Welcome to the eleventh piece in our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail, and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured, in order of where they fall in their current MWCConnection ranking. Today looks at UNLV.
11th in the MWCConnection Recruiting Rankings
It was another mediocre season for the Rebels, with pre-season promise quickly changing into disappointment. It was not without high points, however. UNLV got in on all the MWC wins over Power 5 teams with a with over Vanderbilt in the first half of the year. To close out their season, they spoiled SJSU’s bowl dreams with a win and then kept the cannon red with an overtime win over Nevada.
UNLV turned in a pretty good recruiting class last season, with a great blend of talented high schools and ready to play junior college players. That didn’t quite pan out as intended, but it did play out well on the recruiting trail. This year, the Rebels are still in need of talent infusions but can probably focus more on the high school side of recruiting this year. A young quarterback to build around would be beneficial, as would a running back for Charles Williams to pass the torch to in a year. The defensive side of the ball needs to find a player or two in this class who can contribute right away, especially from an inconsistent defensive line.
The Road So Far:
The road isn’t very long, to say the least.
The Rebels had a pretty good class going, with somewhere around nine verbal commits heading into November. All season long, they had been moving around the top four in the team recruiting rankings here at MWCConnection. Then, the coaching change happened and stopped all momentum.
Due to the short time between hiring a new coach and the start of the early signing period, there wasn’t much time to recruit current or new players. Frankly, there wasn’t really a staff to commit either. Therefore, it made sense that none of the verbal commits chose to sign with UNLV.
Number who signed in December: 0
Number who will enroll early: 0
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB
First and foremost, Coach Arroyo and his staff (assuming he has a staff by the end of the dead period) need to touch base with the previous verbal pledges and do their best to have them recommit to the new regime at UNLV. Some of the players aren’t necessarily decommitted but instead wanted to get to know the new staff and make sure their offers are still being honored. There’s a good amount of talent in that group, and it would give them a starter-kit heading into the rest of the recruiting season.
As for the rest of the class, it could be argued that it’s more important for Arroyo to identify recruits that buy into the new culture and fit the schemes than necessarily fitting a position or being at a certain level of talent. This isn’t to say talent and position don’t matter, but since they don’t have time to put together a full class, the priority is on players who want to be at UNLV and will develop and endure the transition.
If the Rebels can accomplish that, then this class will lay the foundation for the new era, and be looked at as an overall success, no matter where they end up in the rankings.
Previous posts: Boise State, Wyoming, Nevada, San Jose State,
Coming tomorrow: New Mexico