Rebels Early To Rise
March 13, 2009
LAS VEGAS - If the UNLV football team was a little groggy at the start of its first morning practice of the spring, the Rebels were quickly jolted awake once practice started since today was the first day of full pads at Rebel Park.
Players seemed to respond to the full pads, as the tempo was very quick throughout the practice that went 24 five-minute periods under sunny skies with light breezes.
"The attitude and tempo was very good," UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said. "I think we are further ahead than we were at this time last year and the players have responded well thus far. We have a lot of work to do and we need our twos to step up and improve."
Even though the first day of pads was on Friday the 13th, there was nothing scary or odd about the first full practice in pads. In fact junior quarterback Omar Clayton enjoyed the return of full gear to practice, although the signal caller sported the normal green jersey and contact on the quarterbacks was kept to minimum.
"It is good to be back in pads," Clayton said. "People were excited to go out and hit people and it was a great first day."
EARLY WAKE-UP CALL
Today's start time of 9:30 a.m. was the first time this spring that the Rebels had to get up and come in early, and the team will do it three more times the rest of the way. Senior wide receiver Ryan Wolfe said the team seemed to be fine with the early start, especially since it was the first day of live hitting with pads.
"It wasn't too bad, we were a little sleepy coming out but once practice started everyone was practicing hard," Wolfe said. "I think it helps that everyone is really familiar with everything, they know what to do and are running all over the field."
Fuimaono is rehabbing his knee, which he injured in the second game at Utah and was forced to miss the rest of the year after having surgery on it, while Pointer is sitting out due to a shoulder surgery. Rodgers broke his ankle playing basketball about a week before spring drills started and he will be watching from the sidelines.
FORMER REBEL NOW A GATOR
Former UNLV assistant coach Brian White stopped by practice as it was ending and spent a few minutes visiting with Sanford and his staff. White had two coaching stints with the Rebels, the first from 1990-92 and he also spent the 1994 season the staff, and he coached quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.
The stop in Las Vegas was part of a cross country trip for White and his family, who are heading from Washington to Florida, where he will join the Gator coaching staff as tight ends coach. Last season White was the special teams coach at the University of Washington.
UNLV's next practice will be Monday (March 16) on campus and it is scheduled to last from approximately 4:00-6:00 p.m. All practices this spring are free and open to the public but visitors must stay in the designated viewing areas on the grass practice field.
Fans are also invited to attend the FREE Scarlet vs. Gray spring game on April 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium from approximately 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
UNLV 2009 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC PLEASE NOTE: ALL DATES AND TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE