Spring Recap: UNLV Rebels

JeremySenior Writer IMay 10, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans stands on the field during the spring game on April 25, 2009 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The cardinal team won 16-10.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

For once in a few years, UNLV has a firm quarterback in place when exiting spring.  Omar Clayton is the choice at quarterback, and if he is healthy, he is poised to be a star in Mike Sanford's spread option attack.

Their backup is no slouch either in Mike Clausen, who gained valuable playing time and impressed this spring.  If starter Omar Clayton happens to goes down the Rebels should not have a drop off in production.

UNLV is looking to improve off of last season's five-win season and get to the magic number of six which gets them bowl eligible, something which the Rebels have not achieved since 2000.

The Rebels return 15 starters, which is a good place to begin with that solid nucleus, so building depth is a key for this 2009 team.

The two-deep depth chart is filled with 'slash,' which is the most common word to come out of UNLV coach Mike Sanford's mouth this spring.   This could be a good thing with the Rebels improving and having more competition at the top can only make them better.

One of the main positions up for grabs this spring is to find a replacement for running back Frank Summers who was drafted in the NFL.

Currently, there are three backs in contention first is incoming freshman Bradley Randle, Sophomore C.J. Cox, and senior Chris Brogdon.

C.J. Cox is the team's leading returning rusher and listed as co-number ones with Chris Brogdon, but Bradley Randle is a three star recruit by Scout.com and could surprise and be in the mix. 

However, expect all three to get time, because the spread that UNLV runs they use multiple backs for a change of pace.

The offense should be fine but it is the defense that needs to step it up, because last year the team ranked 104th in the country in total defense. 

If UNLV can get a defense in the mid 50's nationally to go along with their improved offense (which includes All-American wide receiver candidate in Ryan Wolfe), UNLV should make it to a bowl game in 2009.