UNLV Football:

Rebels land first local football recruit in Foothill’s Afoa

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Justin M. Bowen

Foothill’s Connor Afoa gets helped off the field after reinjuring his knee during the game against Liberty for the Southeast Division title. Liberty came out with a 28-14 win.

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.

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  1. One local recruit? Thought coach's strategy was going to be recruit heavy in the state. Be the best team in Nevada with Nevada kids. Guess we will see for sure on Feb 2, but will be unfortunate if we only get one local.

  2. Hey Brian: There aren't many Division I qualities guys available this year in Vegas. Only signing one player definitely won't hurt Hauck's image in the community. He's sincere in filling his roster with locals.

  3. and I'm sure the younger local kids will be more likely to stay at UNLV after Hauck and his recruiters have been in their ear for two or three seasons.

  4. If they get the new stadium, they have a chance to develop a winning program. If they have to stay with Sam Boyd, they'll always be a lower tier team.

  5. The only recruit we land has a bum knee? Come on.

    Logic, you can't blame poor recruiting on a bum stadium. I don't think the Rebels stunk last year because they played at Sam Boyd.

    There are deeper issues going on than a stadium.

  6. Great news, and welcome home Afoa. To the others, it has been a mild year for local recruits it seems.

    Here is a site that lists NV players and schools of interest. In Afoa's case, only Utah St is listed so others may be listed similarly. http://hsnevada.scout.com/a.z?s=161&...

  7. It's sort of disturbing to see UNLV offer scholarships to so many guys that have no other offers from D1 FBS teams.. I realize we're probably a bottom 10 football program in the country, but it would be nice to see at least some better athletes on the field. Hopefully Afoa can heal up and be a good player, since it seems no one but the Rebels think it'll happen.

  8. UNLV has bigger problems if they are putting there hopes and dreams on an athlete with a bum knee and parties too much. Doesn't UNLV have enough of those kind of kids.