CENTER WATERMAN WORKING TO return TO FULL STRENGTH
ELY — Offensive linemen are expected to play with pain, and UNLV junior center Robert Waterman certainly had his share last season.
He played with shoulder and wrist injuries, but started every game and was named honorable mention All-Mountain West.
“You don’t really think about (an injury) when you’re on the field,” Waterman said.
Waterman (6 feet 2 inches, 290 pounds) underwent offseason surgery, which caused him to miss spring practices.
“I’m just rehabbing, trying to work my way back,” he said. “Hopefully, by the end of camp I’ll be where I was.”
Much is expected of Waterman this season, and at center, he is responsible for making the line calls. He was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, an award that goes to the nation’s best center.
“It makes a difference for us to have a center in there who knows what he’s doing,” coach Bobby Hauck said.
Wide receiver Kendal Keys, who signed with Boise State in February and later received his release, is in training camp with UNLV. Keys, a 6-3, 190-pounder from Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif., had chosen Boise State after also receiving scholarship offers from Arizona State, Colorado and San Diego State. His brother, Kenny, is listed as a starting safety for the Rebels. “I felt real comfortable here with the team and the coaches and how they acted toward me,” Kendal Keys said. “This felt like home.” He hasn’t been fully cleared academically, but has received preliminary clearance to be on the practice field. ... Mississippi transfer Frank Crawford ran with the first team Monday at sophomore Kenny Keys’ safety spot. Crawford also has a family connection to the Rebels, with his brother, Dre, starting two games at safety last season. Kenny Keys is still not in camp as he tends to a personal matter, so this could be the opportunity for Crawford, a senior, to make an impression. “We don’t have anything set in stone back there, so he’s going to get a chance,” Hauck said. “We didn’t bring him in here to sit and watch everybody play.” ... Coaches continued to experiment on the offensive line, putting sophomore Ron Scoggins and redshirt freshman Eric Noone at both starting guard positions. Sophomore Andrew Oberg also saw some time at both No. 1 tackle spots. “We’re going to mix some people in and give them a look,” Hauck said. ... Hauck told his players from Monday’s morning no-pad practice that he wanted to see intensity when they went into pads in the afternoon. The players went at it, nearly breaking into some fights. “That (intensity) is exactly what we want,” Hauck said. “We’re out here in pads. It’s a heavy practice and should be intense.” Most notably, junior Devante Davis and senior Jerry Rice Jr., both wide receivers, jawed with sophomore cornerback Fred Wilson. Davis even almost went over to the defensive sideline in search of Wilson. Rice had a verbal confrontation with freshman cornerback Torry McTyer.
Player Pos. Status
Taylor Barnhill TE Out
Max Ehlert LB Out
Eugene Johnson RB Out
Taylor Spencer WR Out
MARK ANDERSON/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL