Welcome to the sixth 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 Nevada.
Nevada’s 2023 football season looked a lot like their 2022 record-wise, as both resulted in 2-10 campaigns. Things started off rough with a blowout loss to USC and then got worse as they were upset by FCS Idaho. They were tied with Kansas at halftime but ultimately fell and went on to lose another three games, none of which were particularly close. Then, in a game that only the Sickos Committee enjoyed, the Wolf Pack got their first win of the season against San Diego State in a 6-0 affair. They followed it up with a 34-24 statement win over New Mexico in their highest-scoring game of the season. That was their high point of the season, as they dropped their last four games. The first three were at least competitive to varying degrees, but the bottom fell out against Wyoming in a 42-6 shellacking.
It was a tough second season for head coach Ken Wilson, and it ended with him being fired a week after the season ended. Now, new coach Jeff Choate is trying to rebuild the roster and set the team up for sustained success. Read below about the players they signed in this class.
The Road So Far:
Two years ago, Nevada was hardly able to sign anyone, given the timing of the coaching changes. This year, the cycle is repeating itself following another coaching change. Still, they were able to sign six players in their December class, and half of them will enroll early. Three will play offense, two will be on defense, and the sixth player is a specialist. The class comes from all over so far, with players from Arizona, California, Oregon, Philadelphia, Mississippi, and in-state Nevada. All of them are high school players except for one junior college player.
On offense, tight end Hayden George possesses nice size for the position and could be a factor in the blocking and passing game down the line. He is joined by local product Tyler Miller with college-ready size on the offensive line. Fellow lineman Luke Farrar has all the makings to be a productive tackle in a few years.
With the defense, Nevada was able to retain one of the best edge rushers entering the Mountain West in LeVar Talley and he could see the field early for the rebuilding program. He is joined by Jackson Barton, a cornerback with nice height and length. Finally, Guy Gillespie comes from the junior college circuit as a punter and figures to get involved in the action right away next season.
Number who signed in December: 6
Number who will enroll early: 3
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 126th
- Recruiting: 126th
- Transfer: N/A
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB, DB
It is safe to say that Nevada has a lot of work left to do between now and February (and beyond). It was a big victory that the new coaching staff was able to retain five members of the recruiting class from the previous staff and sign them last week. However, many more needs remain to complete this class.
While Nevada is bringing in a talented PWO quarterback in Anthony Wolter, they will need to address the QB room, which has been disheveled the past two seasons. A young running back to pair with some of their veterans would make sense. And the same goes for the passing game, where they will need to add more production and more depth. Another offensive lineman or two is always helpful, and on the other side of the ball, their interior defensive line could use more production. The Wolf Pack has added no linebackers in this class up til this point, so one to three would go a long way to shoring up the depth. Finally, while the secondary was seen as a positive last season, more reinforcement are needed at those positions as well.
It goes without saying that Nevada will look for help in the transfer portal over the next few weeks and beyond, but Coach Choate is also more old-school and it would not be a surprise to see him continue to fill this class up with high school players to lay the new foundation for his version of the program. Regardless, impact players wherever coaches can find them are a must, and it will be interesting to see what happens between now and February.
Coming next: New Mexico