Elder Statesman: POTD Jacob Hales
Aug. 16, 2007
UNLV PLAYER OF THE DAY:
Jacob Hales, DL, 6-5, 290, JR-2L, Las Vegas (Las Vegas HS/Southern Utah)
UNLV junior defensive lineman Jacob Hales is the undisputed veteran for the Rebels in the trenches, as the Las Vegas native is 25 years old after serving a two-year LDS mission before enrolling at UNLV.
But considering he is a two-year letterwinner and a preseason third team All-MWC selection by Phil Steele's, Hales is also a seasoned playmaker along the defensive front for the Rebels in a unit that is emerging as one of the team's strengths during camp.
His emergence along the defensive front, both as a run stopper and as a leader, is why Hales is our UNLV Player of the Day.
"Training camp has been going really well and it has been great to be spending so much time together as a team," Hales said. "Trying to help the young guys understand everything coach (Kurt) Barber wants and expects from us is also something I have been trying to do more."
Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Kurt Barber has been pleased with the work of Hales, who has made 30 total tackles, including two sacks while clogging the line in the trenches.
"Hales is having an awesome camp and is emerging as a team leader," Barber said. "He truly understands what we are trying to become as a unit along the defensive end and how hard you have to work each day. He challenges everyone every day to get better."
Off the field Hales is also one of the more well-rounded Rebels on the team and is just as comfortable playing the piano as he is bringing down running backs. Hales is also arguably the squad's best student, having earned the team's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award the past two seasons as well as being named to the 2006 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District 8 team.