Rebels Can Turn Left If Needed
The Rebel D won the frozen treat challenge on Wednesday.
The Rebel D won the frozen treat challenge on Wednesday.

Aug. 13, 2008

REBEL CAMP 2008 - In honor of national Left Handers Day on Aug. 13, checked in with Rebel southpaw quarterback Mike Clausen (Riverside, CA/John North HS). The redshirt freshman is already entrenched in the depth chart working a solid No. 2 behind starter Omar Clayton (Normal, IL/Normal Community HS). While he had no idea that it was Lefty Day nor had even heard of it before, Clausen still celebrated in his own way by enjoying another day at preseason camp, which is almost assuredly leading up to his first playing time this fall.

"Camp is going good and I'm enjoying it up here," said Clausen. "I'm just working on getting the offense down."

Asked about having the QB depth chart essentially set so early in camp, Clausen said it's a positive for the entire offense.

"It helps build team chemistry and in finding the identity of the team. Also, running the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense in practice really helps me a lot."

Head coach Mike Sanford said having a righty starter and a lefty backup is a challenge for the coaching staff but will also pose a problem for opposing defenses.

"We're real pleased with Mike's development," said the head coach. "He has a nice touch - he can throw both a soft ball and a hard ball and can also hit the deep ball. We're excited about where he's at."


On what was probably the hottest day in the three years that the UNLV football team has been coming to this off-campus training site, the Rebels turned in a lively morning session in full pads before heading off to a lunch of salad and cheeseburgers. After resting and meeting, the squad returned in the late afternoon for a 20-period practice in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets, which is called Rebel Gear.

"The weather was awesome in the morning and it got a little warm in the middle of the day, but we were off the field then," said Sanford. "Tonight was beautiful and even a bit cool by the end of practice out here.



"This morning we got a lot done in a very physical practice where the quarterbacks were live. Omar Clayton had a nice 60-yard touchdown run and we ended with an exciting 40-yard TD run by Channing Trotter (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain HS)."

It was not all good news for the offense, however, as the team staged a four-minute drill and the defense won the competition to earn much-coveted Popsicles coming off the field.

"The offense fumbled against the No. 2 defense and that is just not acceptable. Also, the No. 1 defense stopped the 2 offense in a tough situation so the defense took the day."

The late practice also had a memorable ending as the staff told the team that if it turned in a sub-par effort, it would do conditioning by running laps. However, a good effort would instead bring a spirited game of Ultimate Frisbee. The latter won out and the site of 100 large and small football players dashing up and down the field trying to catch two Frisbees for 10 minutes was worth any price of admission.

"They earned the right to do something fun to finish up a great day of work out here," said a pleased Sanford.


Two more rookies got the red stripe taken off their helmets in the team huddle following the late practice: big junior D-lineman Martin Tevaseu (Boonville, CA/Anderson Valley HS), who is a former Arizona State signee and played last season at Santa Rosa JC; and local freshman safety Beau Orth (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman HS).


UNLV will hold just a morning practice in full pads on Thursday. The team will stage its only preseason scrimmage on Saturday here beginning at 10 a.m. The Rebels return to Las Vegas on Aug. 19 and the season opener is Aug. 30 vs. Utah State at Sam Boyd Stadium.

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