UNLV coach Tony Sanchez, on Day 14 of spring football practices Friday at Rebel Park:
“We did an eight-minute seven-on-seven and an eight-minute team (session). Everything else was going right to the special teams. We showed them the Hail Mary. We installed that so that they see it before August. We worked on some rush punt situations and things like that. So today was kind of more going through the processes and getting some (individual) work in and getting ready for tomorrow. So it was a good day.”
— Senior defensive lineman Ammir Aziz, who went to Durango High School, received the surprise after practice of a full scholarship.
UNLV brought in Farrell Dillon, who performs in the “Masters of Illusion” show at Bally’s, to involve Aziz in an act in which Dillon had to get out of a straight jacket while balancing on a skateboard over a cylinder. After Dillon freed himself, he asked Aziz to remove an envelope attached to performer’s chest.
Aziz read the news of the scholarship and yelled, “No way!” He then was mobbed by his roaring teammates.
“This means the world,” Aziz said later. “I get to spend an extra year with my brothers. I don’t have to worry about bills. This is a blessing from God. I love this team. I love my coaches. I love God.”
He said he has worked as an overnight security guard for the MGM Grand, and would get off his shift and arrive at campus in time for the 7 a.m. team meeting. Aziz would stand to make sure he was awake and alert.
“He’s put himself through school,” Sanchez said. “He’s worked the entire time. Now for him to get a full scholarship and to be able to have that taken care of, it’s awesome. It’s a great story, and he’s so deserving.”
— UNLV will have its spring game at noon Saturday at Peter Johann Memorial Field. There will be two 25-minute halves. The starters will face each other in the first half and go against the backups in the second portion.
“As a coach, you never want to get guys injured during the spring game,” Sanchez said. “It’s the last thing, so you always worry about that a little bit. But the biggest thing when we watch the film, we want to see guys competing their tails off. Any time you get a chance to get out there and you have fans around, you want to make sure you’re competing.”