We checked in on our arch-rivals last week. No, not the Vandals, obvs. The Nevada Wolfpack is easily our biggest rival in the last 10 years, outside of maybe TCU, but we definitely play the Wolfpack more often. This week, we're going to check out their in-state rivals: the UNLV Rebels.
The Runnin' Rebs have had somewhat of a tumultuous tenure in the MW, usually residing as the door mat. After Bobby Hauck was not able to turn the program around after much success at Montana, they mutually parted ways and powerhouse Bishop Gorman's head coach Tony Sanchez stepped in. With an instant pipeline to BG, the assumption was UNLV would be noticeably better. Unfortunately they went 3-9 last year. I guess if you consider the fact that they went 2-10 in 2014, then they improved. I digress, let's look to see how Sanchez did recruiting-wise in his second year at the college level.
Armani Rogers, QB, Culver City, CA (Culver City) 6'5" 200lbs
Armani is a solid pick up for the Rebs. He had offers from Cal, Utah, Fresno State and CSU to go along with his UNLV offer. I recall he was still on the table late, but I don't recall the reason. He had 149 completions in 231 attempts his senior season, (which is listed at Hamilton on MaxPreps), for a total of 1,433 yards, 18 TDs and 1 INT. He also had 71 carries for 431 yards and another 6 TDs. Nothing super flashy, but he is a big QB to have to deal with. He's got a solid arm and a decent touch on the ball. He moves well in the pocket and does a good job of avoiding pressure. His size works to his benefit has he is difficult to bring down if he decides to run. I'd say he is a solid get for UNLV.
Giovanni Fauolo, TE, Oakley, CA (Freedom) 6'3" 235lbs
Gio's lone offer came from UNLV. He had great production his senior year by TE standards with 46 receptions for 768 yards and 7 TDs. He also contributed 44 tackles and 5 sacks on defense. While he only garnered the one offer, his film is good. He's more of a big WR than a small TE, and he isn't even that small as far as TE go. He's got great speed and hands, hauling in some tough catches and getting some nice yardage after the catch.
Charles Williams, RB, Fresno, CA (Bullard) 5'11" 175lbs
Charles had a modest list of suitors, most notably Washington State, followed by UTEP, EWU and Idaho. Surprising considering his production in just his senior season at Bullard: 287 carries for 2,142 yards and 24 TDs with 11 runs of 100 yards (or more). He finished his career with 504 carries for 3,580 yards and 44 TDs. He also had a career total of 13 catches for 304 yards and 4 TDs. While that isn't a lot, it provides meaningful yards from a running back that the defense probably wasn't expecting. His film is great. He shows a solid balance of speed, agility and vision. If he gets into the open field, and can outrun would-be tacklers most of the time. He gets downhill quickly and can negotiate himself well in tight spaces. He also does a great job of reading his blocks downfield.
After watching the film of these 3 players, I'm pretty impressed with what UNLV has done in the 2016 class. I would say they have done a better job than quite a few other MW teams. Definitely not BSU, especially with Mattison winning a major award recently.
The teams are dwindling. Next up: SJSU. We'll see you next week! GO BRONCOS!