Rocky takes another step forward

Rocky Hinds takes another big step forward in his rehab from knee surgery on Wednesday morning.

Hinds, who had surgery for a torn ACL in his right (plant) in January, will only do some straight-ahead running drills for the first time under the watchful eye of head trainer Kyle Wilson.

"I haven't done any running yet," Hinds said after watching practice on Monday. "This will be the first time. I'm really looking forward to it."

Hinds has been mainly doing weight-lifting and conditioning exercises. He has attended every spring practice workout as an observer.

"It's tough," he said. "I wish I could be out there."

Hinds said he has had no problems with his knee so far in rehab.

"No, it feels good," he said. "I can't wait to do some running and jogging on it now. After that I'll be able to start cutting and stuff again and doing everything."

Barring any setbacks, Hinds is expected to be back at full speed by mid-summer.

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Sophomore Lafayette Fletcher, caught up in a logjam at running back, spent Monday's practice working out at cornerback.

"Lafayette is very quick and athletic, and we felt like his (playing) opportunity right now was best if he moved to corner," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. "He's moving over there with the idea of competing to play. We think it's a good move for him and for the team."

Sanford said Fletcher was "agreeable" with the move.

"Right now there's a great opportunity for him to play at that position," Sanford said. "His dad played corner for the Kansas City Chiefs. It's all a plus."

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Eric Wright's NFL draft stock continues to skyrocket.

ESPN draftnik Mel Kiper Jr. now has Wright listed as his No. 2 cornerback prospect behind Michigan's Leon Hall.

If Kiper has the proper pulse of NFL teams, that would mean Wright would stand an excellent chance of becoming the first Rebel in school history to be drafted in the first round on April 28.

Keep your fingers crossed UNLV fans. Having a first round pick wouldn't certainly wouldn't hurt Mike Sanford's recruiting pitch.

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The Rebel Pride drill once again highlighted Monday's practice with the first team offense splitting it two contests against the first team defense.

The defense came up with a stop on four straight plays from the nine-yard line. And it appeared it would win again on four straight plays from the four until quarterback Travis Dixon hit wide receiver Aaron Straiten in the left corner of the end zone.

Straiten, enjoying an excellent spring, made a highlight-reel one-hand grab for the touchdown.

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Wednesday's practice, which goes from 4 to 6 at Rebel Park, will be the 14th of UNLV's 15 spring workouts. It also will be held without pads.

The final spring practice is at 6 p.m. and will feature an intersquad game on Friday night at Sam Boyd Stadium. It is open to the public. A barbeque will follow at around 7:30.


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