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Nevada football adds two transfers to secondary

Bentlee Sanders and Miles Hayes will join the Pack’s secondary for the 2021 season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 27 USF at Houston Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Nevada Wolf Pack football team adds two new transfers to its secondary, the team announced Monday.

The transfers are: safeties Bentlee Sanders and Miles Hayes. Both will join for the spring semester and will be eligible for the 2021 season.

Sanders, a transfer from South Florida, has started in 15 games in his collegiate career, including four last year. He appeared in six of the team’s nine games, missing three due to COVID-19. In those six games, Sanders totaled 25 tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, two pass breakups and one pick-six against Houston.

In 2019, the 5-foot-9 defensive back played in all 12 games with nine starts at the nickel cornerback position. Sanders recorded 40 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, one interception and a team-high two forced fumbles. In 31 career games with the Bulls across four seasons, he had 94 total tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, five pass breakups, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.

“He’s a cover guy. He can line up and play bump-and-run coverage and he’s a play-maker,” Nevada head coach Jay Norvell said about Sanders via press release.

Sanders was also dynamic in the kick returner, earning All-Conference honors as a kick returner in 2018. He averaged 26.8 yards per return, ranking second in the American and No. 13 nationally in 2018. In 2019, Sanders averaged 22.4 yards per return — the fifth-best mark in the conference.

Hayes comes from William and Mary of the Football Championship Subdivison (FCS). Starting in 10 games in 2019, he recorded 46 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, five pass breakups, three interceptions and one forced fumble. His three picks were tied for the team lead and ninth in the Colonial Athletic Association.

In 27 career games, he had 61 tackles with 1.5 for loss, three interceptions, six pass breakups and one forced fumble.

The Cincinnati, Ohio native comes from a football family. His father, Jay, played at Idaho and professionally in the USFL before spending time in the NFL as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1999-2017. His brother, Jesse, played at Wisconsin and his uncle, Jon, who played professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs for nine years.

“He’s a really heady player,” Norvell said about Hayes. “He’s an excellent run-stopper.”