His two fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the win in last year’s season finale against UNR might have been an indication of what was to come for UNLV senior linebacker Javin White.
He has regularly been around the ball in training camp and has made his share of interceptions.
“He’s done a great job,” coach Tony Sanchez said following Thursday’s practice at Rebel Park. “Every day, he’s the loudest guy, the highest-energy guy. He works as hard as anybody on the field, has a good attitude, and he’s a reason we’re going to win a bunch of games.”
At Saturday’s scrimmage at Sam Boyd Stadium, White openly and demonstratively encouraged his teammates.
“I haven’t embraced the leadership until really now,” White said. “Now I understand how I can affect somebody. When people make big plays, I always want to let them know, ‘That was a great play.’ I know how it makes me feel, so I want to do the same thing to somebody else.”
He has played linebacker and safety at UNLV and is comfortable at either position. White’s focus is at strongside linebacker, but the coaches know he can move to safety if the situation calls for it.
“Versatility is everything,” said defensive coordinator Tim Skipper, who also oversees the linebackers. “If you don’t have depth, you’ve got to create it. How do you create it? Play guys in multiple positions.”
■ Malakai Salu, Fr., 6-0, 230
■ Kyle Beaudry, Fr., 6-1, 220
■ Farrell Hester II, Jr., 6-1, 240
■ Vic Viramontes, Jr., 6-2, 230
■ Javin White, Sr., 6-3, 205
■ Demitrious Gibbs, Sr., 6-4, 205
Note: Hester and Viramontes are considered co-starters. Also, Rayshad Jackson is expected to compete at both outside positions once he becomes eligible.
■ Jackson had to wait at least another day before he could practice. UNLV’s admissions office hadn’t cleared him by Thursday morning after his final grades at Florida posted.
■ UNLV ended practice at 9:53 a.m. rather than the usual 10:30. The Rebels will end at about the same time Friday, and will scrimmage Saturday night at the stadium. The scrimmage, unlike other practices, will be open to the public.