UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez awarded scholarships to walk-on defensive backs Jocquez Kalili and Ty’Jason Roberts in a team meeting Thursday.
Both players will be seniors next season, and they will count against the 2019 recruiting class. They are each projected to start.
Kalili, who went to Desert Oasis, played in seven games last season and started four. He made 23 tackles, including two for loss, and forced three fumbles. Roberts, a backup cornerback, appeared in 11 games.
Sanchez surprised both players by bringing them to the front of the meeting room, and news of them receiving a scholarship was projected on the video board.
— UNLV Football (@unlvfootball) May 10, 2018
“It’s great for these guys on the team to see that when you work hard, put your head down and don’t worry about being on scholarship — just playing for the love of the game and executing at a high level you can be rewarded,” said Sanchez, according to a UNLV release. “That’s what happened today, and it’s well deserved.”
Both players said they didn’t expect to be put on scholarship.
“I just want to thank the coaches here and everybody that’s been supporting me and gave me the chance to walk on and prove myself,” Kalili said.
“I’m happy that they were able to see the work we’ve put in day in and day out,” Roberts said. “It’s just a blessing. There are no words to describe how grateful I am.”