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Ex-Bishop Gorman star Tate Martell might start at QB for UNLV

UNLV will start a different quarterback for the third consecutive week when it hosts No. 14 Iowa State on Saturday night at Allegiant Stadium.

Sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield did not practice this week after sustaining an undisclosed upper body injury in the third quarter of a 37-10 loss Saturday at then-No. 23 Arizona State, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

As a result, “someone who hasn’t started yet” will get the nod against the Cyclones, the person said. That probably means freshman Cameron Friel or fifth-year junior Tate Martell. And it would eliminate junior Justin Rogers, who started the season opener but struggled and was replaced by Brumfield in the second half.

The 6-foot-3-inch Friel earned plenty of praise from his coaches during spring practice and training camp after enrolling in January. The 220-pound right-hander reportedly had offers from Power Five programs Arizona State and Colorado. He has not played for the 0-2 Rebels.

Neither has the 5-foot-11-inch Martell, who transferred as a walk-on to UNLV from Miami in the summer. He missed the brunt of training camp while recovering from offseason surgery to his throwing hand, but started practicing last week. Martell guided Bishop Gorman to three consecutive mythical national championships as one of the top quarterback recruits in the graduating class of 2017.

Martell began his career at Ohio State and transferred after two years to Miami, where he played sparingly after converting to wide receiver.

Rebels coach Marcus Arroyo said Monday that Brumfield was day to day, but added that if he wasn’t ready to play that “we’ll have those (quarterbacks) all locked down and see what we can do.”

Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock told reporters that the Cyclones are preparing for all of UNLV’s quarterbacks, noting that he wouldn’t be surprised if Martell played in some capacity.

“We’ve watched film and studied them all this offseason,” Heacock said. “Wouldn’t be surprised to see Tate Martell in there. But really getting ready for all of them. … I think we tried to sort out the plays and the formations. And the studies and all that stuff that we did in the offseason for the last five months and try to sort out who they are. Obviously, there are ties to Oregon.”

Either way, the Rebels figure to have their hands full with the Cyclones (1-1), who project as one of the Big 12’s best teams. Junior Breece Hall is among the top running back prospects in next year’s NFL draft, though he’s averaging 3.5 yards per carry.

Senior quarterback Brock Purdy hasn’t thrown a touchdown while accounting for three interceptions.

But expect to see an angry Iowa State team that was upset at home last week by Iowa.

“You’ve got another top 25 team coming in here that’s loaded,” Arroyo said. “We’ve got our hands full with a really good football team that’s experienced with good depth. I think that challenge is just like last week, something we’re excited about to see exactly how we can go out there and perform.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviwjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter

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