Sanford looking for mental sharpness from players

After a week off for spring break, UNLV football coach Mike Sanford knew his players might be a little off when they returned to Rebel Park this afternoon.

So he had the players run at 7 a.m. and then met with them to talk focus them on a strong practice.

The effort was there in the afternoon, Sanford said, but he was disappointed in how the players got off at the snap count and with the center-quarterback exchange.

"We got a lot of stuff done on tape, but our mental sharpness wasn’t as good as I’d like it to be," Sanford said. "It’s a little bit to be expected, but I don’t ever want to make an excuse to say that we accept that."


Defensive tackle Malo Taumua wore the black jersey for the fourth time this spring, meaning he was the standout performer on his side of the ball from the previous practice. Right tackle Evan Marchal wore the jersey for the offensive side.

The nominees were wide receiver Rodelin Anthony and quarterback Omar Clayton on offense and end Isaako Aaitui and safety Travis Dixon on defense.


Cornerback Kenny Brown, who hurt his hamstring in offseason workouts, reaggravated the injury. Sanford said he didn’t know if Brown will return this final week of spring practices.


Sanford said he and the staff would take a hard look at the depth chart on Tuesday and see if any changes needed to be made. They also will decide the format for Friday’s spring game at Sam Boyd Stadium. It looks as if the past system of drafting teams will not be used.


UNLV practices at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Rebel Park. It is open to the public, and it is the final practice before the spring game.

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