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Evaluating Tony Sanchez’s recruiting classes at UNLV

UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez will announce his fifth recruiting class Wednesday, and snap judgments will be made as to how it stacks up with the rest of the Mountain West.

The more accurate way to evaluate is to look back, the further the better. Last year’s recruiting class, for example, still has many more questions than answers because few players received enough snaps to get a true idea of their abilities.

Some things are clear, however.

“You’re going into spring football with 97 guys,” Sanchez said. “That’s tremendous. We’ve never had those numbers before. A lot of that is because of so many early enrollees. We have 10 offensive linemen who have started a game returning. That’s more than the guys we had on scholarship when we got here. It’s taken a long time to get our numbers where they needed to be.”

UNLV Football Coach Tony Sa… by on Scribd

Here are some observations of his classes:

— Sanchez had a quality initial class in 2015, landing three Mountain West honorable mention offensive linemen and other such impact players as safeties Evan Austrie and Javin White, linebacker Gabe McCoy and running back Lexington Thomas. All Thomas did was become a two-time all-conference honoree and the second-leading rusher in Rebels history.

— The class in 2016 added a franchise quarterback in Armani Rogers as well as notables such offensive lineman Jaron Caldwell, wide receiver Mekhi Stevenson and running back Charles Williams. But there were misses, too. Five signees never played, two of them transferring to Fresno State. Two defensive players — safety Robert Jackson and linebacker Brian Keyes — made any kind of real impact.

—  Though there is still so much unknown about the 2017 and 2018 classes, some have stood out. Linebacker Farrell Hester II, defensive end Roger Mann and safety Drew Tejchman from 2017, and wide receiver Tyleek Collins from last year have shown plenty of promise.

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Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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