UNLV vs UNR - Recruiting Battle or Hype?

Today's Review Journal talked about the UNLV vs UNR game as a bragging rights game. They went so far to talk about how the winner of this game has bragging rights over the other in state school as it regards to an advantage over the other for in state talent. I am a little puzzled with this story. Nevada had NO Nevada scholarship recruits last year, while UNLV only had a couple.

When you have players Greyshirt, just another statement in college recruiting for allowing a kid to be a part of your football program with out being a part of it. Basicly, the kid enrolls in school in January and comes in as a more mature pure Freshman in the Spring.

So when players are considered signed to a school and they greyshirt is that really winning the recruiting battle? In Nevada, you see too often where both schools will ask in State Kids that have the grades to come in with the Millenium Scholarship. As they keep the real rides for the kids from out of state.

So winning the recruiting battle by asking local kids to Greyshirt or come in as a walk on Millineum scholarship? Is that really winning the battle?

Winning the battle is getting a kid like Michael Ball of DP. Having him provide an oral commitment prior to the season is big for Nevada. Plucking local kids out of the backyard of UNLV is something that Chris Ault relishes.

The comment coming out of Ball today should be the concerning issue to the UNLV Staff. Ball said that he and his Mother did not care for the fact that UNLV came in so late in the recruiting process.

This is the comment that way too many local recruits continue to state. Be it through e mails to us or through the posting forum, UNLV continues to not be in early enough in the recruiting process on local athletes. The Lawrence Guys of the world are not working out 3 times a day in the Summer to just be noticed by UNLV? He is a recruit that has larger aspirations than UNLV. The Rebels or Pack have no chance at landing this type of athlete. But, they do have the chance of landing the Michael Ball, Michael Payne of Western or Corbin Brown of Spring Valley if they were in early enough. According to sources close to Brown, UNLV all but ignored the kid until Wisconsin came knocking. Then Auburn and then Hawaii, where he ended up giving his oral commitment. Then UNLV gets involved.

So if you are Spring Valley or people who know Brown, how does UNLV come away looking good in this situation? They dont. They look only interested once other schools come knocking.

Steven Jackson at Eldorado had the Oregon State Coaching Staff over to his house before UNLV ever made an effort to talk to him. Of course he was a long gone recruit at this point.

If your a Pack fan, you can clearly state that UNLV can not beat the Pack for a Northern Athlete. It has not happened since Billy Cofer of McQueen and he was primarily a special teamer at UNLV when all was said and done. But, the Pack continues to beat the bushes in Northern California working the Sacramento and Bay Area contacts. So did UNLV help them with recruits? Not really. They got Ball due to UNLV not being awake. Then again, when you look at Southern Nevada athletes on this site that are being recruited you dont see Nevada on their lists for recruits.

This year is a bumper crop for Southern Nevada athletes. It is safe to say that UNLV is going to have alot of problems in keeping kids home. Obviously, when you have the likes of West Virginia, Wisconsin,Rutgers, Oklahoma and Pac 10 schools showing up to games on Friday nights in Las Vegas, UNLV is going to be hard pressed to get these athletes. But,there are those blossoming kids that would love to get a call that UNLV could land. Unfortunately, UNLV is spending their time in So Cal looking after that talent.

So when UNLV and UNR takes the field on Saturday night, there will be bragging rights. But,it will do little good in Nevada with the local recruits as many of them have made their mind made up to go else where. Until either school takes a chance on the locals that can blossom or by committing to these athletes that they are going to see time, it just is not going to work.

Going further than this, UNLV still needs to find a way to make their school more of a campus for their students then a glorified community college. This is why hoops has been so much easier to put together solid teams. You are only talking about 15 kids. For the football players, with little or no on campus living it makes it hard for kids that are local to get away from the environment that many of them wish to get away from. This is a problem that Nevada has an edge with, plenty of on campus environment for kids to feel as if they are part of the college not as part time student. With so much development around Maryland Parkway, land values continue to rise. So maybe instead of looking for more buildings for extra expansive classrooms, UNLV should be looking at more on campus living arrangements with a Greek Row and dorms. They will always be this commuter school until they can figure this out.

Finally, the game between UNLV and Nevada will not be televised. How can the biggest game in our State not be on television for all to see? How does this help recruiting? How do you answer the question regarding how their family can watch their son play if they come and play for either program? The petty fighting between ESPN (WAC partner) and The MTN (Mountain West partner) continues to not be a benefit for either school. When you can watch University of Idaho and Troy University games on ESPN game plan on a Sunday, this makes it an easy sell for a kid to say -well at least their games are on tv for my parents to watch me play. Neither UNLV or Nevada has done much to expand their radio influence across the State of Nevada. Other than San Diego State, UNLV remains a school where their games are only heard in their home market. With UNLV practicing in the Summer in Ely, shouldnt UNLV have a radio presence in that commmunity? But, they dont. It is like they live in this cave of involvement when it comes to broadening their audience. Again, how does this help recruiting?

When Kurt Herbstreit of ESPN Game Day makes a comment about Air Force being a team that he can not find their games anywhere on the dial. The Mountain West has a problem and UNLV gets to live with it. This outfit that controls the TV is based out of Salt Lake City, do you think the interests of SDSU and UNLV are being served?

We will have a full house in Reno Saturday night. ESPN will be showing a marquis game from the SEC at the same time. FOX Sports will be showing a host of PAC 10 games as well. So how many people or recruits will have the patience to listen to the game while, they have an eye on a PAC 10 game on tv being aired in their living room. Easy choice to tell Mom about watching their son play while at college. You are not going to see them play on TV if you are playing for Nevada or UNLV, but you will certainly be able to see Arizona State, Oregon State and other PAC 10 schools. For recruits this is big. Heck, I can see the Big 10 Channel through Direct TV but I can not watch UNLV?

I expect a rowdy crowd and a fun atmosphere in Reno Saturday night, the perfect ingredients of a great college game. But, when it comes to recruiting the in state talent- they will be watching other schools instead and how can UNLV or Nevada top this? Especially when neither school is aggressively focusing on local talent.

Dont buy into what the local newspaper says about the State bragging rights regarding recruits. It in the end will mean alot more in the battles for the California kids then what is being said regarding the local athletes.


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