Running back makes switch back to Rebels

Running back Dionza Bradford’s second look at UNLV was at least as good as his first.

He first committed to the Rebels, but switched to San Diego State after UNLV fired Mike Sanford as coach in November. When Bobby Hauck was hired to replace Sanford, Bradford decided to give UNLV another shot.

“I always liked the school,” said Bradford, who attends Serrano High School in Phelan, Calif. “The location is close to home. The team is about to turn around. I want to be part of it.”

Bradford (6 feet, 200 pounds) was one of three football players to commit to UNLV on Sunday. The others were wide receiver Kurt Davis (6-5, 205) of Centennial High in Compton, Calif., and cornerback Kenny Penny (6-0, 170) of Lancaster (Texas) High.

As for Bradford, he was rated by as a three-star recruit and the nation’s No. 69 running back. gave him two stars.

Bradford rushed for 1,347 yards and 17 touchdowns last season even though a sprained ankle cost him three games.

He said UNLV coaches didn’t promise immediate playing time, but the chance was there. “They think I can come in, and I’ve got to work for it,” Bradford said.

Bradford now might even be able to help the Rebels’ on the recruiting trail. His Serrano teammate, linebacker Everett Beed (6-3, 225), is listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals and a two-star recruit by Scout.

“Arizona State offered him and he’s considering it, but I think we both want to go to the same school,” Bradford said. “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Davis is rated as a three-star prospect by both recruiting services. Scout ranked him the nation’s No. 82 receiver, and Rivals pegged him at No. 98.

He also had football scholarship offers from Utah and Colorado and basketball offers from UNR, Pepperdine and San Jose State. But Kurt Davis Sr. said his son probably will play just football.

“He went to the (basketball) game last night, and his blood started flowing a little bit,” Davis Sr. said. “He wants to go play football, and he’ll probably be a football player only right now.”

Penny, who said he has talked to Arizona State, played in just four games last season at Lancaster because of transfer rules. He caught four passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and scored on a 25-yard run.

The year before at Dallas’ Kimball High, he made 42 tackles and had three interceptions. Penny also caught 23 passes for 874 yards and scored five touchdowns.

He said he was timed at Tennessee’s camp, running 40 yards in 4.36 seconds.

Penny said UNLV’s coaches went out of their way to make this a memorable recruiting visit, showing players the Strip and Sam Boyd Stadium and taking them to Saturday’s basketball game against Utah.

“I really enjoyed the position coaches, and they took us down and really made us feel welcome,” Penny said.

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


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