unlv football:

Redshirt freshman Nick Sherry named UNLV starting quarterback

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry directs his teammates during the Rebels spring football game Friday, April 20, 2012.

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 | 6:33 p.m.

ELY — UNLV quarterbacks only passed for 1,315 yards and 10 touchdowns last year in 12 games to rank 118th out of 120 Division I teams in passing yards.

Strong-armed redshirt freshman Nick Sherry will get his chance to reverse that trend.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Sherry was named the Rebels’ starter Tuesday by coach Bobby Hauck for the Aug. 30 season opener against visiting Minnesota at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Sherry, who passed for 2,700 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2010 as a senior at Casa Grande High in Petaluma, Calif., had taken a majority of the snaps with the first-team during UNLV’s 11-day training camp in Ely.

Now, he’ll be under center for the season opener next week, beating out last year’s starter, Caleb Herring. The junior Herring is the backup quarterback and senior Sean Reilly is the third-stringer.

Sherry is confident he can be the difference-maker for UNLV’s under-achieving passing attack.

“I’m going to take chances. I’m going to throw the deep ball,” he said. “I’m going to throw the ball down the field. I’m going to extend the defense and make them respect the deep ball and respect the deep routes.”

For coaches, starting freshmen is a calculated risk, but Sherry’s ability and potential were simply too impressive for Hauck to keep on the bench.

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UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry seen March 6, 2012.

“He keeps improving. He has a big arm,” Hauck said. “He has improved his understanding of what it will take to get the job done. We feel he gives us a chance to be competitive against Minnesota. He has a tremendous upside. Let’s hope some of that potential gets realized soon.”

Herring passed for 1,004 yards and eight touchdown last year in starting nine games. Reilly completed 19-of-39 passes for 189 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Hauck said both quarterbacks were professional when learning they didn’t win the job.

“Everyone is excited for (Nick),” Hauck said. “The other two guys, Sean and Caleb, they are winners, and handled things with class and like adults.”

Sherry, who was the nation’s No. 86-rated quarterback out of high school by Scout.com, originally committed to Colorado in 2010. But when Colorado went through a coaching change, Hauck was able to find what turned out being the UNLV quarterback of the future.

Sherry spent last year learning the offense and the ins and outs of college football while redshirting.

“I’m going to go out there and work hard every day,” Sherry said. “(Being named the starter) does gives me a little excitement heading into the next couple of weeks, the next game.”

Sherry is the third freshman quarterback in school history to start a season opener. Travis Dixon was under center in 2007 when UNLV beat Utah State, and Jon Denton got the nod in 1996 at Tennessee.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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  1. As bad as I feel for Caleb, I am excited about this choice. Glad this choice was made now so everyone knows where they stand and Nick can focus on the task at hand. Go Rebels! Get ready! Do the work!!

  2. YES!
    As much as one game is just "one" game it is sure hard to forget about UNR...or SUU. Guess that's two, not one. Good Luck Nick. I'm sure Caleb will get some action so here's to hoping he proves me wrong when he does.

  3. "240-pond"... I guess spell check didn't catch that one...

  4. Not a surprise

  5. Good catch Dave: Thanks for looking out on my typos. I try to have a few per week! :)

  6. Ya for Nick...Just get in the fire.I wouldn't throw long if the defense is guarding for long. Read the Defense.if they play back throw under them.Don't just huck it.Maybe defense will over protect for pass and may need to run mostly who knows. AS in baseball Hit'em where they aint.Play smart.

  7. Ok good to get Nick named number 1 and let him develop asap. Caleb was limited, Riley no shot.
    I look at the roster and I can slowly see our overall size increase, were bigger on the front lines and running backs look to be solid over the next couple of years.
    I really hope Defensive coordinator JD Hill (4 time Super Bowl participant with the Buffalo Bills) gets the defense more competitive. I really see that side of the ball to do better this year especially if we keep producing lock down corners.
    Maybe outside Boise State we are in games and competing.
    Nick you got a returning offensive line, 3 solid running back, big tight end targets and the recievers can make plays relax and play to win.
    Fans can make a difference this year. I'll be there opening night in the end zone waiting for Sam Boyd Leaps!
    Good lick Rebs

  8. Fans will make the difference this year - especially all of the fans of the opposing teams coming to play at UNLV this year!
    With an over under wins at 3? I am not holding my breath. When you get to see a PAC 12 school like Washington State buck up to get a proven Head Coach who was out of work needing a job - Hello UNLV where are you - it makes you wonder when will UNLV wise up. A program builder committed to local talent staying and playing right away is needed. Someone who can actually think about putting a former Rebel on his Coaching staff.

    The local talent is there, yet we see it signing to go elsewhere with not even a mention of UNLV offering the kid a ride? What is Utah seeing in a Durango RB that UNLV can not see?

  9. You calling me out Kirkland trying to crack jokes...I read your stuff always crying.Bill Moss building a new stadium more like some minor improvements. Pac 12 schools can out spend us 10 to 1, We are the Oakland A's of baseball we have to more with less. WSU first season 1893 UNLV first season 1968....nothing like a 75 year head start. Enjoy the ascent trying giving to the RAF or buy some tickets or keep crying!

  10. As I have stated again and again, "The best Freshman is a Sophomore" -- Bernie Bierman

  11. Nice job Hauck, I commend you on your decision to name Nick Sherry starting QB. Now let's start the season off with a win over the Gophers! Go Rebels!