Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
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Ray Brewer and Ryan Greene take a look at UNLV's Signing Day haul under first-year coach Bobby Hauck and his staff, who had less than a month to work their magic on the recruiting trail.
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2010 recruits expected to sign Wednesday
- Kyle Anderson, LB, 6-2, 230, Silverado High
- Taylor Barnhill, QB, 6-4, 212, Northwest High (Justin, Texas)
- Ian Bobak, DE, 6-4, 245, Bishop Gorman High
- Dionza Bradford, RB, 6-0, 190, Serrano High (Phelan, Calif.)
- Perry Cooper, LB, 6-3, 215, The Woodlands High (Woodlands, Texas)
- Tim Cornett, RB, 6-1, 190, North Shore High (Galena Park, Texas)
- Kurt Davis, WR, 6-4, 200, Centennial High (Compton, Calif.)
- Tyler Gaston, DT, 6-3, 260, Rancho High
- Tajh Hasson, DB, 6-1, 180, Cathedral High High (Los Angeles)
- Cameron Jefferson, OL, 6-7, 250, Desert Oasis High
- Nolan Kohorst, K, 6-0, 165, Green Valley High
- Kjelby Oiland, DT, 6-4, 270, Ferris High (Spokane, Wash.)
- Kenneth Penny, ATH, 6-0, 170, Kimball High (Lancaster, Texas)
- Brian Roth, OL, 6-5, 290, El Toro High (Lake Forest, Calif.)
- Jordan Sparkman, TE, 6-6, 240, Point Loma High (San Diego)
- Taylor Spencer, LB, 6-1, 190, Bishop Gorman High
- Desmond Tautofi, DE, 6-4, 275, Calvary Chapel High
- Eric Tuiloma, DB, 5-11, 185, West Ranch (Calif.) High
- *Anthony Vidal, TE, 6-5, 250, Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
UNLV recruit Tim Cornett is a close second.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Cornett, who is verbally committed to sign with UNLV today on national signing day, was one of the fastest running backs in Texas last fall.
"The one thing Tim will bring to UNLV is great speed," Aymond said. "We are in a speed league here, and Tim has already played against the best Texas has to offer."
The Rebels are expected to receive letters of intent from 19 players today, including four from talent-rich Texas who were primarily recruited by Cormier.
Cormier, who was clocked at 4.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash as a senior, was the Touchdown Club of Houston's offensive player of the year in 1996 after leading North Shore to a 13-1 record. He played four years in college at Colorado before entering the coaching ranks, starting with a pair of two-year stints at Texas high schools.
He is using those connections to help first-year UNLV coach Bobby Hauck tap the Texas market. Texas is widely considered the mecca of high school football and has an overflow of talented athletes.
The four UNLV recruits, all of whom were lightly recruited, are a good indication of the players available. They highlight a class that Hauck, who was hired two days before Christmas, scrambled to put together in one month.
Cornett used his 4.3 speed to rush for 1,510 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2009 but went under the radar because he didn't make the always-competitive North Shore varsity team until his senior season. He only had offers at UNLV, New Mexico and UTEP, despite averaging 9.7 yards per carry and being a three-star prospect by recruiting Web Site Rivals.com.
"He's an unknown commodity," Aymond said. "He's a complete back. He can block, too. He's a big-time find for UNLV."
Cornett isn't the lone player with experience on Texas' big stage who is expected to sign.
Linebacker Perry Cooper, a two-star recruit by Rivals, comes to UNLV from The Woodlands High, where he helped the Highlanders to a No. 12 ranking by USA Today and No. 3 ranking in Texas' highest division.
On a team with an offensive lineman committed to national champion Alabama and a wide receiver headed to Arizona State, it was the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Cooper who was elected by his peers as a team captain.
"Linebacker was a priority for UNLV. and they wanted to come to Texas and bring some talent back," The Woodlands coach Mark Schmid said. "They came here specifically for Perry. When he steps on the field, he only knows one speed and that is 100 percent fast. There is no stop."
Cooper, who was third on The Woodlands with 78 tackles (13 for a loss), four sacks and two fumble recoveries, was on the bubble with several Division I schools. His only scholarship offer was from Buffalo.
He was sold on UNLV when Hauck made a home visit two weeks ago. Cooper was impressed with Hauck's determination to transform UNLV into a winner.
It's the same feedback other players and coaches — from Las Vegas to Washington state and California — have had about UNLV's new staff.
"(Hauck) is a very likable and straight forward," Cooper said. "He is a no-nonsense type of guy."
Coaches Aymond and Schmid both sensed this would not be the lone time Hauck and his assistants recruit Texas. With Cormier's knowledge of the area and established connections, the Rebels could find plenty of gems in the Lone Star state.
Schmid said he receives visits from roughly 80 schools each year, and this is one of the first times he remembers being contacted by UNLV. The Rebels signed two from Texas last year and had four recruits in 2008, but they only received three commitments from 2002 to 2007.
"Cedric told me they were happy to be (in Texas)," Schmid said. "We have a lot of good football players here and there are only so many who can go to Texas, Texas A&M or Texas Tech. That's the great thing about UNLV coming in here. For a school like UNLV or other mid-majors, there are a bunch of kids available for them to pick from."
UNLV also expects to receive a letter of intent from quarterback Taylor Barnhill of Northwest High in Justin, Texas, and athlete Kenneth Penny of Lancaster, Texas.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Barnhill passed for 1,027 yards and seven touchdowns last fall in his only year under center, and his team didn't win any games. But, like the others, he fits the Rebels' mold of recruiting players who aren't highly touted.
Hauck's initial class will also include eight from the Las Vegas Valley.