ELY — Even though Omar Clayton was named UNLV’s starting quarterback on the first day of training camp, that doesn’t mean the competition at that position isn’t over.
No, Mike Clausen isn’t threatening to overtake Clayton. But Clausen is pushing him.
Seems to be working.
Clayton wore the black jersey Thursday, meaning he was the best offensive player from the previous day. The runner-up? That would be Clausen.
"It’s really good when we have both our ones and twos in the race for the black jersey," Clayton said. "It lets us know that we’re being productive in practice.
"We always come out and have really good competition between us. There’s not a lot of separation between me and Mike, so we kind of go tit for tat."
Linebacker Starr Fuimaono, who made two crushing hits on tailback C.J. Cox on Wednesday, wore the black for the defense.
UNLV didn’t go into the hard-hitting team drills at the end of practice as it often does in the morning, this time opting for a brief 2-minute offense.
With the No. 1 offense facing the starting defense, Clayton went 2 for 4 for 15 yards, both completions going to wide receiver Ryan Wolfe. Defensive tackle Jacob Hales, a Las Vegas High School graduate, sacked Clayton on one play. On another, safety Terrance Lee stopped Clayton for no gain.
Then the No. 2 offense went against the second-string defense. Clausen completed 2 of 3 passes for 25 yards, with wide receiver Michael Johnson making both catches. Clausen also picked up 10 yards on a scramble, but was sacked by safety Chris Jones, a Shadow Ridge High grad, on another play. Also, center Mike Donato of Eldorado High snapped the ball over Clausen’s head on one play.
NOT FEELING SO WELL
A stomach bug might be hitting the team. Three players were forced to sit out — tailback Channing Trotter, quarterback Dack Ishii and long snapper Eric Braner of Del Sol High. They are day to day. Tight end Luke Plante received a mild concussion, and will be out about two days. Another tight end, Alex Young, is being held out of contact because of a shoulder injury.
The Rebels go twice Friday (9:40 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.), and their major preseason scrimmage is at 10 a.m. Saturday. They practiced just once Thursday.