Welcome to the tenth piece of 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 UNLV.
UNLV had a trying 2021 season following a dismal and winless 2020 campaign. For the first month or so, it appeared as if the team had not gotten any better or perhaps even regressed. They lost their easier non-conference games and fared poorly in others. They lost a series of close games in the middle of the year, and it looked like things had clicked for them even if it wasn’t showing up in the box score. When the calendar turned to November, the Rebels finally earned their first win under Marcus Arroyo, and the team even won the following week as well. Though the season wasn’t great, there was definitely evidence of progress this season.
Despite the hard times on the field, UNLV still found success on the recruiting trail. They were able to find talented players who want to be a part of building a program and contribute to winning seasons in the near future. To learn more about those players, keep reading.
The Road So Far:
One thing that has always been consistent under Coach Arroyo has been a solid ability to recruit. From the very beginning of his tenure, UNLV has consistently been among the top teams in the conference in terms of recruiting. That wasn’t quite the case this year, as the Rebels took a step back, at least through December. Part of this was a decrease in the overall quality of recruits, and part of it was only signing ten players so far. Of these ten players, four-play offense and six play defense. Players hail from California primarily but also Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and home-state Nevada.
The offense is where much of the secured talent resides at this point. Quarterback Jayden Maiava is a big-time in-state recruit who is immediately viewed to be the QB of the future. Joining him is talented wide receiver Randy Masters, who passed up several P5 offers to come to the Rebels. Joining him in the WR room is junior college product Jeffrey Weimer, who figures to contribute right away. Rounding out this group is fellow local recruit Noah McKinney, who fielded several big offers shortly before signing day but remained committed.
Defensively, the Rebels seemed to focus on the defensive line, where three of their six signees on this side of the ball play. Defensive end Fisher Camac has immense height and could develop into a nice pass-rusher. Joining him are two junior college players slated to offer immediate assistance in Darius Johnson and Isaiah Sayles. Likewise, the linebacker position features a player to contribute right away (JUCO talent Fred Thompkins) and down the line (prep player Tanner Salisbury). Finishing off the defensive signees is defensive back Anthony Costanzo, who is long and athletic in the secondary.
Number who signed in December: 10
Number who will enroll early: 3
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 99th
- Recruiting: 97th
- Transfer: 76th
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: OL, RB, DB, TE, WR
UNLV picked up some quality players in the first signing period and now needs to do the same going into the second signing period. They secured quality players on offense and more quantity on defense and pretty much need to do the reverse between now and February.
Bolstering the offensive line is arguably one of the biggest needs going forward, as one signee will not be enough. Two or three more players at this position seem right, and expect one or two to come via the transfer portal. Running back is another significant area to address, especially after losing all-time great Charles Williams at the position. Another wide receiver wouldn’t hurt, and grabbing a big target at tight end would add a new dynamic to the offense. Defensive back should be the main focus on the defense, and that could be a spot for a player or two who can make an immediate impact. They may want to take three or maybe even four players total in this class, so there is work yet to do. Another DL player or linebacker would be a luxury, depending on the number of spots remaining in this class.
UNLV may not reach the heights of their past two recruiting classes, but they still have the foundation of a very good class, and if they use their remaining scholarships to address their most significant needs, then it can be a very successful class.
Previous Posts: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State
Coming next: Utah State