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2020 Recruiting Breakdown: Nevada

A class with athletes who need to harness their skills

NCAA Football: Idaho Potato Bowl-Ohio vs Nevada Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the tenth post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today looks at the #10 team in our rankings, Nevada.

For the second year in a row, the Wolf Pack did the bulk of their recruiting in the summer. This reflected the site team recruiting rankings, as Nevada was at or near the top of our site recruiting rankings for most of the year. They didn’t have room for the biggest class but made it count, bringing in a number of athletes who have the potential to develop into talented college players. Read more about their class below.

The Skinny:

  • 18 recruits signed
  • 9 offensive, 9 defensive, 1 special teams
  • 13 players listed at 3-stars by one of the major recruiting sites.
  • Breakdown by state: 12 California, 1 Texas, 1 Kansas, 1 Louisiana, 1 Nebraska, 1 Oregon, 1 Georgia, I Washington
  • 119th in the 247 Composite Rankings

The Players:

JUCO QB Nate Cox

Nate comes into the program via the junior college route. He is poised in the pocket and hit receivers in stride thanks to an accurate ball. Cox also has the ability to tuck the ball and run it thanks to plus speed. He has long strides and gets past defenders in a hurry. Nate should compete for a role on the field for next year.

RB Avery Morrow

Avery is a good fit for Nevada in quite a different ways. His film shows that he is used to running without extra blockers, which bodes well in the air-raid system. Morrow also catches well out of the backfield, another crucial element to the system. He has good size but is agile and shifty enough to make players miss. Avery will benefit from a redshirt year but should be able to contribute before too long.

WR Isaac Jernagin

Isaac is a great athlete the Wolf Pack were able to secure in this class. He is a smooth route-runner who possess plus speed and an uncanny ability to make people miss. Jernagin is small in stature but maximizes his frame due to his athletic ability and body control. He was physical and athletic enough to play on defense in high school. Isaac has the talent to play right away and should develop into quite the playmaker in the Nevada offense.

WR Tory Horton

Tory is a long, athletic wide receiver who should fit in well on the outside in the air-raid. He is a home run threat every time he touches the ball in thanks to his big frame, long quick strides and being tough to tackle. Horton has great vision in the open field and is also great on fade routes in the end-zone where he can use his height advantage. Even more so, he can be a factor in the return game. Tory has the ability to develop into an all-conference caliber starter for the Wolf Pack before his career is over.

WR Jamaal Bell

Jamaal was a great get for Nevada when he announced on signing day last year, but he joins the team this year. He brings a skill set that can play at running back or slot receiver, so versatility is one of his best traits. Bell is at his best in the open space where his speed and quick change of direction stand out. That will suit him well as a returner and designed plays like screens or passes to the flat to get him the ball in space. Jamaal can be a productive player for the Wolf Pack from day one and once he adjusts to the college game, he will be an impact player for many years.

OL RJ Taylor

RJ brings nice size to the interior of the offensive line. He shines as a guard who can pull and become a key blocker on running plays. Taylor keeps his body low and makes square contact when delivering hits. He isn’t the fastest player on the field but he balances it out with his strength. RJ will need a year or two to develop but should settle into a starting guard position.

OL Grant Starck

Grant is an athletic tackle joining the Pack. He moves well laterally and gets out in front of running plays or screens with some speed. Starck comes out of his stance explosively and his strength is evident on his tape. He finishes blocks and plays through the whistle. Grant plays left tackle in high school and he would do well at either tackle spot at Nevada due to his size and blocking ability.

OL Frank Poso

Frank is a towering figure on the offensive line coming to Nevada. He gets in good position before making a hit and doesn’t let defenders off of his blocks thanks to his strength and good hand placement. Poso appears to have a high football IQ and his tape shows he understands his assignments well. He is equally skilled at pass protection and run-blocking, although he has a tendency to stand up a bit too tall. Frank seems like a great bet to be a future starter at right tackle during his career.

OL Jacob Gardner

Jacob is another offensive linemen coming to Nevada in this class, a clear point of emphasis for them. He is a physical presence who explodes into blocks after the snap and plays through the whistle. Gardner was athletic enough to play both ways in high school and moves with agility and nice footwork. He can buy time to extend plays thanks to his steady blocking. Jacob plays mostly tackle in his tape but could slide over to a guard spot if he adds weight thanks to his frame.

DT Teivis Tuioti

Teivis is a tenacious defender in the middle of the d-line. He is athletic and nimble in getting past blockers to wreck havoc in the backfield. Tuioti is quite the force of nature when he makes contact for a tackle, using his full strength to deliver the hit. He relies heavily on a swim move to get into the backfield and while effective, he would benefit from development of other moves. Teivis will need to add some weight before he’s able to make a difference for the Wolf Pack defense but he will be a force to be reckoned with before too long.

DT Aaron Overton

Aaron is another player coming in on the defensive line. He played a lot on the offensive line in high school and exhibited sound technique, and knowledge of his assignment. Overton will be able to carry those traits over to the other side of the ball, as well as his physical nature. He can also likely add some weight to his frame as he continue to grow and develop. Aaron will need time to learn defense full-time but has the talent to make it happen.

LB Davion Blackwell

Davion is a rangy linebacker who covers a lot of ground in easy strides. He doesn’t over-pursue while chasing down a running back and stays loose and in position to make a tackle. Blackwell picks up well in coverage and can match players with his size and game speed. He is kind of a do it all linebacker who can blitz as well as play in coverage and stop the run. Davion should develop into a prime playmaker in the Wolf Pack defense.

LB Peter Montini

Peter was quite a productive running back in high school but will come to Nevada as a linebacker. He has good vision, changes directions easily, and has great speed, all of which he can carry over to the defensive side of the ball. Montini should have no issue keeping with receivers in coverage, although will probably need to develop footwork and other coverage skills. He isn’t afraid of contact and could be a big playmaker once he gets used to defense. That transition will be smoother by taking a redshirt year to focus on learning defense at the college level.

JUCO LB Naki Mateialona

Naki played all over the field in high school but Nevada sees him as a linebacker. He is a true playmaker, able to fly all over the field using great game speed. Mateialona is disruptive in the backfield, getting past blockers with ease. He diagnoses plays well, and then gets in great position and delivers powerful hits with his athleticism. Naki could see the field as soon as next season to get some additional talent on the defensive side of the ball.

DB Marquese Allen-Patmon

Marquese is an athletic and versatile defensive back in this class. The first thing that jumps out is his size in the backfield, which allows him to match wide receivers in both side and in the air. Allen-Patmon isn’t just a high safety type, he also makes a regular habit of stepping up to stop the run and can blitz off the edge. He should be a real asset if they maintain the 3-3-5 defense or even in a two safety scheme. Marquese will likely redshirt to begin his career but should see the field sooner rather than later.

DB Devin Gunter

Devin is a two-way player being brought in to play defensive back. He is a well-rounded, physical corner who can play a variety of coverages. Gunter flashes great speed in the open field, which helps him defending the deep ball and as a returner. He is a sound tackler in space which suits him well being out on an island in coverage. Devin has a lot of potential to be a productive starter at the college level.

DB Angel King

Angel is another defensive back in this class. He shines playing off in coverage and closing in to make a play. King is a ball-hawk in coverage, and shows determination after the interception to make a big play even bigger. His time on offense allows him to track the ball well in the air and he displays great hands. Angel could potentially develop into a real play-maker in the secondary.

JUCO DB Zeke Robbins

Zeke comes in from the junior college ranks. He is a physical DB who reads the field well in diagnosing plays and steps up to help out in the run game. Robbins tackles extremely well in the open field and packs all of his force into each hit. When in coverage, he often succeeds in knocking receivers off of this routes. Zeke is probably best as more of a box safety and should see the field next year.

P Charlie Pollock

Charlie is coming in as a punter, although he handled both duties in high school. He has a nice, fluid punter motion that gets a lot of hang-time. As his tape shows, Pollock has quite a powerful kick and that should be a real weapon as he continues to develop in college. Scholarship special teamers are not something that happens in every class, especially out of high school, so clearly the talent is there for him. Nevada found quite a steal with their kicker last year, they may be able to do the same with Charlie in this class.

Team Writer Thoughts:

(Provided by Matt)

The first thing that stood out to me when looking at this Wolf Pack recruiting class is that it’s a very athletic group. Norvell recruited numerous two-way talents that can be versatile and fill multiple different roles if needed. Norvell did a good job beefing to the offensive line, Frank Poso (6-5, 339 lbs) and Grant Starck (6-5, 280 lbs). Both could both compete for starting roles and make an immediate impact to a line that did not seem to perform up to expectations last season. Nevada did a good job adding adding to their defensive back position with Devin Gunter (5-11, 175 lbs) — who has been linked to current Pack assistants Bill Best and Freddie Banks in the past — and Marquese Allen-Patmon (6-2, 180 lbs). Nate Cox (6-8, 240 lbs) could potentially push Carson Strong for the starting quarterback position. If Kaymen Cureton, currently in the transfer portal, departs, the Pack will return just two scholarship players at the position (Strong, Kaiden Bennett and Kaymen Cureton).

Quick Hits:

Headliner(s):

Mike: Jernagin, Starck, Allen-Patmon

Matt: Jernagin, Gunter, Starck, Allen-Patmon

Talented enough to play right away:

Mike: Jernagin, Starck, Allen-Patmon, Cox

Matt: Jernagin, Gunter, Starck, Poso, Allen-Patmon, Cox

Sleeper Recruit:

Mike: Horton

Matt: Blackwell

Best unit:

Mike: Offensive Line

Matt: Offensive Line

Summary:

Nevada can definitely boast one of the most athletic classes in the conference. They secured a number of two-way skill players who are high on talent but need development to sharpen their skills. The fate of this class will now be determined on how quickly and how profoundly that development can take place. If it can, then the Wolf Pack will have a plethora of impact players all over the field. For now, they have a class of athletes ready to harness their skills.

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