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UNLV football creates ‘This is SportsCenter’ parody videos

Updated June 7, 2017 - 4:16 pm

The UNLV football team has gone viral again.

UNLV released its latest “This is SportsCenter” parody on Monday, and it quickly exploded on social media.

The Rebels’ grand moment was when ESPN aired the hit video during Tuesday night’s “SportsCenter.”

The 23-second clip begins with Rebels coach Tony Sanchez calling team equipment manager Rocky Rutledge for an update on the incoming freshmen’s jersey numbers. With the help of assistant recruiting coordinator Drew Jennison, Rutledge had a Las Vegas way of choosing numbers for the new Rebels — a game of roulette with Jennison spinning the wheel.

Jennison was the mastermind behind the grand idea. He also came up with the first parody, with wide receiver Brandon Presley finding out there’s another Presley on the team. You might have heard of him. Elvis Presley.

“We wanted an idea where we showed off Las Vegas,” said Jennison, also the director of social media for UNLV football. “Something that you can only do in Las Vegas. We thought this concept with the roulette was pretty funny, and the reaction has been great.

“Seeing myself on ‘SportsCenter’ was pretty wild. I actually wasn’t supposed to be in the video, but we needed to do it soon. Luckily, I had a vest and a bow tie.”

Former UNLV quarterback Kenny Mayne, a longtime ESPN reporter, gave the football program a shoutout on Twitter and announced that the parody was going to air Tuesday night on “SportsCenter” after the NCAA softball championship game.

“Not sure if Kenny pulled some strings to get us on, but it was cool knowing that the video was going to air on ‘SportsCenter’ after the softball game,” Jennison said.

Jennison said the team created the roulette video before the one with Presley, which was released first. Rutledge appeared in both videos.

“We liked both, but we released the Presley one first because it had a prominent name,” Jennison said. “It worked out. Everyone liked both. Gotta give credit to Rocky. He was the star and a natural.”

Joe Maggio, who runs the team’s video operations, was behind the camera for both spoofs. He also shot UNLV’s 2016 viral video in the weight room.

Now the pressure is on the UNLV social media team to create a better parody.

“We got some ideas, but we’ll let this one live on for a bit,” Jennison said. “We’ll release the next one around fall camp.”

More Rebels: Follow all of our UNLV coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJRebels on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

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