REBELS FOOTBALL:

UNLV releases depth chart for Thursday’s season opener at Wisconsin

A few competitions still ongoing, a few surprises on Bobby Hauck’s first two-deep of the fall

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Sam Morris

UNLV football head coach Bobby Hauck watches his team during practice at Rebel Park on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.

If last year proved anything, it's that Bobby Hauck's depth chart can be subject to major change from week to week, and guys must perform to keep their jobs.

But on Saturday, he released his two-deep for UNLV's nationally televised Thursday night season opener at Wisconsin, with a handful of surprises catching the eye. The Rebels and Badgers get underway at 5 p.m. PDT on ESPN.

Some of the notable spots on the depth chart include …

• The starting left tackle spot is still up for grabs between redshirt freshmen Brett Boyko and Cameron Jefferson. Jefferson has taken the bulk of the snaps with the first unit so far in fall practice and is considered to be the program's left tackle of the future. Either way, the starting offensive line will feature two freshmen, with Robert Waterman winning the job at center.

• Phillip Payne, the Rebels' All-Mountain West senior receiver who missed most of fall camp while recovering from a broken foot, is listed as a starter along with rising sophomore Marcus Sullivan. Bishop Gorman grad Taylor Spencer, who switched from safety to receiver in the spring, is listed as a No. 2 behind Payne. Not listed is senior Michael Johnson, who led the team in receptions last season, but was suspended in the spring for undisclosed reasons. He's still expected to see plenty of snaps early in the season.

• Caleb Herring won the starting quarterback job officially about a week ago, but junior college transfer Sean Reilly, despite an inconsistent camp, was able to cling to the No. 2 spot ahead of redshirt freshman Taylor Barnhill.

• Sophomore running back Bradley Randle had a stellar camp and earned the No. 2 spot behind last year's leading rusher, sophomore Tim Cornett. In front of them at fullback, redshirt freshman William Vea, who just switched over from linebacker a week ago, owns the top spot.

• At linebacker, highly-touted junior college transfer Princeton Jackson is still learning the ropes. He'll get playing time at middle linebacker, but is listed as a No. 2 behind senior captain Nate Carter. Converted running back C.J. Cox earned one of the starting jobs at outside linebacker.

• Senior captain Quinton Pointer, who played only one snap last season before undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL, will start at one cornerback spot. On the other side, last year's interception leader, senior Will Chandler, is listed as a No. 2 behind sophomore Palo Verde product Sidney Hodge, who had an outstanding camp all-around.

• Both safety spots are still up for grabs. At strong safety, it's between senior USC transfer Daniel Harper and sophomore Eric Tuiloma-Va'a. Redshirt Freshman Tajh Hasson and junior Kenny Brown are competing for the free safety gig.

• Juco transfer defensive backs Ken Spigner (cornerback) and Dre Crawford (safety) will both likely see playing time this season, but for now are not on the two-deep.

• Sophomore Green Valley product Nolan Kohorst held onto the job as UNLV's placekicker. Junior college transfer Chase Lansford will handle punting duties.

The full UNLV depth chart for the Wisconsin game is as follows, with starters bolded and listed first, with backups below them:

OFFENSE

LEFT TACKLE

69 Brett Boyko (6-7, 300, Fr.-RS) -or-

78 Cameron Jefferson (6-6, 290, Fr.-RS)

LEFT GUARD

63 Sean Tesoro (6-3, 315, So.)

67 Brad Overand (6-5, 280, So.)

CENTER

79 Robert Waterman (6-2, 280, Fr.-RS)

70 Jason Heath (6-3, 280, Jr.)

RIGHT GUARD

64 Doug Zismann (6-2, 290, Jr.)

58 Brian Roth (6-5, 295, Fr.-RS)

RIGHT TACKLE

77 Yusef Rodgers (6-2, 250, Jr.)

71 Shane Watterson (6-4, 280, So.)

TIGHT END

88 Anthony Vidal (6-5, 250, Sr.)

89 Austin Harrington (6-4, 235, Sr.)

WIDE RECEIVER

4 Phillip Payne (6-3, 205, Sr.)

21 Taylor Spencer (6-1, 195, Fr.-RS)

WIDE RECEIVER

18 Marcus Sullivan (5-9, 190, So.)

9 Eric Johnson (5-7, 170, Jr.)

QUARTERBACK

8 Caleb Herring (6-3, 190, So.)

14 Sean Reilly (6-4, 210, Jr.)

RUNNING BACK

35 Tim Cornett (6-0, 200, So.)

28 Bradley Randle (5-7, 195, So.)

FULLBACK

37 William Vea (6-0, 220, Fr.-RS)

Max Johnson (6-1, 225, So.)

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END

96 James Dunlap (6-1, 260, Sr.)

53 Matt Kravetz (6-1, 260, Sr.)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

47 Trent Allmang-Wilder (6-6, 280, Jr.)

99 Tyler Gaston (6-3, 280, So.)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

95 Alex Klorman (6-2, 275, So.) -or-

68 Nate Holloway (6-3, 350, So.)

DEFENSIVE END

92 B.J. Bell (6-2, 260, Sr.)

91 Alvin Amilcar (6-4, 265, Jr.)

WILL LINEBACKER

41 Tani Maka (6-1, 240, So.)

55 John Lotulelei (6-0, 230, Jr.)

MIKE LINEBACKER

36 Nate Carter (6-1, 235, Sr.)

40 Princeton Jackson (6-0, 205, Jr.)

SAM LINEBACKER

3 C.J. Cox (5-11, 210, Jr.)

43 Tim Hasson (6-2, 210, So.)

CORNERBACK

10 Quinton Pointer (5-10, 190, Sr.)

17 Kenneth Penny (5-11, 160, Fr.-RS)

STRONG SAFETY

22 Daniel Harper (5-10, 180, Sr.) -or-

13 Eric Tuiloma-Va'a (5-11, 185, So.)

FREE SAFETY

29 Tajh Hasson (6-1, 190, Fr.-RS) -or-

20 Kenny Brown (5-10, 175, Jr.)

CORNERBACK

23 Sidney Hodge (5-8, 175, So.)

1 Will Chandler (5-11, 185, Sr.)

SPECIAL TEAMS

PLACEKICKER

27 Nolan Kohorst (6-1, 175, So.)

39 Chase Lansford (6-2, 190, Jr.)

PUNTER

39 Chase Lansford (6-2, 190, Jr.)

27 Nolan Kohorst (6-1, 175, So.)

SNAPPER

AJ Martin (5-11, 210, Jr.)

HOLDER

Mike Clausen (6-2, 215, Sr.)

KICK RETURNERS

18 Marcus Sullivan (5-9, 190, So.)

9 Eric Johnson (5-7, 170, Jr.)

PUNT RETURNER

9 Eric Johnson (5-7, 170, Jr.)

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  1. I expect to see a much more competitive team this year. Each year we should see improvements on both sides of the ball, we'll see what happens.

  2. Go REBELS