Three seasons in, Hauck's first UNLV recruiting class has mixed results


The temptation always is to judge a recruiting class immediately, relying on various ratings to determine a football coach's ability to woo and evaluate talent.

The truth is it takes about three years to decide the merits of any class.

And it's been three years since UNLV coach Bobby Hauck's first class, which was considered promising considering his late start after being hired two days before Christmas.

It's an assessment that generally holds up.

"It looks like 19 guys committed on Jan. 10 or after," said Brandon Huffman, national recruiting analyst for Fox Sports/Scout.com. "You look at the group of guys they had. Ian Bobak had other offers. Taylor Spencer had other offers. They were able to get guys from established programs and with coaching staffs in place."

Running back Tim Cornett, who rushed for 1,232 yards and seven touchdowns this season, highlights the class. Other standouts include first-team All-Mountain West kicker Nolan Kohorst and offensive lineman Cameron Jefferson, who started every game this year.

Several other notable players also were part of that first class.

As with most classes, UNLV had its share of misses, with several players making a minimal impact.

Some recruits are no longer on the roster. Wide receiver Kurt Davis transferred to Montana State, and defensive lineman Kjelby Oiland left for Montana. A medical issue ended the promising career of defensive end Bobak, and a family matter halted running back Dionza Bradford's strong start.

UNLV's 6-32 mark under Hauck suggests the recruiting efforts haven't gone well, but Huffman said basing such a judgment strictly on a coach's record isn't always fair.

He said Hauck has recruited well, but other factors affect how seasons play out, including the quality of coaching players receive when they arrive.

As an example, Huffman pointed to UCLA going 9-4 this season under first-year coach Jim Mora, who replaced Rick Neuheisel. The Bruins were 21-29 in four seasons under Neuheisel.

"Jim Mora did a way better job than Neuheisel, but a majority of players are Neuheisel guys," Huffman said. "Neuheisel did a really good job recruiting, but a horrible job of coaching."

As for UNLV's current class, Scout.com lists five players as commitments.

Two are locals - wide receiver Devonte Boyd (6 feet 2 inches, 170 pounds) of Basic High School and running back Niko Kapeli (5-11, 195) of Liberty High.

Boyd is one of three wide receivers. The others are Jack Killian (6-0, 195) of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif., and Jonathan Swindell (6-3, 195) of Downey (Calif.) High.

The other listed commitment is defensive end Efrem Clark (6-3, 265) of Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.

Huffman noted it's a small number of commitments at this point, but Hauck usually builds the class slowly. He likes to save some spots for a strong finish, when some recruits are caught in a numbers game at more big-time schools.

"UNLV is in the catbird seat if a player is squeezed out because he overplayed his hand," Huffman said.

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

Bobby Hauck's 2010 signees

HIGH SCHOOL
LB Kyle Anderson, Silverado (Las Vegas) - Served a Mormon mission. Expected to join UNLV in 2013.
QB Taylor Barnhill, Justin Northwest (Rhome, Texas) - Moved from quarterback to tight end to linebacker and back to tight end. Started five games this season, catching 14 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
DL Ian Bobak, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) - Showed early promise, but was forced to leave the team in the spring for medical reasons.
RB Dionza Bradford, Serrano (Phelan, Calif.) - Rushed for 615 yards and three touchdowns in 2011, but left temporarily the following spring and permanently during the season because of a family matter.
LB Perry Cooper, The Woodlands (Texas) - Played in 12 games this season, making nine tackles, including one for loss.
RB Tim Cornett, North Shore (Houston) - Became the Rebels' first 1,000-yard rusher in eight years after gaining 1,232 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. With 2,449 career yards, he is within range of the school rushing record of 3,149 yards set by Mike Thomas in 1973 and 1974.
WR Kurt Davis, Centennial (Bellflower, Calif.) - Caught three passes for 37 yards in two seasons before transferring to Montana State earlier this year.
DL Tyler Gaston, Rancho (North Las Vegas) - Started three games and played in 12 this season, making 27 tackles, including three for loss and one sack.
Ath Tajh Hasson, Cathedral (Los Angeles) - Started five games at safety this season and three at cornerback, finishing with 46 tackles, including two for loss. Also broke up five passes, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble.
OL Cameron Jefferson, Desert Oasis (Las Vegas) - Played mostly left tackle, but also saw time at right tackle and left guard. Started every game this season.
PK/P Nolan Kohorst, Green Valley (Henderson) - Named a first-team All-Mountain West kicker this season after making 12 of 14 field goals and 32 of 33 extra points.
OL Alex Novosel, Chatfield Senior (Littleton, Colo.) - Grayshirted in 2010 and redshirted in 2011. Missed entire 2012 season because of injury.
DL Kjelby Oiland, Ferris (Spokane, Wash.) - Played in five games as a freshman, making six tackles, before transferring to Montana in 2011.
DB Kenneth Penny, Lancaster (Texas) - Made 34 tackles, broke up four passes and returned a fumble 30 yards while starting eight games at cornerback this season.
OL Brian Roth, El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.) - Played in 11 games this season, primarily on special teams.
TE Jordan Sparkman, Point Loma (San Diego) - Moved to defense in 2011. Totaled 33 tackles, including three for loss and one sack, while starting six games at defensive end this season and playing in all 13.
DB Taylor Spencer, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) - Caught nine passes for 116 yards and a touchdown this season.
DL Desmond Tautofi, Calvary Chapel (Las Vegas) - Redshirted 2012 season after playing in 11 games in 2011 and grayshirting in 2010.
DB Eric Tuiloma-Va'a, Desert Pines (Las Vegas) - After starting four games in 2010, has seen his playing time diminish and finished this season with eight tackles, including one for loss. Also blocked a kick.

JUNIOR COLLEGE
TE Anthony Vidal, Orange Coast (Huntington Beach, Calif.) - Caught 24 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown in his two seasons.
 

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