rebels football:

Gorman’s Philippi, Scoggins Jr. switch commitments from New Mexico to UNLV

Hours before signing day, the hometown Rebels add a pair of three-star local prospects

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Bishop Gorman High School lineman, and UNLV recruit, Ron Scoggins, laughs with his teammates during practice Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 | 10 p.m.

The UNLV football program appears to have cleared a major recruiting hurdle.

Late Tuesday night, two highly regarded three-star prospects from perennial local power Bishop Gorman High switched their verbal commitments from New Mexico to UNLV.

Hours before Wednesday’s national signing day, Bishop Gorman High linebacker and safety Marc Phillipi , and offensive guard Ron Scoggins Jr. confirmed they plan on signing with the hometown Rebels.

Scoggins Jr. will be following in his father’s footsteps with the scarlet and gray — Ron Scoggins Sr. played during the mid-1980s.

Both stressed the importance of staying near their support system in Southern Nevada, giving UNLV a major boost of local talent. The Rebel program has long been criticized for not keeping local talent home.

Wednesday, that changes.

“I knew the right decision was for me to stay home where my church is and to stay with my family,” Scoggins Jr. said. “Nothing against New Mexico. It was just too far for my liking.”

Philippi, whose father Mark Philippi is UNLV's former strength coach, has four younger siblings and has long said the top priority in his decision was family. Last Friday, Philippi committed to New Mexico citing the opportunity to leave Las Vegas for college. However, the following day, he said the process wasn’t over and planned on re-evaluating the decision.

"When it came down to it, getting out of Las Vegas is what everyone wants, but for me it that was too big of a sacrifice,” Philippi said. "After I committed with New Mexico, it seemed like it should have been a done deal and I shouldn't have been having second thoughts. But I was.

"I thought I should go check out UNLV again," he continued. "I went back and forth a million times looking at the positive and negatives of each. The biggest positive is my family is going to get to see me play."

If the pledges stay true it would mark a significant victory for UNLV in coach Bobby Hauck’s third recruiting class. Both played a key role the past three seasons in leading Gorman to a 43-3 record, three state championships and national ranking. More importantly, they could pave the way for other locals (and players from Gorman) to consider staying home — a must for the Rebels' program to progress.

"They (the UNLV coaches) really did a good job recruiting me and expressing to me how I was a priority for them," Philippi said.

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

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  1. You can't fault a recruit for wanting to stay close to family. I believe that going away to college will help you mature. Good luck with the Rebels.

  2. You can't fault a recruit for wanting to stay close to family. I believe that going away to college will allow a young man to mature. Good luck with the Rebels.

  3. Yes! This is great to hear. The mark of a good program is one that gets the cream of the crop of it's local recruits. Hopefully this will lead to more recruits staying home to go to UNLV. It's good to see Scoggins and Philippi join the Rebel family! Go REBELS!

  4. those phone calls to UNM must have been tough... both are great gets.

  5. Scroggins will definitely contribute for the Rebels. Phillipi is a tweener, and in my opinion a special teams player. That could change if he gets bigger or faster. One way or the other would suffice.

  6. It seems as if every sports writer that reports on college football, at recruiting time, turns into a hopeless shill only able to pencil out hyperbole and just plain BS. Taking two kids from one of the worst, down and outers, in all of college football, isn't time to celebrate, acting like a lapdog to a head coach who will likely find his future on very shaky ground come the end of September. This should be a time of reflection as in, why are we still kicking it around with the basket cases like New Mexico. Check out these kids on Scout.com or Rivals.com -and you'll find that but for a few, little attention was paid by other schools to this list of high school athletes. In other words, BCS teams aren't shaking in their boots when they hear UNLV coaches are out combing the bushes. I predict before this upcoming seasons end two things will happen; 1-this same reporter will be calling for Hauks neck as one horrible effort after another thins the number of fans in the seats and supporters in total. 2- A large number of fans will be calling for the cessation of football at UNLV or at least dropping down to FCS and the Big Sky. (oh damn, Southern Utah plays in the Big Sky) I can see it now, "We don't have the money to compete, UNLV would be better improving the academics and putting less attention into a 1-4 wins per season football team"