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 hasn’t had much to be excited about the past few years, but looked like a different team to start off the 2022 season. They scored 50+ in two of their first three games and lost a very close game to Cal. They recorded two wins to kick off the conference slate, but then things took a bad turn. Injuries to key players mounted and then the losses piled up too. The Rebels lost six straight games and struggled to score points and though they rebounded to emerge victorious in the Fremont Cannon game to end the season, the powers that be decided it wasn’t enough. Coach Arroyo was fired at the conclusion of the season, much to everyone’s surprise.
Arroyo hadn’t done much on the recruiting trail, having secured only three known commits at the time of his firing. When Barry Odom took over, there was a ton of work to do and a short amount of time to do it. To learn more about those players who ended up signing, keep reading.
The Road So Far:
Coach Arroyo built a reputation as a strong recruiter and that served UNLV well during his years at the helm. Coach Odom managed to hold on to two of the three verbal commits and then he added four more for a total of seven December signees. Three of those players come to the offense, three are on defense, and one lineman could go on either side of the ball. These players hail from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada. Five of them are high school players and the other two are from junior college.
The offense is made up of players from two different positions. Charlie Williams and Christian Earls are both junior college tight ends and bring great size with them. It likely an indication the Rebel’s new offense will feature tight ends if they made sure to bring in two of them who could play right away. On the offense line, Ed Haynes is a local player with a ton of upside, and Matthew Greene could play on either side of the ball and has the size already needed for college ball.
Defensively, Maxwell Peterson brings the size needed to succeed on the interior of the defensive line. He is joined by Lucas Conti, who looks to be the early star in this class. He can play tackle or end, depending on where the coaches want him and how much weight he can add. The third player is linebacker Blesyng AluAlu-Tuiolemotu, who brings nice size and ability hailing from Hawaii.
Number who signed in December: 7
Number who will enroll early: 4
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 130th
- Recruiting: 129th
- Transfer: 151st
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, RB, WR, LB, DB
UNLV picked up some quality players in the first signing period, but obviously there is still a lot of work to do to complete this class. Coach Odom is adding to his staff, and once the offensive and defensive schemes start to emerge, it will guide them on which players to target moving forward. It would not be a surprise if the majority of players they sign before February end up being from the transfer portal, with some additional high school players sprinkled in.
The Rebel’s needs are plenty, and pretty much every position could use another player or two. Specifically, they need at least one quarterback in this class and it would not be surprising if they ended up taking a high school one and an older one. They lost their starting running back from this season, so finding a replacement should be a priority. Likewise, their best wide receiver left and UNLV needs to find a playmaker or two to make their offense effective. On the other side of the ball, since they didn’t sign any players in the secondary, it would make sense they load up on those players. Also, another linebacker or two is probably needed.
UNLV may not finish near the top of the recruiting rankings this year, but they have some good pieces already, and finding a few more to fill out the class is imperative but realistic thanks to the transfer portal and many spots on the roster open for competition. It will be interesting to see what this class becomes by February.
Previous Posts: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State
Coming next: Utah State