Defensive lineman Louvan Green didn’t commit when he visited UNLV in mid-December, and the Rebels’ coaches waited until signing day before finding out which school he would choose.
The first-team junior college All-American kept them in suspense by visiting Iowa State on Jan. 7 and Washington State this past weekend.
But Green’s letter of intent arrived on the fax machine in UNLV’s football offices Wednesday, allowing coach Bobby Hauck to include him in the official announcement of the Rebels’ class.
“Louvan never got on the phone and told me he was coming,” Hauck said. But Hauck wasn’t complaining, saying the coaches were “holding our breath every weekend” hoping Green would pick the Rebels.
Green (6 feet 2 inches, 295 pounds) was one of four signees from College of the Sequoias. He was the Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year after making 42 tackles, including seven for loss and two sacks.
UNLV also picked up a late addition when defensive lineman Sonny Sanitoa (6-4, 235) of Samoana High School in American Samoa committed Tuesday night. Hauck said Oregon State and Arizona made late pitches to bring Sanitoa in for recruiting trips.
“He’s in the infancy of his development,” Hauck said. “It will be fun to watch him grow.”
This was Hauck’s second UNLV class, and he appears to have found a base in College of the Sequoias.
In addition to Green, the Rebels signed offensive lineman Allen Carroll (6-4, 300), all-purpose back Eric Johnson (5-8, 175) and cornerback Ken Spigner (5-11, 190) out of the Visalia, Calif., school.
Carroll signed with Washington out of high school; Johnson was one of three early signees, meaning he can compete in the spring; and Rivals.com ranks Spigner as a three-star recruit.
“These guys kind of made a deal with each other they were going to come in and help us next year,” Hauck said. “(Spigner) was the guy that decided first that he wanted to come here, and he helped us get the other three.”
Eight junior college players signed, a higher number than Hauck would like but a necessity given the roster situation. And because UNLV went 2-11 in Hauck’s initial season, the Rebels could use the immediate help.
Linebacker Princeton Jackson (6-0, 230) of Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, is the highest-rated prospect — four stars by Scout.com and three by Rivals.
The Rebels also announced the early signing of defensive lineman Trent Allmang-Wilder (6-7, 280) of College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif. He also visited Kansas State, Washington State, Baylor and San Jose State.
UNLV signed 15 players from high schools, and Hauck said he would like to redshirt most of the freshmen after playing 14 first-year players last season.
Among the most notable:
■ Tight end Tyler Bergsten (6-4, 230) of Greenway in Phoenix. Scouts Inc. ranks him as a three-star prospect and the nation’s No. 70 tight end.
“He popped off the film,” Hauck said. “I think he’s a big-time player.”
■ Offensive lineman Patrick Carroll (6-5, 275) of St. Francis in La Canada, Calif. Rivals gives him three stars.
■ Wide receiver Devante Davis (6-3, 195) of North Shore in Houston. Rivals and Scout give him three stars.
■ Running back Elijhaa Penny (6-2, 245) of Norwalk (Calif.) High. He’s a three-star prospect, according to Rivals and Scouts Inc., and both rank him among the nation’s top 50 athletes. Penny rushed for 2,005 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
“I like the idea of giving him the ball and watching him wear people out,” Hauck said. “I like the idea of those 4-yard gains in the first quarter becoming 7, 8, 9 and 11 in the fourth quarter when you can get to the point you’re giving that guy 20 to 25 carries.”
■ Quarterback Nick Sherry (6-5, 220) of Casa Grande in Petaluma, Calif. He had committed to Colorado, but the Buffaloes dropped him after a coaching change. Hauck said Colorado tried to go after Sherry again, along with other Bowl Championship Series schools.
“He got burned in the process, and it was fun to see him stand up and do what he thought was right,” Hauck said.
■ Cornerback Fred Wilson (5-11, 165) of West High in Bakersfield, Calif. Scout rates him as a three-star prospect and the nation’s No. 105 cornerback.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914.