Thyroid cancer treatment to delay assistant Uperesa’s arrival to Ely

When UNLV’s training camp moves to Ely on Tuesday, interior offensive line coach Keith Uperesa won’t be on the trip.

Uperesa, who had surgery in May for thyroid cancer, is awaiting his first radiation treatment and will have a blood test Wednesday. He will learn more about his schedule a day or two later, but plans to eventually make it to Ely.

Tackles and tight ends coach Gary Bernardi will oversee the entire line during Uperesa’s absence.

“I’ll do what I can out here,” Uperesa said Thursday at Rebel Park after the newcomers practiced to open preseason camp.

“I talked to the (players) last night to bring them up to speed so they’re not alarmed when all of the sudden during camp I pop out of here for a few days. I wanted to let them know what was going on. We’ll work through this, and I’ll get better.”

WAITING LIST — Wide receiver Marcus Sullivan, a Cheyenne High School graduate, is academically eligible by NCAA standards. The state, though, isn’t satisfied.

Sullivan is awaiting math proficiency test results required for graduation in Nevada. Sullivan, the Review-Journal male Athlete of the Year, took the test July 14.

“Anything you don’t know for sure, you’re concerned about,” coach Mike Sanford said.

EARLY IMPRESSION — Sanford said defensive back Mike Grant, a transfer from Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., stood out among the newcomers.

“He showed a lot of competitiveness, a lot of natural ability,” Sanford said. “He’s got a chance to be right in the middle of that competition at corner.”

WHISTLING DIXIE — Defensive lineman George Vea, who went to Pahranagat Valley High, transferred to Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. His brother, William, is on a two-year Mormon mission and is expected to join UNLV next year. William Vea, a linebacker, signed in 2007.

SCHEDULE — UNLV will practice in split squads today at 8:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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