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UNLV hires Barry Odom, cousin of Lamar.

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On 1/31/2023 at 5:49 AM, ph90702 said:

Can you blame him?!  That was probably his only FBS offer.

It takes a special pedigree to go to Air Force. They have a rigid and ridiculous daily schedule. Irvin seems to be an ATH, so he could play anywhere. 

 AF is  a beautiful academy and a lot of tradition. Hopefully Scherer and Odom don’t let AF rack up 400 yards of rushing on us. Hopefully those days are over. 

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Today is national signing day!

I really like what Barry Odom has done.  My only concern for the initial class is that there seems to be a decent amount of FCS signees like with Bobby Hauck.  Long-term, I don’t think that will be a huge problem, however.

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On 2/1/2023 at 5:59 AM, ph90702 said:

Today is national signing day!

I really like what Barry Odom has done.  My only concern for the initial class is that there seems to be a decent amount of FCS signees like with Bobby Hauck.  Long-term, I don’t think that will be a huge problem, however.

It's hard to judge the first class by any new coach. They just don't have enough time to put much together. 

The second class IMO is much more telling. 

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On 2/1/2023 at 9:31 AM, ph90702 said:

I like that Barry Odom is loading up on DBs.  Maybe 2023 is the year that we shore up the secondary.

Quentin Moten/Jalen Frazier/Jaxen Turner should be the DBs and Safety. Nohl Williams was the biggest loss in the Secondary. Overall we came-out ahead

LBs Jackson Woodard from Arkansas and Zavier Carter definitely an upgrade from a size and athleticism perspective. 

Still some work to be done, plenty of undecided guys still out there in the portal.


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On 2/1/2023 at 5:59 AM, ph90702 said:

Today is national signing day!

I really like what Barry Odom has done.  My only concern for the initial class is that there seems to be a decent amount of FCS signees like with Bobby Hauck.  Long-term, I don’t think that will be a huge problem, however.

After watching the signing show, I only noticed one FCS signee, a kicker.  And a walkon OL.

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Odom’s first recruiting class lays groundwork for UNLV football


Defensive overhaul

It has been decades since UNLV fielded a respectable defense, and Odom went to work bolstering that side of the ball, with a focus on proven athletes from power conferences.

The most exciting additions are in the back seven. The secondary and linebacking corps figure to be completely revamped in 2023, with a number of college transfers stepping in and playing right away.

In the defensive backfield, Odom’s priority was athleticism and versatility. He said UNLV could field as many as six defensive backs in certain alignments, and he wants DBs who can play across the spectrum.

“Whether they’re a nickel or a boundary corner or a field safety, a lot of those spots in how we’re going to play are going to be interchangeable,” he said.

One of Odom’s most important signings is 6-foot-2 safety Jaxen Turner. He was a full-time starter as a senior at Arizona last year, racking up 79 tackles and two interceptions against Pac-12 competition. Jalen Frazier is a former Top-100 cornerback from the Class of 2019 who has battled injury throughout his career, but he appeared in 10 games at NC State last season. And College of the Canyons cornerback Quentin Moten is a former BYU recruit who snagged four interceptions in 2022.

At linebacker, the flashiest addition is LSU transfer Zavier Carter, a former 4-star prospect who figures to line up all across the formation for UNLV. He played sparingly for LSU as a sophomore in 2022, but at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he is a dynamic athlete who can make plays on the ball.

Odom compared Carter to Drew Sanders, who he coached last year as Arkansas' defensive coordinator. Sanders transferred from Alabama after his sophomore season and flourished in Odom’s system, lining up all over the formation and posting 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2022.

Carter could be in line for a similar breakout.

“He can be a defensive end, an edge rusher, he can be a linebacker, he can be a Jack into the boundary,” Odom said. “You find out the skill set of what your players can do, then you build the defense schematically around them.”


Offensive fit

While Odom and defensive coordinator Mike Scherer loaded up on experienced power-conference talent, the offensive braintrust took a different approach to signing day.

With OC Brennan Marion installing his Go-Go system, the offensive additions appear to be more about fit than proven track records or recruiting-star hype. Marion needs players who can operate in his peculiar offense, which features heavy run-blocking lineman, deep-threat receivers and versatile runners.

The Scarlet and Gray made additions in all three areas on signing day.

UNLV lost top receiver Kyle Williams to the transfer portal (Washington State), but instead of dipping into the portal themselves for a replacement, Marion and Odom were content to sign two high school receivers and a 5-foot-7 juco wideout.

