Canyon Springs senior defensive lineman Melvin Johnson made an oral commitment to UNLV on Tuesday.
Johnson is the first local high school player to commit to the Rebels since former Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez was hired nearly three weeks ago. His commitment is nonbinding, and the first day Johnson can sign a letter of intent is Feb. 4. College coaches cannot comment until that time.
“I believe in the coaching staff, and I think they’re going to bring a lot of hope to a lot of Vegas fans,” Johnson said.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 270-pound Johnson was a first-team All-Northeast League pick at defensive tackle. He made 22 tackles with one sack for the Pioneers (6-4) as a senior and is expected to play strongside defensive end for UNLV.
The Rebels were Johnson’s first scholarship offer, and he was also drawing recruiting interest from Weber State.
“Coach Sanchez said I can be the new face of UNLV, and that means a lot,” Johnson said. “I believe they’re going to do good things, especially with kids from Vegas.”