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September 16, 2014

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high school recruiting:

Moapa Valley lineman Mat McDermand picks UNR over UNLV football

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound McDermand will be the first in more than a decade from the Overton power to sign with a D-I school

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Sam Morris

Marthew McDermand

Moapa Valley High two-way lineman Mat McDermand committed to UNR football following an official trip over the weekend, Pirates coach Brent Lewis said.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound McDermand also had scholarship offers from UNLV, UTEP, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and Dartmouth. He visited UNLV two weekend ago.

He was the Division IA Lineman of the Year this past season. Last year, he was selected by coaches as first-team all-state on both sides of the ball. He projects as an offensive tackle in college.

“He is super smart and very coachable,” Lewis said. “He has really good hands and really good feet.

Moapa Valley, located about 65 miles outside Las Vegas in Overton, is a Division 1-A power. The Pirates’ lone loss this season was in the state semifinals, breaking a streak of seven straight state championship game appearances. In McDermand’s three varsity seasons, the Pirates posted a 34-6 record.

Yet, maybe because Moapa Valley is off the beaten path, the school receives little attention from recruiters. That changed with McDermand, who became the first since Aaron Attig in 2003 to go directly from Moapa Valley to a Division I school. Attig signed with BYU.

“We typically don’t get a lot of college coaches through here, but that changed since we had Mat. We had a ton of them,” Lewis said.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding. They aren’t official until an athlete signs a letter of intent. Signing day is Feb. 5.

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

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