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Rebs Have High Tolerance For Payne

Phillip Payne (No. 18) is congratulated by teammates after catching one of his many touchdowns on Monday.

Phillip Payne (No. 18) is congratulated by teammates after catching one of his many touchdowns on Monday.

Aug. 11, 2008

REBEL CAMP 2008 -- - After both having turned in outstanding practices on Monday, a pair of UNLV true freshman wide receivers lost their rookie red stripes from their helmets in a team ceremony on a wonderfully cool night at this off-campus training site.

Western High School grad Phillip Payne (Las Vegas, NV) and Michael Johnson (Suisun, CA/Rodriguez HS) certainly both had their share of highlights in the double-day sessions.

After a 20-period morning practice in full pads that featured a spirited red-zone competition, including the No. 1 offense going up against the No. 1 defense, the players enjoyed a lasagna lunch, got some rest and attended meetings before returning for an 18-period helmets and shorts get-together that ran a bit long.

"This was a very good first two-a-day up here," said UNLV head coach Mike Sanford. "I liked our tempo in the morning and we had a great competition in the red zone where the offense scored a lot, which is something that has to happen this season for us to be successful. I thought the afternoon practice started slow but then got better. Good day overall."

Payne was turning the heads of his teammates and the media in attendance by repeatedly going up on fade patterns, sometimes in double coverage, and coming down with the football to record multiple TDs.

"Phillip and MJ got their stripes off their helmets, which means they have earned the right to be a member of the Rebel football team," Sanford said. "Phillip obviously had a good day today and he is right in the mix of receivers who are challenging to play. He made a lot of plays in the red zone.

"A couple of other people who caught my eye today were Malo Taumua (Honolulu/Aiea HS), who was noticeable all over the field, and I think Luke Plante (Lake Arrowhead, CA/Rim of the World HS/Chaffey College) has been a pleasant surprise after having moved over to tight end (from defensive end)."

 

 

UNLV will hold a morning practice on Tuesday before its next two-a-day on Wednesday. The Rebels will practice off campus until returning to Las Vegas on Aug. 19.

The season opens at home on Aug. 30 when Utah State comes to Sam Boyd Stadium. Tickets for the 7 p.m. kickoff are on sale now by calling 739-FANS or logging on to unlvrebels.com.

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