UNLV announced it's third recruiting class under Head Coach John Robinson, and the absence of those three athletes may be the only non-positives to hit the UNLV football offices. The Rebels received 20 letters of intent within the first 48 hours of the official beginning of the signing period from student-athletes who intend to play for Coach Robinson. A 21st signee, junior college WR Derrick Barnes, announced in late June. He will fill the roster slot opened up by the transfer of WR Charles James. James played in three games for the Rebels last season before injuring his back, making two catches, including a 40-yard touchdown. James has since committed to 1-AA Idaho State University in Pocatello.
A breakdown of the list of signees reveals 13 freshmen, five junior-college players and two transfers from Div. I-A schools. Juco transfers DL Garrett Brassington and OL Matt Williams are currently enrolled at UNLV and participated in spring drills.
"It is as good a class as we've had here," Robinson said. "We are getting more people who are not down-the-road players, but guys that will compete for playing time in their first season."
The Div. I-A transfers are Deon Burnett (Washington State) and Tyrone Tucker (Iowa State). Per NCAA transfer rules, both will have to sit out the 2001 season. Tucker, a linebacker, will have only one season to play for the Rebels, while Burnett will have two years to display his skills at running back.
With key losses on offense, including their top three running backs and top receiver from last years Las Vegas Bowl champions, the Rebels leaned toward offense in recruiting. There are 13 offensive players and five defensive players in this class. Three players are listed as athletes.
A list of UNLV's 2001 football signees is below:
NAME POS HT WT CL-EXP HOMETOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL
Brian Adams ATH 5-11 185 FR-HS Moapa Valley, NV Moapa Valley HS
Tyler Arciaga QB 6-3 230 FR-HS Bonita, CA Bonita Vista HS
Derrick Barnes WR 6-2 185 JR-TR Santa Ana, CA Santa Ana JC
Garrett Brassington* DL 6-2 285 JR-TR La Mesa, CA Grossmont College
Deon Burnett# RB 5-11 210 JR-TR Upland, CA Washington State
Gerrin Clark ATH 5-10 175 FR-HS West Covina, CA West Covina HS
Justin Cooper WR 6-0 195 FR-HS Carson, CA Carson HS
Dominique Dorsey RB 5-8 165 FR-HS Tulare, CA Tulare-Union HS
Erik Elkington WR 6-2 180 FR-HS El Dorado, CA Oak Ridge HS
Andrew Faga FB 6-0 240 SO-TR Indian Springs, NV Idaho State
Mike Freund ATH 6-2 215 FR-HS Tumwater, WA Black Hills HS
Zach Gorham OL 6-5 280 FR-HS Lakeside, CA El Capitan HS
Earvin Johnson WR 6-3 195 FR-HS Los Angeles, CA Cathedral HS
Marcus Maxwell WR 6-4 190 FR-HS Pinole Valley, CA Pinole Valley HS
Joe Miklos LB 6-1 195 FR-HS Concord, CA De La Salle HS
Sheddrick Mitchell OL 6-7 325 JR-TR FT. Wayne, IN Butte College
Leon Moore DE 6-5 240 FR-HS Las Vegas, NV Rancho HS
Dyante Perkins RB 6-1 220 FR-HS Las Vegas, NV Bishop Gorman HS
Jason Rogers WR 5-11 185 FR-HS Las Vegas, NV Bishop Gorman HS
Chameion Sutton DB 5-11 195 JR-TR Seattle, WA Butte College
Tyrone Tucker# LB 6-2 240 SR-TR Miami, FL Iowa State
Matt Williams* OL 6-6 300 JR-TR Pasadena, CA Pasadena City College
*JC early signee already enrolled at UNLV
#Four-year transfer who must sit out 2001 season
Tyler Arciaga brings impressive football and academic credentials to the table. Also recruited by Ivy League schools, Arciaga threw for 2,000 yards, 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions last year for the Barons, finishing as his school's all-time leader in passing yards, attempts and completions. Named Mesa Conference Offensive MVP, Arciaga also earned All-CIF honors and was a PrepStar magazine preseason All-America. In addition, Arciaga lettered three years as a first baseman on his school's baseball team. Arciaga is expected to be a January, 2002 enrollee.