Neither of the two prep receivers — Corey Thompson (Lincoln, Calif.) and Rashawn Jackson (Venice, Calif.) — are ranked coming out of high school, and Jacob De Jesus of Modesto JC isn’t a big name, either. But they are fast, all-purpose types who could compete in the return game as well, which is the kind of profile Marion wants at the position.

And though UNLV lost workhorse running back Aidan Robbins to the portal as well (BYU), there are no proven replacements coming in. Two only additions in the backfield are true freshmen Darrien Jones (Park Hill, Mo.) and Jai’Den Thomas (Westlake, Ga.); both are under 200 pounds, but once again they fit Marion’s mold, as they are explosive in space.

The one area where Marion and Odom went for reliability was the offensive line. UNLV has to replace starting center Leif Fautanu after he left for Arizona State, so they brought in senior transfer Jack Hasz from Buffalo to step in and man the middle. Odom also secured a signature from former Arkansas lineman Jalen St. John, who checks in at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds.

Hasz has one year of eligibility remaining, while St. John has two.

“This is going to be a line-of-scrimmage program,” Odom said. “The quickest order to do that is, you’d better be really good up front. Whether you have the people to do it or you have the schematics to do it, you have to blend those things together and find a way to creatively run the ball. You’ve got to establish your identity on how important that is within our program.”


Looking forward

All told, UNLV ended up signing 25 players in Odom’s first recruiting cycle. But given that he was hired late in the process, it’s likely that the 2024 class will be more indicative of how he wants to build the program going forward.

Fourteen of the 25 signees for 2023 came from the high-school ranks. Odom wants to increase that ratio in the future, with more of an emphasis on long-term development and less reliance on transfers with limited remaining eligibility.

And he wants those high-school players to come from Las Vegas.

“In 2024 recruits, we’re going to sign a great number from city of Las Vegas,” Odom predicted. “There are some high-level, elite players in this city in next year’s signing class, and we’ve had almost every one of them on campus in January. That’s just the relationship part of starting the building process of recruiting them, but I want to be relentless in the city. That’s where it starts. It’s easy to talk about, and now we’ve got to go do it.”

UNLV signed one local prospects this time around, with offensive lineman Ed Haynes (Liberty) carrying the torch. He initially committed to Marcus Arroyo in September and stayed true to the Scarlet and Gray through the coaching change.

Look for the 2024 class to feature a lot more local ties.



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UNLV football head coach Barry Odom introduced 18 more scholarship student-athletes who have either already joined the program or signed letters of intent to become Rebels during Wednesday's opening day of the traditional national signing period.
The latest additions, who will come to Las Vegas from locations spread across the country (and farther), include seven FBS transfers, three junior college transfers and eight high school players. They join the seven student-athletes who were already announced during December's early signing period to push the Class of 2023 to 25 members, as of Wednesday.
The current combined list is made up of 14 high school players, seven FBS portal transfers who are immediately eligible and four JC additions. A dozen signees are already enrolled at UNLV this semester and will take part in Odom's first spring practice at the school, which is scheduled to run from March 1 to April 8.

The Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 8 at 1 p.m. inside Allegiant Stadium.
"We are certainly excited about our first signing class at UNLV," said Odom. "I am thankful for the prospective student-athletes and their families who have joined our university. UNLV is on the rise and these young men see the opportunities that await them. Our staff was able to address specific needs by position in order to build our program into a championship team. The foundation of our program is our returning players and roster but we feel strongly about the additions we have made through both signing periods. We have a strong mix of high school signees and transfer players from around the country. We're on a mission to provide this group a great experience at UNLV with the belief that we will create a team and atmosphere that is elite in every area. This group of signees will undoubtedly add to that mission."
The overall class' position breakdown sees 12 offensive players, 10 on defense, one on special teams, one athlete with a position to be determined, and one lineman also still to be determined: 5 DB, 4 OL, 3 WR, 3 LB, 2 RB, 2 TE, 2 DL, 1 QB, 1 PK, 1 OL/DL and 1 ATH.
The 25-player group consists of student-athletes whose hometowns are spread among 13 states and one Canadian province: seven are from California, two from Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Utah and Missouri, while one each is from Nevada, Arizona, Hawai'i and the unusual Rebel territories of Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Carolina, Arkansas and Ontario.
Odom also announced the addition of five preferred walk-on players to the roster, all but one of whom are already on campus.

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On 2/2/2023 at 8:12 PM, 818SUDSFan said:

I don't know how others feel but it warms my heart how this message board designed to cover all members of the MWC has become THE home for the discussion of UNLV football and basketball.

Stuart warms my heart!

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