Scoggins back, says he never left

Despite evidence to the contrary, UNLV junior offensive guard Ron Scoggins said he never left the football team.

And following Wednesday’s first day of training camp at Rebel Park, Scoggins did extra running, often a sign a player must earn his way back into his team’s good graces. His place in the starting lineup also isn’t guaranteed.

The Rebels certainly could use Scoggins, a Bishop Gorman High School graduate who started 19 games over the past two seasons. If he works his way back into the starting lineup, that would give UNLV four returning starters on its offensive line.

“We sat down and figured out that Ron wanted to be here,” coach Bobby Hauck said. “Obviously, we love the guy. I’m glad he’s back.”

Scoggins didn’t get into the reasons why he left/didn’t leave, but provided some insight regarding his recent talk with Hauck about coming back to/staying on the team.

“(Hauck) said everybody has their things that they go through,” Scoggins said. “He knows I was going through a few things, and he welcomed me back with open arms. I wouldn’t say welcomed me back because I never left.”

ALSO BACK — Senior cornerback Sidney Hodge, the only player remaining from previous coach Mike Sanford’s recruiting classes, has returned to give football another shot.

Hodge, who went to Palo Verde High, started the first two games last season before a shoulder injury ended his season and what appeared to be his college career. He, in fact, considered following his wife, Natiyah, into the military, but changed his mind.

With UNLV’s help, Hodge applied to the NCAA for an extra season of eligibility, and with that approval, he was back in the spring. He didn’t practice in the spring as he rehabilitated his shoulder, but is healthy now.

“I think not having that pain has reinvigorated him,” Hauck said.

Hodge joins a secondary that is the defense’s strength, and is listed behind senior Kenneth Penny at one corner spot.

He had to watch last season as UNLV posted its first winning record since 2000, but now Hodge can have a hand in helping the Rebels attempt to succeed this year.

“I want to be a part of something good,” Hodge said.

BATTLE BORN — Sophomore linebacker Marc Philippi, who prepped at Gorman, is wearing the No. 36 Battle Born jersey this season. The honor goes to a Nevadan, and the jersey number represents the Silver State as being the 36th addition to the union. A patch with the state flag is on the back of the jersey.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

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