Deon Burnett follows Kevin Brown to UNLV from Washington State. Burnett rushed for 345 yards one touchdown as a sophomore last year after turning in record-breaking freshman season in 1999, when he earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors while finishing second nationally among freshman backs. Burnett set school freshman records with 136 yards at Arizona State, 974 for the year to break Rueben Mayes' single-season mark of 425 and most touchdowns in a season with 12, including four in one game. Burnett felt his running style didn't mesh well with the Cougars one-back system last year and his production dropped, prompting him to get less playing time. Should do better in UNLV's two-back set.
Dominique Dorsey comes to the Rebels with staggering high school statistics. The smallish Dorsey is California's all-time high school rushing leader with 7,761 yards and 118 touchdowns. His senior campaign produced 3,045 yards and 50 scores. Hailing from same school as Rebel fullback Steven Costa, Dorsey led the Redskins to the Central Section Yosemite Small School Division title in both his junior and senior seasons, and is a two-time conference MVP. In his final prep game, Dorsey racked up 325 yards and six touchdowns on 36 carries vs. Edison HS in championship game. Dorsey was First-Team All-State by Cal-Hi Sports and was listed as All-Western Region by PrepStar magazine.
Andrew Faga, a former all-state quarterback and 1999 graduate of Indian Springs HS, projects as a fullback at UNLV. A one-time teammate of current Rebel DB Derek Olsen on the Thunderbirds, Faga also played linebacker on the two-time, eight-man state champions, where he was considered the state's top 1A football player in 1998. Faga also lettered in baseball, basketball and track before signing with I-AA Idaho State. Faga redshirted his only year with the Bengals before transferring to UNLV. Faga sat out the 2000 campaign and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Dyante Perkins comes to the Rebels as something of a surprise, albeit a very pleasant surprise. Perkins had previously orally committed to Oregon State, but the Beavers plans to use him strictly as a linebacker didn't sit well with the talented Bishop Gorman product who wanted the opportunity to play offense, and the Rebels recruited him as a tailback. Possessing good size and speed, Perkins rushed for 1,528 yards and 20 touchdowns on 231 carries as a QB and passed for 669 yards and eight scores as a senior. The versatile Perkins also averaged 39.9 yards per punt as a junior. A PrepStar All-America who is listed as the No. 9 running back prospect in the West by the magazine, Perkins also garnered first-team all-state QB honors from the Las Vegas Sun in 2000. Coach Robinson has compared Perkins to Marcus Allen, in that Allen also was a high school QB and Perkins, like Allen, "just makes things happen when he has the ball."
Derrick Barnes got looks from Oregon State, Marshall, Toledo, San Diego State and Auburn before deciding to play for the Rebels in June. Barnes earned J.C. Grid-Wire All-America honors after setting multiple records at Santa Ana College this past season. He was voted co-offensive Player-of-the-Year in the Mission Conference Central Division after catching 66 balls for 1,128 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2000. Barnes finished his two-year stint at Santa Ana as the all-time leader in touchdowns receiving (16) in school history.
Justin Cooper, a four-time letter winner at Carson, played quarterback for three years in high school and is expected to play receiver for the Rebels this year, a position he played for one year for the Colts. Cooper threw for 816 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 484 yards and six scores in 2000. As a defensive back, Cooper returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown. He was also the squad's punter, averaging 38 yards per kick as a senior. Cooper was a first-team member of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team last fall, as well as a member of the preseason Elite 11 by the same publication. A four-time first-team all-league and two-time all-city selection, Cooper also ran track for his first three years in high school. Jason's brother, Jermain, plays DB for San Jose State, while another brother, Isaac, plays WR at Lincoln University of Missouri. Rebel basketball fans will recognize Lincoln as the school to which former Rebel Kenny Dye transferred.
Earvin Johnson was probably the key to this class, as the Rebels coveted a big receiver to step into the large shoes left empty by a graduating Nate Turner. Listed as the nation's No. 14 receiver prospect and No. 93 recruit overall by Rivals100.com, Johnson is easily the most highly publicized of the Rebel recruits. Johnson originally committed to Georgia Tech last May but had a change of heart and decided to stay closer to home. A PrepStar All-America who is listed as the No. 5 receiver in the West by the magazine, Johnson hauled in 36 receptions for 550 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior after a stellar junior campaign in which he caught 70 balls for 1,620 yards and 29 scores for the Phantoms. Johnson finished his high school career with 169 catches for 3,000 yards and a state record 66 touchdown receptions.
Marcus Maxwell, who played defensive back as well as wide receiver in high school, will look to be a receiver for the Rebels. Maxwell, who hails from the same high school as Rebel defensive coordinator Mike Bradeson, caught 46 balls for 878 yards and 10 touchdowns last fall as well as intercepting two passes on defense. Maxwell was a member of the Contra Costa Times Cream of the Crop and a first-team all-league selection by the newspaper. The athletic Maxwell was also a two-year letterman in baseball and three-year letterman in basketball for the Spartans.
Jason Rogers, a four-year letter winner for Bishop Gorman, lined up at running back and defensive back for the Gaels, but will try to crack the wide receiver rotation at UNLV. As a high school running back, Rogers rushed for 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns while totaling more than 400 yards and four more scores through the air in 2000. Rogers earned Las Vegas Sun Athlete of the Week honors for his homecoming performance versus Rancho last fall, racking up more than 500 all-purpose yards and five scores. Named honorable mention all-state by the Las Vegas Sun, Rogers was also a three-year letterman in basketball and competes in track and field.
Zach Gorham represents the entire UNLV freshman class of offensive linemen. A two-year letterman at El Capitan HS near San Diego, Gorham helped the Vaqueros to a Grossmont League title as a senior and team captain. Among Gorham's accolades are All-CIF, honorable mention all-state last season and first-team All-Grossmont Conference the last two seasons. Gorham is also a two-time all-league wrestler. Gorham will be inducted into the National Football Foundation High School Hall of Fame in March.
Sheddrick Mitchell started one year at Butte College, helping the Roadrunners earn a 9-2 record last fall. He joins Butte teammate Chameion Sutton in signing with UNLV and is one of two JC offensive line recruits and three overall to join the Rebels this year. Mitchell originally attended Rutgers and spent two seasons at the New Jersey school. He lettered in 1998 as a freshman but redshirted in 1999 with a shoulder injury. Already 23 years old, Mitchell is a 1996 graduate of Paul Harding High School in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Matt Williams is one of two Juco early enrollees and will participate in spring football with the Rebels. Williams is expected to compete to replace former all-conference OT John Greer next fall. A two-year starter at tackle for Pasadena City College, Williams was named All-Mission Valley Conference for the Lancers. Williams was a 1999 graduate of Woodrow Wilson HS in Los Angeles and a three-year letterman in football for the Mules, where he played both OT and DE. Williams also played center on the school basketball team his senior year. His brother, Jeremiah, plays football at the University of Massachusetts.
Garrett Brassington is one of two Juco early enrollees who will practice with the Rebels during spring drills. Brassington played two seasons at Grossmont College, helping the Griffins to a 9-1 record and the Foothill league title and earning honorable mention All-America honors as an end. A 1999 graduate of Grossmont HS, Brassington lettered on both sides of the ball, earning first team all-league as both OL and DL as well as team MVP for the Foothillers.
