UNLV might be missing the star power compared to most of the other Mountain West teams, and they need a few key parts to rise up and rock on the lines, but there’s just enough experience returning in Year Three under head coach Marcus Arroyo to change some of those close-call competitive battles of 2021 into wins.
However, the team needs more difference-makers to emerge.
The Rebels lost a ton of options through the transfer portal and didn’t bring in a ton of new parts, but they landed a few good ones who should be able to change things around in a hurry – at least that’s the hope.
The hope is for the defensive front to find a few possible all-stars, but there are only two returning players off the 2022 All-Mountain West teams,
As long as the skill players get time to work, this should be a stronger season.
Harrison Bailey, QB Soph.
The 6-5, 220-pound transfer from Tennessee was great in 2020 completing 71% of his passes for 578 yards and four touchdowns with two picks.
He didn’t see a whole lot of time as a sophomore completing just 3-of-7 passes for 16 yards, but now the former big-time five-star recruit will get every shot to turn around the UNLV offense – and the program – and make it his.
Austin Ajiake, LB Sr.
The 6-2, 220-pound Honorable Mention All-Mountain West linebacker made 100 tackles with one broken up pass and one tackle for loss in four seasons. 74 of those tackles came last year.
Adam Plant, DE Sr.
The 6-5, 260-pound versatile veteran made three tackles at TCU, came to UNLV and made 77 tackles with seven sacks an 14.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons.
Kyle Williams, WR Jr.
The 6-0, 185-pound Williams caught 77 passes for 1,027 yards averaging 13.3 yards per catch with four touchdowns in two seasons.
Phillip Hill, S Sr.
The 6-0, 190-pound veteran missed 2020 hurt but came back to make 46 tackles with three interceptions, four broken up passes, and a sack with two tackles for loss.
Brennon Scott, LB Soph.
The 6-1, 235-pound veteran made three tackles in his first season and 35 tackles with four sacks and ten tackles for loss last year.
Zyell Griffin, WR Jr.
A 6-2, 195-pound deep threat who caught 17 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns, averaging over 20 yards per catch, over the last two years.
Daniel Gutierrez, PK Sr.
Going into his sixth season, the Honorable Mention All-Mountain West kicker hit 37-of-45 field goals and 81 of 84 extra points over the last five seasons.
Daviyon McDaniel, OT Sr.
He’s a 6-3, 300-pound former transfer from Charleston Southern who earned First Team All-Big South honors, and then took over the left tackle job at UNLV last season.