Quarterback Stacy Conner, who has committed to UNLV, made his official visit this weekend and went through a day of game preparation and then the game itself Saturday.
He said he will sign in December and be on campus in time for spring practices.
“I just want to see a hard-fought game, really,” Conner said before the Rebels faced No. 19 San Diego State at Sam Boyd Stadium. “I want to see the offense move the ball. I want to see the defense make stops. At the end of the day, it’s a team game, so I just want to see a great team effort out of UNLV. I’m here to support. It’s my school. I love them.”
Conner, a 6-foot-5-inch, 175-pounder from Wylie (Texas) High School, arrived in Las Vegas as the valley tries to recover from last Sunday’s massacre on the Strip.
“It still doesn’t change the perspective on what I had on the school,” Conner said. “Crazy things happen in the world all the time, so it’s an understandable thing, even though it’s a tragedy.”
He is rated by 247Sports as a three-star recruit, and the Rebels could use a quarterback to develop behind redshirt freshman Armani Rogers. Their next two quarterbacks on the depth chart — Kurt Palandech and Johnny Stanton — are seniors.
“He’s one of the people that I look up to,” Conner said of Rogers. “I’ll look at him with his game, see what he does and get a feel of what he does on the field so I can learn from him.”
Emotional pregame ceremony
Both teams took the field for the national anthem, and first responders, medical professionals and police offers stood with them. A 100-yard American flag borrowed from the Las Vegas and Holiday bowls was unfurled.
Local singer Kaya Jones sang “God Bless America,” the same song she sang at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the same day 58 people were killed and almost 500 injured in the mass shooting across from Mandalay Bay. First responders released 58 white balloons.
Handling the coin flip was Addison Short, who was injured during the shooting and was in a wheelchair at midfield. Her father, Stacey, is a Metropolitan Police Department officer.
Pat Dalton, a local artist, sang “Proud to be an American” at halftime.
Good times at San Diego State
The Aztecs entered the game off to their first 5-0 start since 1975, and they are ranked nationally for the third successive week. It’s their longest stretch since making The Associated Press’ poll in the final three weeks of the 1977 season. San Diego State’s No. 19 ranking also is its highest since being ranked 19th on Jan. 3, 1978.
Going back to last season, San Diego State entered with a seven-game winning streak, the fifth-longest active one in FBS.