Tuitasi

3. Jamal Holloway

NT-

1. Kolo Uasike

2. Montrice Johns

3. Chris Manoa

DT-

1. Tavis Malakius

2. Dominion Ezinwa

As with the offensive line, UNLV is coming into the summer with arguably its best defensive line in a long time. Juniors Kolo Uasike and Nick Dehdashtian will be the leaders of the line, and both could be in store for a great season. Dehdashtian missed the entirety last season with a foot injury. Applying pressure to the passer will be essential for UNLV, and the Rebels could be very solid on the line this season.

Linebackers

BUCK-

1. Gabe McCoy

2. Nate Neal

WLB-

1. Vic Viramontes

2. Malcolm Johnson

MLB-

1. Farrell Hester

2. JD Alexander

3. Malakai Salu

SLB-

1. Javan White

2. Soli Afalava

Expect great things from the UNLV linebackers this season. The Rebels added transfer Vic Viramontes, or better known by his nickname, “Vegas Vic.” Viramontes might be already be one of UNLV’s most popular players even though he has not played a game for the Rebels yet. UNLV is experienced at all linebacker positions, with McCoy, White, Neal, and Hester. Expect the linebackers to be the shining stars of the Rebel defense.

Defensive Backs

LC-

1 Jericho Flowers

2. Myles Plummer

FS-

1 Drew Tejchman

2. Demitrious Gibbs

SS-

1. Evan Austrie

2. Greg Francis

RC-

1. Myles Plummer

2. Jamel Hamm

3. Jeremiah Houston

The weakest link of UNLV’s defense was the defensive backs. UNLV gave up big plays to some of the worst teams in the conference. It got so bad, UNLV took Drew Tejchman from wide receiver and put him on defense. Similar to quarterback and wide receiver position, there is a great drop off going down the depth chart. Jericho Flowers will be the leader of the Rebels in the secondary, and UNLV will need the secondary to improve their play from last year to be successful.

Special Teams

Punter/Place Kicker-

1. Hayes Hickens

2. Daniel Gutierrez

Kickoff and Punt Returner-

1. Tyleek Collins

2. Mekhi Stevenson

Senior kicker Evan Pantels graduated this spring and UNLV will have tofu day his replacement. Hayes Hickens is the current punter and could be a place kicker if needed, or the Rebels could look to kickoff specialist Daniel Gutierrez to handle the kicking duties.

While UNLV still waits for the eligibility status of several of their transfers, they still will roll out a quality team that will make a push for a bowl game. One big key for all for all the Rebels will be health. UNLV has depth, but the talent drop off in some positions is significant. NCAA clearance of some transfers would help, but UNLV cannot automatically assume those players would be available. If UNLV stays healthy and gets some breaks from the NCAA, this could be a great season for UNLV fans.