Track & Field junior Najia Hudspeth earns Outstanding Rebel of the Week honors after taking first in all four events she competed in at the Fresno State Bulldog Invite last weekend.
UNLV: A versatile booter who will look to serve again as both punter and place-kicker for the Rebels as a junior this fall … Can also serve as kickoff man … An honors candidate who turned in a record-setting season after transferring to UNLV, including making a remarkable 55 of his 56 combined kick attempts … Earned a spot on the UNLV Dean’s Honors List in Spring 2017 … Last name is pronounced “pan-TELLS.”
2016: Earned his first letter as a Rebel by appearing in all 12 games as the team’s starting PK and punter … Led squad in scoring with 81 points … Broke school record for highest field-goal percentage in a season by nailing 13 of 14 attempts for a 92.9-percent clip, which tied for fourth in the nation and bested Jim Cook’s Rebel record of 88.2 set in 1987 … Also posted the sixth perfect extra-point campaign in UNLV history and his 42 PATs were the most by any Rebel without missing one in a season (previous high was 37 by Kyle Watson in both 2008 and 2009) … After not even attempting a field goal in the first three games, he started his career by making his first six attempts before missing a 41-yard attempt at against Colorado State … He then made the final seven of the season, including a career-long 47-yarder vs. Nevada, Reno in the season finale on Nov. 26 … His 28-yard field goal with just over a minute left proved to be the game winner at Hawai’i on Oct. 15 … Twice made a career-high three attempts in one game (Sept. 24 vs. Idaho and Nov. 12 vs. Wyoming) … Posted a career-high 13 points in wild win over Wyoming … Also shined as UNLV’s punter, ranking 49th in the nation with an average of 41.7 yards per attempt … Booted eight punts 50 yards or longer, including a season-long best 66 yards in the win over the Cowboys … Averaged 40 yards or better in eight of the 12 games, including a season-best 48.0 on three boots in victory at Hawai’i … Also did most of the kicking off for the team.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Started at both kicker and punter in 2015 for Georgia Military College located in Milledgeville, GA … Finished with a punting average of 39.3 with a long of 69 … Dropped 13 attempts inside opponents’ 20-yard line … Also made half of his 12 field-goal attempts (long of 43) and 44 of 47 extra-point attempts for the Bulldogs under coach Bert Williams.
GEORGIA STATE: Joined the FBS program in 2014 out of high school and took a redshirt season with the Panthers ... Named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the fall 2014 semester.
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2014 graduate of Peachtree Ridge HS … Punter and PK for the Class 6A Lions under coach Mark Fleetwood ... Named second team all-county punter by the Gwinnett Daily Post ... Made 10 of 14 field goals as a senior ... Booted a school-record 53-yard field goal vs. Walton in the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome ... Boasted 40-yard average on punts.
PERSONAL: Evan Alexander Pantels is the son of Maris and Rita Pantels … Majoring in marketing.