UNLV's Randle starts to fulfill considerable promise

Running back Bradley Randle signed with UNLV under the heavy expectations of a top recruit expected to be one of the Rebels' best players.

The junior has had his moments, but as recently as last season, Randle was third on the depth chart behind Tim Cornett and Dionza Bradford.

Now with Bradford gone, Randle is making the most of his opportunities to make good on his promise. The son of former major leaguer Lenny Randle is coming off two strong games.

He rushed for three touchdowns on Sept. 22 in the win over Air Force and for 91 yards on 14 carries Saturday at Utah State. For the season, Randle has rushed for 261 yards and four touchdowns and is averaging 4.1 yards per carry.

"It just took me a little time," Randle said. "I'm more comfortable with the game because I've been playing for years now. I'm 22 years old, so I've pretty much seen it all, know it all, done it all. It's like high school now to me, actually."

Cornett remains the primary back. He has rushed for 507 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

At least Randle knows he will get his chances to live up to the hype.

That spotlight made him feel uncomfortable when he arrived at UNLV in 2009 as the nation's No. 50 back, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com.

He averaged 4.4 yards per carry entering this season, but had only 598 yards through his first two years.

"I feel like I'm starting to answer some of those questions," Randle said. "It took some years and a couple of months. I just had to be patient."

■ LOOKING AHEAD - UNLV must try to slow a Louisiana Tech offense averaging 52 points, but the Rebels (1-4) might have one factor in their favor when they visit the Bulldogs (4-0) at 4 p.m. PDT Saturday.

Perhaps Louisiana Tech is looking ahead to its game the following week against Texas A&M.

"Yeah, that'd be great," Rebels coach Bobby Hauck said. "They should be."

UNLV, of course, has its own big game Oct. 13 against UNR.

"I wasn't even aware we played them," Hauck said. "Are they next?"

Someone asked if he was kidding.

"No one knows but me," Hauck said, with a big smile on his face.

■ PUTTING UP NUMBERS - Redshirt freshman Nick Sherry has surpassed the season total of last year's top passer.

Sherry has thrown for 1,150 yards through five games. Caleb Herring, who started eight games last season, threw for 1,004.

Sherry is on pace to throw for 2,990 yards. That would be the highest total since Jon Denton passed for 3,591 yards in 1996. Sam King, who had 3,778 yards in 1981, is the only other Rebels quarterback to surpass 3,000 yards.

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