Rebels’ Geathers will skip senior year

Jeremy Geathers comes from an NFL family. Now he’s leaving UNLV early to see if he can continue that tradition.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 245-pound defensive end acknowledged Friday there would be skepticism about him coming out after his junior season, but he said cousin Robert Geathers Jr. faced similar questions when he left Georgia in 2004.

Robert Geathers, also a defensive end, was drafted by Cincinnati in the fourth round and has tallied 201/2 sacks in four seasons with the Bengals.

Jeremy’s father, Jumpy Geathers, had 62 sacks with four NFL teams from 1984 to 1996. Jeremy uncle, Robert Geathers Sr., played six seasons in the league.

Jeremy Geathers said his "family name is pretty strong" and should get him a serious look in the NFL.

"(Robert Jr.) and my dad were probably the first people that I called because of all their NFL experience," Geathers said.

He said the "challenge" of playing in the NFL wasn’t the only reason he left. He wasn’t happy about the resignation of Rebels co-defensive coordinator Kurt Barber last month.

"He was the whole reason I came there," Geathers said.

In two seasons at UNLV, Geathers had 101/2 sacks and 151/2 tackles for loss. He had five sacks and six tackles for loss last season.

Geathers has hired agent Bill Johnson of Atlanta’s ProFiles Sports Inc.

• OFFICIAL VISITS — The Rebels will host nine high school recruits this weekend, including offensive lineman Shane Watterson, who has committed to UNLV. The 6-6, 280-pound Watterson is a two-star prospect and rated the nation’s No. 125 offensive tackle by

Also scheduled to visit are defensive end Jesse Backerman (6-2, 200) of Marana High in Tucson, Ariz.; defensive end Beau Brence (6-4, 230) of Plano (Texas) Senior High; tight end Sean Brown (6-5, 220) of Oakland (Calif.) Technical; cornerback/safety Marlon Johnson (5-11, 173) of Inglewood (Calif.) High; free safety Courtney Osborne (6-2, 170) and wide receiver Steven Osborne (6-4, 191) of South Garland (Texas) High; wide receiver Gerome Surrell (5-10, 197) of St. Mary’s High in Stockton, Calif.; and offensive lineman Xavier Vigney (6-7, 270) of De La Salle High in Concord, Calif.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at or (702) 387-2914.

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