All Together Now
Aug. 9, 2009
LAS VEGAS - The weather heated up a bit on Sunday and so did the competition at Rebel Park as the UNLV football team finally practiced as one unit from 6-8 p.m.
Wearing helmets, practice shoulder pads and shorts, the team went through a 24-period practice that was its only field action of the day after getting the morning off.
Now the Rebels must get right back at it on Monday morning but this time in full pads for the first time. The players are scheduled to take the field at 8:45 a.m. and practice for 24 periods from 9:00-10:45 a.m. It is the final practice on campus this year that is open to the public as the team heads out of town for training on Tuesday.
"It was a little warmer today but once the sun went down it was perfect and I think invigorated our team a little bit," said head coach Mike Sanford. "Now the challenge is to get them ready for a quick turnaround for our first pads practice Monday morning."
Senior receiver Rodelin Anthony (Immokalee, FL/Immokalee HS) said it's always a different dynamic once the newcomers and veterans practice together for the first time.
"It's like show and tell out there," said Anthony. "The freshmen show us what they got and you can also explain to them how to do things and why. It's the same on both sides of the ball. Even when a veteran makes a mistake, it's a good opportunity to educate the younger guys on what happened and how to fix it."
(WAY) OUT-OF-TOWN MEDIA: Making an unusual appearance at Sunday night's practice was a two-person crew from KVAL-TV, which is the CBS affiliate in Eugene, OR. Sports director Tom Ward said his station was in the middle making its annual visits to all Pac-10 Conference preseason camps and was able to make a side trip to check in with the Rebels before heading down to talk to Arizona State and Arizona. The station interviewed four prominent UNLV players along with head coach Mike Sanford as part of its preview of Oregon State's game here on September 12.
REBEL ALUMNI MAKE AN APPEARANCE: Two former Rebels who played offense at UNLV stopped by practice Sunday night. Running back Dahrin Footman (1996-99) lives in town while wide receiver/kick returner Troy Mason (1999-2002) is visiting from his home in Dallas, Texas. Mason, who caught a memorable Jason Thomas pass for a 54-yard touchdown in the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl win, still holds the Sam Boyd Stadium record for longest punt return with his 84-yarder vs. New Mexico earlier that season.
KILGORE OUT: True freshman offensive lineman Thomas Kilgore (Fresno, CA/San Joaquin Memorial HS) will use 2009 as a medical redshirt season after recently undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc. The big blocker will still have four years of eligibility remaining when he returns to action in 2010.