Welcome to the sixth post 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 this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at Nevada.
The 2020 season had its bumps and bruises for pretty much everyone, and Nevada was no exception. They held true to the off-season predictions of many by becoming one of the top teams in the conference. Up until the end of the season, they were undefeated. However, a loss to Hawaii knocked them down a peg. They fell a bit further after losing a late-season showdown with San Jose State, which took them out of the conference championship picture. Instead, they took care of business in the Potato Bowl to end the season on a high note.
With eligibility rules being adjusted for Covid, it’s a bit difficult to know which players are staying or leaving. That makes it a bit harder to understand what specific needs are in the class. That being said, this class needed to shore up the depth in almost every area after the program experienced a high amount of attrition following the coaching change. To see how they’ve done so far, look below.
The Road So Far:
Nevada secured much of their class early in the recruiting calendar for the third season in a row. This year brought in 19 signees, with the majority coming from California and Texas, although they scattered in some other states as well. Most importantly, they signed all but one of their known commitments last week.
On the offensive side of the ball, they found a pretty talented QB in Drew Scolari, who also happens to be related to former coach Chris Ault. He will be paired with a good looking running back in Jacques Badolato-Birdsell, who could see carries early on. Tight end Carlton Brown has the size Nevada seems to look for in that position. However, the offense’s crown jewels seem to come on the offensive line, which features Dominic Eldridge and Andrew Madrigal, who are both highly rated and possess college-ready size.
The defense was able to secure some talented players as well. Much of the focus in this class was on the defensive line, Jeremiah Bodwin is the name to know here, and he should be a quality pass-rusher before too long. Chase Davis is brought in to play right away, and Caleb Manson has intriguing size. The trio of players (Zachary Lewis Richard Toney, and Aedan Seiuli) in the secondary each look to fill a different spot and bring versatile size and ability.
Number who signed in December: 13
Number who will enroll early: 0
247 Composite: 95th
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: WR, LB, DB
There isn’t a ton of work to do for the Wolf Pack in this class, but a few positions have gone mostly unfilled. There is a lone wide receiver in this class, and even that signee was a signing day surprise. It would be quite a surprise for an offense that plays so many WRs if they didn’t add 1-2 more. Similarly, one defense, only one linebacker, is currently part of this class. Nevada could add another one. Lastly, for a defense that regularly employs five defensive backs in their base set up, I could see them adding someone there if they still had a spot open, as they can never have too many DBs.
Like most years under Norvell, Nevada has secured the majority of their class. That makes the time before February much more manageable, allowing the staff to focus on fit and specific needs rather than trying to hit a home run with each remaining spot. Their progress on the field is mirrored by their progress on the recruiting trail, a slow and steady climb that progresses each year.
Previous posts: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii
Coming tomorrow: New Mexico