Rebels’ career scoring mark in reach for kicker kohorst
ELY — Senior kicker Nolan Kohorst, whose name already is prominent in UNLV’s record book, has a chance to become the school’s all-time leading scorer.
He’s just not sure he wants that recognition.
“Hopefully, the defense can do more scoring than I do,” Kohorst said.
Kohorst (6 feet, 180 pounds) enters the football season with 172 points, putting him within range of the record of 244 points by running back Mike Thomas in 1973 and 1974. The total also is within sight of the points record for a kicker of 240 set by Nick Garritano from 1991 to 1994. Garritano is College of Southern Nevada’s baseball coach.
Neither mark will be easy to reach. The most points that Kohorst, a Green Valley High School graduate, has scored in a season was 68 last year.
But he worked in the offseason with ex-Rebels kicker Daren Libonati, the former Thomas & Mack Center executive director, to change his approach by creating more of an extension, allowing Kohorst more accuracy and range.
“Coming into (training camp), I was a little worried, but I think right now I’m sitting in a good spot for the season,” Kohorst said.
Coach Bobby Hauck said he would feel comfortable letting Kohorst kick from 50 yards at Sam Boyd Stadium and from longer in higher-altitude locations.
“He had a really nice spring,” Hauck said. “I think he improved, and I think it’s carried on to camp.”
Sophomore safety Peni Vea came to training camp with extra determination. He missed five games last year with an arm injury, which kept a promising season from being significantly better. As it was, Vea made 52 tackles. “I feel really good,” he said. “I feel really hungry to get better.” In Wednesday morning’s scrimmage, Vea showed his ability by jumping a route and making a nice interception. “We’ve been going over film, so I generally know what to expect,” Vea said. He wasn’t the only one to pull off an impressive pick. Junior cornerback Tajh Hasson made a one-handed grab on the sideline. “Those guys have had a good camp,” Hauck said. “They’re doing some really good things. Obviously, we’re hopeful they’re going to do some of that when the lights are on.” UNLV’s first- and second-teamers had what amounted to a glorified team session with no tackling. The third-teamers went through a more traditional scrimmage. “I thought we did it right,” Hauck said. “We got out of it clean.” Sophomore quarterback Nick Sherry was particularly sharp. “It’s good to see because yesterday wasn’t his best day,” Hauck said. The Rebels received a scare when senior fullback Max Johnson went down with what appeared to be a serious injury, but he twisted his right knee and will be back soon. “I was worried about him because it’s one of those plays where that’s where guys get hurt,” Hauck said. “It’s that backside pursuit play. It was a dumb play by us on defense. I’m just glad he’s OK.”
MARK ANDERSON/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL