Late commitments buoy Hauck's fourth collection of recruits


UNLV coach Bobby Hauck didn't count on much drama leading up to Wednesday's signing day.

Certainly not like in previous years when the Rebels snagged key football recruits in the final hours.

But drama - and good news - the Rebels received.

They notched a commitment Tuesday night and then watched a letter of intent arrive over the fax machine the next morning from a player who never told coaches he was coming.

All-purpose player Torry McTyer (6 feet, 175 pounds) originally committed to California, but the scholarship offer was withdrawn about two weeks ago reportedly because of Cal's high academic standards. Brigham Young, Fresno State and Wyoming entered the picture late, and McTyer even visited the Cowboys this past weekend.

He never made an official visit to UNLV but had been on campus and was impressed enough by the Rebels' recruiting pitch to accept the scholarship offer the night before signing day.

"It was a mad scramble with teams in our league trying to get him on board," Hauck said. "He was very definitive in that this was the place he wanted to be. He didn't think long about it."

McTyer, who attends Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, ESPN and 247Sports. He caught 33 passes for 662 yards and 10 touchdowns and produced two kickoff returns that were each at least 80 yards last season.

On defense, McTyer made 30 tackles, including nine for loss, and broke up 13 passes.

His father, Tim, was a defensive back at BYU in 1995 and 1996 and a three-year NFL player, suiting up for the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns.

Hauck said he was surprised to land McTyer but for a long time figured wide receiver Trent Riley (6-2, 195) would sign with the Rebels even if he never said he was coming.

But in their frequent talks, including one late Tuesday, Riley put out enough signs he would send in a letter, which he did Wednesday morning.

"We were on him a little bit late," Hauck said. "I was excited that he's decided to come. He's a guy whose best days are in front of him. I don't think he's even scratched the surface. I think he's one of those guys that's going to develop into a special guy."

Riley caught 56 passes for 876 yards last season at Mount Si High in Snoqualmie, Wash. He also scored a school-record 25 touchdowns, including two on interceptions and two on punt returns.

His father, Eric, played for the New York Jets in 1987 and is Mount Si's offensive coordinator.

Part of the uncertainty of whether Riley would sign was he was drawing recruiting attention in basketball. Riley's brother, Tanner, plays at Portland.

This was Hauck's fourth recruiting class at UNLV, and he didn't expect to sign 20 players, figuring the number would be closer to 17. He ended up landing 13 high school players and seven from the junior college ranks, including five who signed early.

The Rebels have grayshirts from last year's class who count against this total, and they also are beginning to bump up against the 85 total scholarship limit.

To make room, some players from this class will be asked to grayshirt, meaning they can't enroll until January.

Feeling the urgency to win after three consecutive two-victory seasons, Hauck went heavy after junior college players. He said he wanted to fill in gaps with more experienced players rather than counting on freshmen and sophomores to step up.

Offensive lineman C.J. Backlund (6-4, 265) of Chabot College in Hayward, Calif., and defensive lineman Asten Koki (6-3, 255) of Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., still have academic work to take care of and won't join the team until the summer.

At least one of the four major ratings services gave three stars to seven signees in the entire class.

"The kids in this class really became believers in the process, and they believe in what we're trying to accomplish here," Hauck said. "So I'm fired up about the class, as I should be. If I wasn't, I probably wouldn't tell you, but I am honestly ecstatic about these guys."

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

 

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