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Still one opening in Rebels’ running back rotation

ELY — UNLV coach Bobby Hauck still wants to use a three-player rotation at running back, even if only two have emerged to take spots.

Sophomores Tim Cornett and Bradley Randle have separated themselves from the competition during training camp. The third and final place in the rotation is between freshman Dionza Bradford and sophomore Imari Thompson.

"We’re giving them all a look," Hauck said. "I’m not so caught up in who gets the first play."

Senior Deante Purvis could rejoin the competition for playing time once he heals from a shoulder injury.

Cornett and Randle have had strong camps, each having broken several long runs.

Cornett has shown greater willingness than in the past to let a play develop, and that patience has resulted in several nice gains. Randle, always a tough player, doesn’t hesitate — despite being 5 feet 7 inches and 195 pounds — to run over a defender.

"I think (Randle) is pushing not only me, but the other running backs a lot," Cornett said.

Both players had impressive credentials when they signed with UNLV, but Randle was more touted. He was ranked as the nation’s No. 50 running back by Rivals.com and Scout.com, but redshirted in 2009 and had to adjust to a new system last season.

After carrying only 25 times for 109 yards in 2010, finally it appears as if this season Randle will get the chance to show what he can do during games.

"I’m expecting a lot out of myself this year," Randle said.

NOTABLE

Sophomore Caleb Herring, who was named the starting quarterback Sunday, worked with the hands team during a special teams drill Monday morning. Hauck said he didn’t anticipate using Herring in such a situation during a game, but didn’t rule it out. "If we need an onside kick to win our rivalry game or something, it doesn’t matter who’s out there," Hauck said. "It’s got to be the guys who are going to get the ball." … Senior wide receiver Michael Johnson suited up a day after injuring his left knee, but didn’t take part in team drills. He did some light running. … Freshman cornerback Fred Wilson broke up four passes in the red zone during Monday’s afternoon practice.

 

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