As the UNLV Spring football practices kicked up another week, the battle at the quarterback position is ongoing, mostly due to the competitors playing at a high level.
Redshirt freshman Armani Rogers finished Monday's 11 on 11 drills with a number of impressive throws. There is no questioning this young man's arm talent. He show's good accuracy, is able to throw the ball with touch, and the ball comes out of his hand quickly.
Johnny Stanton, last year's opening game starter, has had a solid camp, as well. I would go so far as to say, had Stanton been this sharp last season the quarterback battle would have been decided in the Spring and not carried over into the Fall.
This is good news on two fronts for Rebel faithful. First, it means that Rogers is being pushed and is not going to win the job by 'default'. Secondly, the Rebels will have quality depth at the position and two players capable of starting.
Defensive end Roger Mann took more snaps with the first team defense today. Mann, Finau, Jones and Zepeda have been getting the bulk of the reps with the first and second team defense.
Gabe McCoy recorded a 'sack' today (QBs were not live) and seems to be adjusting well to his new/growing role at outside linebacker. McCoy has been an intriguing prospect since he came to UNLV as part of Coach Sanchez' first class. McCoy played defensive end at Pittsburgh High School in California where he registered 18 sacks his senior year. The knock on McCoy coming out of high school was, despite having a great first step and strength that belied his stature, at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds he was probably too small to play defensive end at the next level.
After redshirting his first year, McCoy began transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker. He saw some action as a situational pass rusher last season, recording nine tackles, one sack, one TFL and a fumble recovery. McCoy has added probably 15-20 pounds since being recruited and is absolutely chiseled. He has been a fixture with the first team at outside linebacker since day one of Spring camp.
The Rebels have struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks for some time now. If UNLV hopes to reach a bowl game this year its pass rush has to improve. McCoy could prove to be a key piece to improving the Rebels' ability to get consistent pressure on the QB.