VIDEO/STORY: #CampRebel Report: RBs Work Ethic Impresses Coach|
Aug. 22, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - After UNLV football's first day off without any team activities Monday, the Rebels returned to the field Tuesday morning for the start of the fourth and final week of #CampRebel. The players were in half pads for the two-and-a-half hour session at Rebel Park.
This #CampRebel marks the first for new running backs coach Travis Burkett, who joined Sanchez' staff in March after 10 seasons at the Ivy League's Cornell. Burkett inherited a Rebel rushing attack that ranked 15th in the nation a year ago at 241.5 yards per game and has three young, but experienced backs returning from that group. Sophomore Charles Williams shattered the program's 18-year-old record for yards by a freshman with a team-leading 763 while junior Lexington Thomas is already tied for 11th in UNLV history with seven century-mark games, including four a year ago. Junior Xzaviar Campbell came on late in the season, collecting 169 yards over the final three games. In addition to Campbell, junior Evan Owens, a former junior college transfer who redshirted in 2016, and freshman Tariq Hollandsworth are competing for playing time as well.
For Burkett, the talent was obvious, but it's been the group's willingness to learn and work ethic that has impressed him the most.
"Overall, a lot of innate talent and ability to play the running back position in the group," said Burkett. "The thing that has been the best in terms of working with them and growing with them is their willingness to learn how to learn, like Coach Sanchez always talks about, learning the process - how you practice, how you transition, how to take notes and watch film. They have really bought into that. I also don't think I've ever been around a group that trains like they did in the summer. With Coach Manny (Sean Manuel), their work in the weight and conditioning program has translated onto the field from summer into camp."
With a loaded backfield, the real question is how will Burkett and the coaching staff decide on who gets the carries?
"The philosophy is everybody has to be ready at any time," said Burkett. "Those guys know they've got to be ready to run the menu, know the package and be able to execute. Really, it will come down to who is playing best at that time and see if we can play the hot hand."
See the full interview here:
THROWBACK HELMETS FOR WEEK ONE
In celebration of the 50th Year of Rebel Football, UNLV will wear a special helmet design inspired by arguably the best team in school history during its season-opening game vs. Howard University September 2, announced UNLV Athletics Tuesday.
The silver helmet will feature a decal in the same font that the team wore from 1982-86 but without the middle striping because of the current squad's popular "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sticker located on the back. Head coach Tony Sanchez put his own spin on the throwback look by making both the "Rebels" script and facemask chrome colored instead of simple red.
WEEK THREE HIGHLIGHTS
Check out the highlights from #CampRebel week three here: