NFL rookie Frank Summers back to support UNLV

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Justin M. Bowen

Former UNLV player Frank Summers is back at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday to provide moral support for the Rebels.

Steelers Roll Out the Tank

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Frank Summers in the fifth round of the April draft with the 169th overall pick. With his first NFL training camp under his belt, the Tank talks about his new profession and position with the Super Bowl Champs.

Oregon State vs UNLV

Despite a fourth-quarter rally, UNLV fell short at home against Oregon State 23-21.

UNLV vs. Oregon State

Malo Taumua (left) and Preston Brooks of UNLV drop after Oregon State kicked in the go-ahead field goal Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium. Oregon St. won the game 23-21. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

Oregon State Postgame

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Ryan Greene and Rob Miech break down UNLV's last-second 23-21 defeat at the hands of Oregon State, which was similar to several games the Rebels let slip from their grasp just a year ago. The guys look at what went wrong, and whether you can expect Mike Sanford's club to still have its edge next Saturday when Hawaii comes to town ... and beyond.

Next game

  • Opponent: Hawaii
  • Date: Sept. 19, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Sam Boyd Stadium
  • TV: The Mtn., Cox ch. 334
  • Radio: ESPN Radio 1100 AM

Wearing highlighter-yellow Nikes, jeans, a long white T-shirt and stylish shades, Frank Summers stood on the sideline before tonight’s UNLV game and tossed a football to himself.

The former Rebel looked as if he was itching to put a scarlet-and-gray uniform back on and punish a few Oregon State linebackers in Sam Boyd Stadium.

Not the case, he said.

“I think everyone plays at a certain time and a certain level. It was time for me to move on,” said the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie. “I’m fortunate and blessed enough to have that opportunity right now. So I’m thankful.

“I had a great time here at UNLV. Tonight, I’m here to support them and see them win this game.”

Asked about a prediction, he said UNLV will beat Oregon State. When pressed for a score, he smiled.

“I don’t know,” Summers said. “Doesn’t matter. Style points don’t matter. In my book, a win is a win.”

Jerry Koloskie, UNLV’s interim athletic director who is from West Virginia and a lifelong Steelers fan, told Summers to “just win baby, that’s all that matters.”

Thursday night, Summers participated in his first regular-season NFL game for the Steelers. At Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the defending Super Bowl champions defeated Tennessee, 13-10, in overtime.

The 5-foot-9, 242-pound Summers started at fullback for Pittsburgh.

“I don’t think I could have looked around and taken enough deep breaths to soak it all in,” he said. “A great, great experience. I enjoyed every second of it. Obviously, it was a great game for people to watch.

“It was an even better feeling for me to play in it.”

“The Tank” got in a handful of plays at fullback, and he was in on all punts and punt returns, and kickoffs and kickoff returns.

Summers, a fifth-round draft choice by the Steelers, won’t forget his first NFL snap.

“A power play,” said the man tabbed by Lindy’s magazine as the toughest player to bring down last season in the Mountain West Conference.

He won’t soon forget a couple of Titans, either.

“I had to block defensive end Jevon Kearse and linebacker Keith Bulluck a few times,” Summers said. “Those two stood out to me, two Pro Bowl players, maybe some day Hall of Famers. And I was able to be on the same field and play against them."

He won’t soon be forgotten on the UNLV campus. Summers is the only Rebel to lead the team in rushing touchdowns (six) and receiving TDs (four) in the same season – which he accomplished as a junior in 2007.

Summers spent Saturday night walking the sidelines behind the Rebels' bench, cheering on his teammates and waving to his many fans.

“It’s very important for me to be here,” he said. “We had a great game against Arizona State last year … for me to support my alma mater against another Pac-10 team means a great deal. I want to give the guys some confidence and support, and see them win tonight.”

Summers caught a flight from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas early Friday morning, and he’ll fly back to Pittsburgh early Sunday morning. He said he will try to attend as many UNLV games, home and away, as possible this season.

The 24-year-old Oakland native said he considers Las Vegas to be his new hometown.

“The program and the city mean so much to me,” Summers said. “Vegas is where I’ll raise my family and live every offseason in my life. My fans know I’m the same blue-collar, hard-working guy.

“I’ll give it my all. I’m on that team to make plays. I’m just very proud and very excited for next week against the Chicago Bears.”

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  1. Frank whiffed on several key blocking assignments against the Titans. He better step it up. Though he was hardly the only one, he had no luck running the ball either (the Steeler O-line is very bad at run blocking). We need the Tank to clear holes for Willie Parker, protect Big Ben, and crash through the line on short-yardage carries. Albeit it was just one game, but we didn't what we need of the above, yet. Come on, Frank! You're the man now, start knocking guys down!

  2. he whiffed on the 2nd play...the 1st play he effectively blocked the first guy that came through. One the 2nd play he simply missed the block.

  3. Haters....