Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 | 10:11 a.m.
The UNLV football team has received its first commitment from a local player.
Connor Afoa, a linebacker and running back from Foothill High in Henderson, verbally committed to the Rebels on Monday morning. He visited UNLV on Sunday with his mother and was offered the scholarship early Monday.
"I was looking for a home and it turns out that home was home," Afoa said.
Last year, UNLV signed eight locals.. This year, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Afoa appears to be the lone commitment.
He was scheduled to visit Utah State this past weekend, but said they pulled their offer and canceled his trip. He also received interest from Hawaii and Oregon State this month.
"He understands the game real well," Foothill coach Marty Redmond said. "He was the quarterback on defense for us. He could get everyone lined up where they needed to be. He's good against the run and the pass, and is real physical. He'll be a great compliment to what they are trying to do over there."
Afoa was recruited to play linebacker at UNLV.
"That's fine with me," he said. "I love hitting people and it's football. I couldn't be happier."
Afoa missed half of his senior season with a left knee injury. He had surgery Nov. 16 to repair a torn ACL and said his rehab is on schedule. He expects to be fully ready by August when he reports to camp.
Communication from colleges dropped after the injury, but Afoa credits Redmond for staying in touch with recruiters and helping him land a scholarship.
"This has been the most frustrated I've been in my entire life, especially the last two weeks," Afoa said of the recruiting process. "But I'm thankful it all worked out and I have a home. The coaches are really excited to have me."
National signing day is Wednesday. That is when verbal commits such as Afoa become official recruits when they sign a national letter of intent.