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UNLV practice recap: Rebels working with good pace

The UNLV football team completed another fall practice Wednesday morning to prepare for its first game at home against Jackson State on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

The Rebels are using both this week and next week to prepare for Jackson State, which allows coach Tony Sanchez to cut some reps off in team sessions of practice to keep legs fresh.


“I thought it went well. I thought the guys did a good job pacing. We got 24 plays done in 12 minutes, that’s pretty good when you’re going 30 seconds a play and huddling up. Guys were moving at a good tempo, good pace.

“Every day, as a coach, there’s things you’ve got to get better at and you’re not 100 percent on. Little things about being consistent and not turning the ball over, we did a good job of that today.”


Following UNLV’s mock game at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday, Sanchez directed his team’s attention to the video board to watch their intro video and see a special message.

The message: “Congratulations on a full ride scholarship Dalton Baker.”

Baker, a redshirt sophomore safety who started as a walk on, appeared in 11 games last season. The Bishop Gorman graduate, who played under Sanchez when he was there, played on special teams last fall and was third on the depth chart.

He’s still expected to contribute on special teams and is now a backup at safety.

“You look at him and go ‘he’s progressing the way a scholarship kid would,’” Sanchez said. “His role is going to be that of a major contributor so for me that identifies someone that earns a scholarship and deserves it.”

Baker’s first call was to his grandfather, Tom Baker, because he is his “biggest fan.”

“I was hoping it was me, then when I saw it was me, I was like ‘Wow,’” Baker said. “I had no words.”

Ben Gotz can be reached at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BenSGotz

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