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UNLV lineman Justice Oluwaseun making fast recovery

Updated July 26, 2018 - 12:47 am

UNLV is mostly healthy as it prepares to open training camp Aug. 3, and the Rebels are especially encouraged by the progress of redshirt freshman guard Justice Oluwaseun.

The promising lineman tore an ACL in spring football practices, but coach Tony Sanchez said Wednesday that Oluwaseun could return in August.

That would be crucial for UNLV because Oluwaseun also can play center.

“When he comes back, he adds a whole other element to the offensive line,” Sanchez said at Mountain West media days at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Also, South Florida wide receiver Grantis Poole (5 feet 9 inches, 170 pounds) tweeted that he had committed to UNLV.

He also reportedly was offered scholarships by Nebraska and Florida Atlantic, among others. Statistics were not available for Poole, who attends Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Florida.

Sanchez said freshman defensive back Octavian Bell of Liberty High School is trying to receive academic clearance. One other signee, defensive lineman Moa Heimuli, didn’t qualify.

Moving to linebacker

UNR senior Malik Reed made first-team All-Mountain West last season at defensive end, recording 10 tackles for loss, including eight sacks.

But Reed, who is 6-1 and 235 pounds, wants to play the NFL. He went to his coach, Jay Norvell, who spent six years in the league as an assistant.

“I said, ‘Guys with your stature are linebackers, and I think that’s what we should do,’ ” Norvell said. “He’s a great pass rusher, and we don’t want to lose that part of his game. So we feel like we’ll be able to move him around.”

Reed said the transition to linebacker has gone smoothly.

“We feel like we can be bigger as a defense by moving me back at linebacker, and bringing bigger guys in on the D-line we felt like would be good for us,” Reed said.

Oops, he did it again

Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich began the tradition two years ago of coaches exchanging gifts at this annual gathering.

Last year, he brought a fake Elvis Presley.

On Wednesday? He hired a Britney Spears impersonator.

“I think it brings a lot of attention to the Mountain West conference media days,” Rolovich said. “It gets people talking about Hawaii. I like having fun.

“I don’t necessarily want to be the yearly court jester at this deal, but I think we’re in a battle to show how good our football is, and this gets people talking about it.”

UNLV’s Pantels up for Groza Award

UNLV’s Evan Pantels was named to the Lou Groza Award watch list, an honor that goes to the nation’s top kicker.

He enters his senior season as the Rebels’ career leader in field-goal percentage at 83.3. Pantels also has made all 70 extra point tries.

Media days expected to rotate

The conference has brought its football media days to Las Vegas since 2006, but now it hopes to begin rotating the event.

The plan is to place it in West Division locales in even years and Mountain Division locations in odd years. Media days probably will move to Denver next year, which is within a two-hour driving distance of three schools.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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