Good news on the Rebel quarterback front?

ELY – There were plenty of reasons for UNLV football fans to be more positive about the team's starting quarterback situation on Tuesday.

First, 2006 starting quarterback Rocky Hinds' meeting with Dr. Clarence Shields in Los Angeles over his swollen right knee went well although Hinds still must pass one more strength test on Wednesday morning. Barring any problems there, Hinds will likely fly back to camp here that night.

"He had his doctor's appointment today and there were some positive signs," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said after speaking with an upbeat Hinds. "It's still inconclusive though until they perform the test on it. But Rocky seemed upbeat about how things went."

If Hinds is cleared to resume practice later this week he may find out that he has a real battle on his hands for the starting job.

That's because redshirt freshman Travis Dixon was the star of Tuesday's situational scrimmage, leading the first team offense to four straight touchdowns in goal-line drills against the first team defense.

Here's what had Rebel players and coaches smiling widely afterward. All four of those scores came on passes, including a seven-yarder to tight end Chris Butler as Dixon was taking a hard blow between the numbers from blitzing linebacker Beau Bell.

Dixon also threw a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Aaron Straiten and another 10-yarder to wideout Lorenzo Bursey Jr.

Dixon has provided more than his share of "wows" with his running during fall camp but this was by far his most impressive passing performance. And it came against the first team defense which was minus starting defensive end Jeremy Geathers (concussion) and starting tackle Elton Shackelford (groin strain).

"He did a lot of really good things as both a passer and a runner," Sanford said of Dixon. "He made plays. In a lot of ways he has captured the heart of the team. I think we have a very good situation now at quarterback in a lot of ways."

Dixon may have been No. 1 star of the scrimmage but junior transfer Frank "The Tank" Summers turned in the play of the scrimmage … if not the entire fall camp.

Summers burst through the line and ran over two potential first team defensive tacklers en route to an 89-yard touchdown run, easily outrunning the secondary over the final 40 yards.

Other standouts in the scrimmage included cornerbacks Mil'Von James and Solomon Smart, defensive tackle Malo Taumua and an improving offensive line led by center Joe Hawley, guards Siosifa Moala and Tim Goins and tackles Johan Asiata and Richie Plunkett.

The Rebels return to two-a-days practices on Wednesday and will hold another scrimmage on Saturday morning at 9:30 at Broadbent Park.


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