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UNLV adds 7 recruits during Odom’s 1st early signing period

UNLV football coach Barry Odom has only had the job for a little more than two weeks, but he still managed to add seven players to his roster Wednesday.

The Rebels announced the signing of six high school players and a junior college transfer on the first day of the early signing period for recruits.

“I’m excited about the start of this Rebel recruiting class,” Odom said in a statement. “We have added some pieces to our foundation that will help build our program.”

The Rebels added three offensive players, three defensive players and one lineman whose position is still to be determined.

A local player, offensive lineman Ed Haynes from Liberty, headlines the offensive class. He joins tight end Charlie Williams from IMG Academy in Florida and 6-foot-7-inch tight end Christian Earls, a junior college transfer who spent the past season at Kilgore College in Texas.

The defensive additions include a pair of California linemen — Maxwell Peterson from Eleanor Roosevelt High in Eastvale and Lucas Conti of Centennial High in Corona — along with linebacker Blesyng Alualu-Tuiolemotu from Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

Lineman Matthew Greene, from Centennial, Colorado, hasn’t specified whether he’ll play offense or defense.

Alualu-Tuiolemotu, Conti and Haynes are the highest-rated in the class, listed as three-star prospects by 247Sports composite rankings. The Rebels will have a chance to add more talent during the traditional signing day in February.

“I’m thrilled to add these guys today,” Odom said.

Conti was the highest-rated addition, according to recruiting services. The 6-5, 260-pound defensive lineman originally committed to Arizona, but decommitted Tuesday. He chose UNLV instead of offers from Power Five schools Washington State, Arizona State, Minnesota, Colorado and Arizona.

Haynes moved to Nevada from Monroe, Louisiana, in 2021. He committed to former Rebels coach Marcus Arroyo in September, choosing UNLV over Arizona State, Oregon State, Hawaii and Utah State.

The 6-3, 265-pounder stayed committed to UNLV after the coaching change and took an official visit in early December. Haynes was considered the No. 11-ranked player in Nevada by 247Sports.

Alualu-Tuiolemotu committed to Arroyo in July. He chose UNLV over UNR, New Mexico State and Army. The 6-2 linebacker was considered the 15th-best player in Hawaii by 247Sports.

“The urgency that our staff has in recruiting will help transform UNLV football to great success,” Odom said. “And these early signees all have skills and qualities that will be a huge part of that.”

Alualu-Tuiolemotu, Conti, Earls and Williams will enroll at UNLV in January.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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