Hinds braced for fully healed return to Rebels

Aside from the brace on his right knee, it was difficult to tell that UNLV junior quarterback Rocky Hinds underwent surgery in January to repair a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“I feel 100 percent,” Hinds said. “My knee hasn’t given me any problems. I’m feeling real confident.”

He injured the knee early at Iowa State, the second game last season. Even his teammates didn’t know he had torn his ACL, and Hinds did not miss any games. The only start he missed was at Brigham Young.

It was the second time he tore that ACL, suffering the same injury as a senior at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, Calif.

Hinds wore a knee brace all last season, and must keep it on for a year following surgery.

“I’m used to it now,” he said.

MARVEL-LESS — Junior wide receiver Justin Marvel’s once-promising but injury-plagued UNLV career might be over.

Marvel has not reported, and coach Mike Sanford said Saturday he has not been able to talk to him. Sanford said he has spoken to some of his players, and that Marvel is dealing with “personal issues.”

“Nothing with the law or anything like that,” Sanford said.

Sanford said he hoped to soon know Marvel’s intentions, but the player might not be allowed back on the team even if he decides to report.

A lingering shoulder injury limited Marvel to 11 catches and 11 games over the past two seasons.

MORE THAN A PUNTER — Rarely does a punter also line up at wide receiver and run patterns. But junior walk-on Zach Davis played both positions and handled place-kicking at Moapa Valley High and Arizona Western College in Yuma.

He is competing with senior Brian Pacheco to be the starting punter, and Davis averaged about 42 yards at Arizona Western.

“Obviously, we have pretty good depth at the kicker position right now, so we’ve told him he needs to concentrate on punting,” Sanford said. “A second thing he wants to be is a wide receiver, but he’s competing for the punting job.”

Given the depth at wide receiver, Davis’ chances of breaking into the lineup at that position aren’t promising.

“I’m trying, but I don’t know how that will work,” said Davis, a Scout.com all-state kicker in 2004 who was known for making 50-yard field goals. “We’ve got so many out there.”

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