Leon Moore comes to the Rebels as a three-sport standout at Rancho High School. Moore recorded 130 tackles, 17 sacks and seven pass breakups as a senior, finishing second on the school's all-time tackles list. Named All-Sunrise Division and second-team all-state, Moore also played TE for the Rams. A versatile athlete, Moore is the starting center on the Rams basketball team and, as a trackster, competed in shot put, discus, high jump and 110-meter hurdles.
Joe Miklos is a two-way standout from high school national champion De LaSalle. A two-year letterman for the Spartans, Miklos, who also played TE, helped lead his team to a perfect record in the Bay Valley Athletic League over that span (25-0), and the state title in 1999 as well. In addition to catching ten passes for 200 yards and five scores, Miklos rang up 92 tackles and seven sacks this past season. Miklos was named to East Bay's Cream of the Crop and first-team all-league in 2000.
Tyrone Tucker is one of two transfers from four-year schools for the Rebels who will sit out the 2001 season per NCAA rules. He will have one year of eligibility for the Rebels. Tucker played last season at Iowa State and registered seven tackles versus the Rebels on Sept. 9 in Ames. After having two solid outings to start the season, Tucker's production fell markedly and he found himself mired deep in the bench. Tucker finished the year with 29 tackles at linebacker for the Cyclones. Tucker spent two seasons at San Francisco (CA) City College and was a J.C. Gridwire All-America as a sophomore. Tucker was also a first-team all-conference and all-state selection that year. Tucker was named MVP of the California championship game, recording 15 tackles and two sacks. ISU coach Dan McCarney couldn't put a finger on Tucker's sudden drop-off in production, indicating his citizenship and academics were all in fine order. Perhaps a change of scenery and a chance to play ball closer to home will help.
Chameion Sutton is the only DB, so far, in this year's class and will look for time at safety, stepping in for the departed Randy Black. A two-year standout safety at Butte College in Oroville, CA, Sutton twice earned first-team all-conference and All-North Cal honors. Sutton picked off four passes as a freshman under Coach Craig Rigsbee. Sutton also is a top-performer in the classroom, earning 2000 J.C. Gridwire First-Team Academic All-American honors. A 1998 graduate of Franklin HS in Seattle, WA, Sutton lettered three times in both football and basketball for the Quakers, where he was an option quarterback for the football team.
Speedster Brian Adams was the class AAA MVP as a running back at Moapa Valley, but was recruited as an "athlete." A three-year letterman, Adams rushed for 3,420 yards and 58 touchdowns during his career. Adams totaled 970 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior despite missing nearly half the season due to injury. A two-time first-team all-state and three-time first-team all-league selection, Adams was the conference's offensive MVP as a junior. Adams also found glory running track for the Pirates, winning state titles in the 100 and 200 meters and one relay event as a junior. Adams leaves Moapa Valley holding four school track records. Adams also was a two-year letterman in basketball.
Gerrin Clark is a speedy, two-way standout from West Covina HS. Clark was a three-year starter as a running back for the Bulldogs, who rushing for more than 1,500 yards as a senior. Clark also played both safety and cornerback.
Mike Freund is a versatile athlete whom Coach Robinson is very excited about. While projected to replace former Rebel James Wofford at H-Back, and has requested Wofford's jersey number 33, Robinson sees Freund as a vital inside receiving threat who can make the tough catch in traffic, much like Nate Turner did for the Rebels. A three-year letterman, Freund is the first D-I football signee in the three-year history of Black Hills HS. Played tight end for most of career and was a unanimous all-league honoree at that position as a junior. Was on pace for another huge season during senior year, having caught 38 balls for 613 yards and six touchdowns in first four games before injuries to teammates necessitated his move to other positions. Freund rushed for 893 yards and nine scores at tailback and passed for 161 yards and two TDs in limited action at QB for the Wolves. Will play in state's East-West All-Star Game in June. Named to South Sound All-Star Team by The Olympian newspaper. Freund was also a three-year starter on the basketball team.