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Inside The Rebels on National Signing Day Coverage:
Make sure you stay logged onto Inside The Rebels on National Signing Day as we give the best and most up to date updates on the Rebels recruiting class. I will be with head coach Tony Sanchez and the Rebels coaching and football staff inside the Rebel War Room as they receive the National Letters of Intent starting at 4am. I will be writing a piece later that day describing the days events and recapping a record setting Rebels recruiting class. Inside The Rebels will also be posting exclusive "Letters to the Rebel Fan Base" from some of the recruits who commit to UNLV that day including Tariq Hollandsworth, Daniel Schoene and others.
What Can You Expect On National Signing Day?
National Signing Day is this Wednesday, February 1st and UNLV is poised to have their highest rated recruiting class for the second consecutive year under Tony Sanchez. The Rebels already have Linebacker Jacob Rominger, Center Sid Acosta, Safety Demitrious Gibbs and Defensive End Roger Mann on campus as their JUCO signees for this years recruiting class.
Look for UNLV has secure National Letter of Intent from the following 13 current verbal commitments:
Tariq Hollandsworth - RB - Sacramento HS (Sacramento, CA)
Marckell Grayson - QB - Desert Pines HS (Las Vegas, NV)
Drew Tejchman - WR - North Cobb HS (Kennesaw, GA)
Noah Bean - TE - Grace Brethren HS (Simi Valley, CA)
Jamaal Neal - FB/H-Back - South Gate HS (South Gate, CA)
Ashton Morgan - OL - Pleasant Valley HS (Chico, Ca)
Daniel Schoene - OL - Bakersfield HS (Bakersfield, CA)
Greg Francis - S - Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV)
Farrell Hester - LB - Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV)
Nate Neal - DE/OLB - Etiwanda HS (Etiwanda, CA)
Bruce Hester - DL - MESA CC/Mountain Pointe HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Justice Oluwaseun - OL - Foster HS (Richmond TX)
Jeremy Clark - WR - La Mirada HS (La Mirada, CA)
These are the known and public commitments for UNLV. There will be other players that will be committing to UNLV on NSD that we have been asked to not release the names since it is the young men's moment in the sun and we respect that.
Rebels Winning The South?
The Rebels are really ecstatic to land out of state players Oluwaseun (pronounced O-lu-wa-shea-oon) and Tejcnman (pronounced Tech-man, the "J" is silent), who both turned down Power 5 Conference schools to attend UNLV. Oluwaseun held offers from Kansas St. Tulane and Texas St while Tejchman had NC State, Purdue, Tulane and 14 other offers from all over the country. In speaking with both players this week they felt "at home at UNLV" and in Drew's case, being able to play on the West Coast was a huge factor in his decision. Landing Oluwaseun was a big time get for UNLV because he has the tools to be an anchor on the offensive line for years and a chance to play on Sundays. Tejchman is a playmaker who can come in and make plays from Day 1 and has a skill set that could translate to the next level.
Keeping Their Guys:
The Rebels have done a great job of identifying talent early on, like former commit WR Johnny Johnson for example, but the staff is getting better at being able to keep the commits from decommitting for larger schools who come n late. This class their are two that stand out, the Rebels are excited to keep the VERY underrated Farrell Hester, a local product (Bishop Gorman, HS) who played for coach Sanchez and many feel can be an impact player very early at UNLV. Many felt that Hester should've been rated higher and is very underrated. Tariq Hollandsworth was getting pressured hard by Boise St. in recent weeks to take an official visit, but he declined for a variety of reasons including not feeling the Boise St. coaching staff was being sincere with their recruiting of him amongst his reasons. Tariq is a different type of back and one that UNLV hasn't seen in quite some time. Hollandsworth calls running backs coach DeAndre Smith and coach Sanchez every day to reassure that his is a Rebel through and through.
UPDATE: UNLV Adds Commitment Saturday Night:
I have confirmed that UNLV received a commitment from Spencer Katoanga, a Linebacker from El Camino HS in Oceanside, CA Saturday night.
Here is his HUDL highlights: hudl.com/profile/2643377/spencer-katoanga
More to come including an exclusive interview with Spencer.
Will Michael Onyemaobi Be A Rebel?
UNLV made the "Final 5" of Chaparral, HS (Temecula, CA) Athlete Michael Onyemaobi last week. I was told by sources Michael will not be choosing UNLV on National Signing Day and is likely to chose between TCU and Nebraska. UNLV made a great impression on Michael and were the only school recruiting him as a receiver, but it wasn't enough for the former Cal commit who will play cornerback at the school he chooses on Wednesday.
What Will The Rebels Do At Cornerback Now?
The Rebels biggest "need" going into this recruiting class in most peoples opinion was cornerback and when Johnny Balderas decommitted unexpectedly last week (and then chose San Jose St.) it hurt the Rebels recruiting class a bit. Believe me when I say that the staff is working very hard to make sure the cornerback position will be taken care of in this recruiting class. The Rebels are in the mix for a some cornerbacks who are 5th year transfers (including Corey Winfield, who played at Syracuse). UNLV hosted 2 corners over this weekend on official visits, less then a week prior to NSD hoping to flip one of them. While I do know the names of the players in town for their official visits, I won't disclose them since it is a sensitive time, but I can assure you that if they land one or both of the cornerbacks in town, the Rebels will be in a great position heading into 2017.
Surprise Coach Sanchez! Here's Your Contract Extension:
While I feel it was deserved (and actually asked school officials about it earlier in the year when they wouldn't give me a comment), coach Sanchez was kind of surprised with the timing. He has been focused on recruiting and been hitting the road all over the country and when he got the call about the extension he was like "OK, that's cool!" It is well deserved for coach Sanchez, who has changed the expectations of the program on and off the field, raised tens of millions of dollars for the football program, getting the Fertitta Football Complex and adding as much talent on the field as the Rebels have seen in years. This is a huge deal for the program since it now has stability at the top and with the coaching staff and it also shows that the school is serious about the football program and the direction it is heading.
Speaking to recruits this morning, they were happy that coach Sanchez got the extension and many said they felt it was the right thing to do. One recruit said "they took too long to get it done! It should've happened mid-way through the year or as soon as the season ended." Needless to say it is being well received by the recruits and players I spoke to.
Is Noah Jefferson Transferring To UNLV?
I reported back on December 16th that UNLV was in the process of vetting former three star Liberty HS (NV) and USC defensive tackle Noah Jefferson. Jefferson told USCFootball.com last December "Yeah, I'm transferring due to personal reasons," Jefferson said. "I am looking for a new school of choice." Jefferson declined to comment further. A USC spokesperson confirmed Jefferson was leaving the program "I can confirm he will not be with us next year," he said.
I can report that after speaking with UNLV football sources that they will not be adding Jefferson to the Rebel family.