A Few Surprises in Latest Nevada Depth Chart

Nevada's opener with UCLA is just a little more than 4 days away and the Wolf Pack staff announced the depth chart for the game. There were a few surprise additions to the depth chart as Nevada winds down Fall camp and prepares for this weekend's coming game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

Nevada is among the youngest teams in the NCAA this year, 22 of its 44 players on the 2 deep are freshman or sophomores. 4 true freshmen are on the depth chart, CB Elijah Mitchell, FS Kaodi Dike, WR De'Andre Fuller and K Brent Zuzo, who earned the starting job over returning junior Colin Ditsworth.

Having four true freshman suited up would've been unheard of under former Nevada head coach Chris Ault. The last true freshman who didn't red shirt for the Wolf Pack was RB Kendall Brock in 2011 and before that, the only players that come to mind are SS Duke Williams and PK Anthony Martinez. Too much shouldn't be read into it but it likely speaks to both the talent of the players and the overall youth of the entire team.

Some additional surprises included:

  • Lenny Jones starting at DE. Jones being named the starter is not surprising, but given how bad his injury looked in the scrimmage a few weeks ago, described as a "knee sprain, with no structural damage", it seemed unlikely he would see the field against UCLA. Despite being listed as the starter, Jones is listed as "day to day".

  • Brent Zuzo had one of the more impressive highlight films for a kicker that we've seen and he obviously impressed at Fall camp as he won the starting job away from junior incumbent Colin Ditsworth.

  • WR De'Andre Fuller is a kid everyone in camp has been raving about. Quick, athletic and catches everything thrown his way. Fuller will back up Brandon Wimberly at the X receiver spot. Polian described Fuller as possessing "game-breaking speed and unbelievable big-play ability playing versus some of the best high school competition in the state of Texas."

  • Small, but blazing fast CB Elijah Mitchell is the #2 strong side corner behind junior Evan Favors. Nevada head coach Brian Polian said he wanted to go out and find some more speed on the defensive side of the ball and he found it with Mitchell. "Elijah increases our team speed the moment he arrives on campus. He can run with anyone in the country."

  • The last true freshman in the depth chart is FS Kaodi Dike. Kaodi will back up sophomore Bryson Keeton. On signing day back in Feburary, coach Polian described Dike as "a skilled athlete with great size" who played cornerback extensively in high school and displays great coverage skills on the outside.

  • The move of senior Fred Lavulo from defensive tackle to the right guard position speaks both to Nevada's thinness in the offensive line and its extraordinary depth on the defensive line. The left side of the line is where all of Nevada's experienced linemen are, with senior Joel Bitonio, sophomore Connor Talbot and junior Matt Galas. At the other guard position is junior Kyle Roberts.

  • Backing up Aaron Bradley at the F wide receiver spot, is red shirt freshman Hassan Henderson, a Las Vegas product who was transitioned from quarterback to receiver and has impressed at the position in Fall camp. At 6-5 and possessed of outstanding athleticism and body control, Henderson could present a major matchup problem for defenses when he is on the field.

Nevada's full depth chart can be viewed here.

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