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What Armani Rogers transferring means for UNLV at quarterback

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In a late and surprising announcement, the senior quarterback has entered the transfer portal.

UNLV v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

UNLV’s quarterback room just got a bit less crowded. Armani Rogers, who was entering his senior year, put his name in the transfer portal and will not be a part of the Rebels under year one of Marcus Arroyo. Rogers will be immediately eligible to play next season as a grad transfer.

Rogers is the second UNLV quarterback to leave in the last week as Travis Mumphrey, who did appear in a game for the Rebels last year, has also entered the transfer portal.

After the recent moves, UNLV is now down to five quarterbacks on its roster for the 2020 season. The move from Rogers is surprising from the standpoint that the season is supposed to start in less than two months.

Obviously, with the pandemic and athletes not being able to be on campus until recently (and in UNLV’s case, having to shut down due to positive COVID-19 test), it is unclear when the 2020 college football season will start.

As a grad transfer and dual threat quarterback, Rogers could be a hot commodity for some program out there. He came to UNLV as a three-start quarterback and ranked in the top fifteen for dual quarterbacks in his graduation class.

In three years with the Rebels, he accumulated 2,465 passing yards on 49.9 completion percentage with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His biggest impact came on the ground, where he rushed for 1,549 yards on 189 carries with 18 touchdowns.

Injuries did bite Rogers in his first two years. He missed six games in 2018 with a foot injury and missed two games in 2017 with a head injury. Last year, he started the first four games for the Rebels but came off the field limping at the half of its game at Wyoming and UNLV turned to Kenyon Oblad, and the stuck with Oblad for the rest of the season.

In a recent “Peak Perspective” article, I believed that Rogers could have been a good fit for Marcus Arroyo’s system in year one given his size and dual threat capabilities. However, it appears that the new staff might have had a different vision at the quarterback spot for this year and Rogers likely saw the writing on the wall.

Now that one of the candidates to start, things might be getting clearer at the quarterback position. With Armani Rogers gone, here is what the move means for UNLV at quarterback.

Justin Rogers Might Be Eligible This Season

The TCU transfer is similar to Armani Rogers in size and style as a dual threat quarterback. But Justin Rogers is expected to be a much more accurate passer than Armani Rogers, which could bolster UNLV’s offense. The biggest question surrounding Justin Rogers is his eligibility, there is still no word on if he will be eligible this year, but Armani Rogers leaving could be a sign that a decision could be coming soon. Justin Rogers is the dynamic, game-changer UNLV desperately needs at quarterback to get the program going in the right direction.

Arroyo Wants To See What Oblad Can Do

Without having anytime in the spring or summer to get on the field, Arroyo has not been able to see any quarterbacks on the roster. Oblad did have some flashes last year and it might be enough for Arroyo to give him a chance at the starting job. Arroyo might see Oblad as a project to see if he can fit him into the mold of his new offense, sort of similar to what Arroyo was able to do with Justin Herbert. When Justin Rogers is eligible, he will play and if he is not eligible this year, Oblad might be the best option given he started the last seven games for UNLV last year.

A New Quarterback Could Be In The Fold

Armani Rogers is not the only quarterback in the transfer portal. This is pure speculation, but UNLV could be looking at a one-year fix to guide them through this season under these bizarre circumstances. It might sound far-fetched at first, but if Justin Rogers is not eligible and the staff is not confident in any of the other quarterbacks on the roster, a logical move could be to bring in someone with experience to hold the position this year till things get back to normal in 2021. Oblad only has seven games of starting experience and the other quarterbacks on the depth chart do not have much either. The unique circumstances that the 2020 season could be played in, like a shortened season and limited practice time, might mean Arroyo would want to bring in an experienced quarterback who can elevate the offense and make UNLV competitive.