UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield knows he has to win back his teammates’ trust. The 6-foot-5-inch sophomore returned to Rebel Park on Thursday after spending just eight days in the transfer portal.
“It was rough,” he said. “There was some small miscommunication I got figured out with the coaching staff and my family. We got together. We’re all on the same page, and I’m just happy to be back with my teammates.”
Brumfield’s return puts him back in the competition for UNLV’s starting quarterback job with reigning Mountain West Offensive Freshman of the Year Cameron Friel and Tennessee transfer Harrison Bailey, though Brumfield’s absence has given his competitors a clear advantage in repetitions.
UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo believes the entire ordeal has been a learning experience for his coaching staff, especially as they continue to get used to the transfer portal.
Following Brumfield’s initial decision to leave, Arroyo had a conversation with the quarterback, his leadership council and the Rebels staff. The UNLV coach said all parties spoke candidly about the situation, which allowed them to evaluate everything and eventually welcome Brumfield back onto the team.
The Inglewood, California, native said he was in contact with his teammates almost every day he was in the portal. Brumfield said returning was always an option.
“We’re excited to have him back,” Arroyo said.
Brumfield said he’s 100 percent committed to the team. He acknowledged he has work to do to prove his dedication to the team, but he doesn’t have a specific plan for how he will demonstrate his commitment.
To be authentic, Brumfield said nothing can be pre-determined. The only thing he can do is consistently show up for his teammates.
Arroyo said he thinks Brumfield’s return will be good for the entire team. He believes working through issues will eventually make the group stronger as a unit.
Arroyo also thinks for the process to work, Brumfield will have to be honest, mature, humble and take ownership of his decisions. The only way he can regain the team’s trust is to earn it.
“It may not be perfect, it’s not always pretty,” Arroyo said. “I think that’s OK.”
Following Chuck Wagon
For six seasons, running back Charles Williams was synonymous with UNLV football. Now, the Rebels are preparing for a season without him.
“The departure of Chuck is a big deal,” Arroyo said.
Carries are available for the first time in years following Williams’ graduation. Arroyo wants a durable running back who can be a versatile, all-purpose player. They must be able to offer pass protection too, and fit the team’s scheme.
For junior Courtney Reese, the opportunity to rise to the challenge is exactly what he wants.
Reese learned a lot from watching Williams during the 2021 season. The Florida native saw how Williams used his physicality, read defenses and pressed the line.
“He taught me everything,” Reese said. “Give props to Charles.”
Now Reese and the rest of the running backs need to figure out how to replace him. Reese says he’s trying to be more versatile, but the group’s mindset is still to run fast and be physical. With the UNLV spring showcase approaching, Arroyo is excited to see how they look.
“Those guys have really been challenged to pick up that torch and go,” he said.
Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at email@example.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.