February 2, 2022 - 6:34 pm
UNLV football coach Marcus Arroyo knows it’s all about connections – especially in the era of the transfer portal.
“Those relationships with players, when you recruit them, carry weight,” he said. Also critical, Arroyo said, is the relationship the players have with each other. “Those guys have conversations you’re not privy to because of their relationship and their trust and their bond and their time together.”
On Wednesday, UNLV football announced the addition of seven transfer additions, headlined by three former Power Five players: quarterback Harrison Bailey from Tennessee, wide receiver Ricky White III from Michigan State and outside linebacker Jordan Eubanks from Florida State.
Bailey and White are former high school teammates, and Arroyo leaned on their connection to land both players for the Rebels, who have now added 17 players counting the 10 previously announced on Early Signing Day Dec. 15.
Arroyo and UNLV have hit the transfer portal hard too, with 11 players arriving either from junior college programs, Division II or other Division I schools.
“Those guys have come in right away,” Arroyo said. “They’ve been guys who are humble, have no ego. They’ve fit right in. They didn’t expect anything. They like to work. They like the demand.”
Along with Bailey, White and Eubanks, UNLV added two offensive linemen – Cobe Bryant from SMU and Preston Nichols from Charleston Southern – another wide receiver, Senika McKie from Erskine College, and Trenton Holloway, a defensive back from City College of San Francisco. Almost all of them had prior connections to the team.
Bailey is probably the most intriguing new Rebel. A top-100 prospect out of high school, the 6-foot-5 quarterback from Marietta, Georgia, will go straight into a competition with reigning Mountain West freshman of the year Cameron Friel to be UNLV’s starting signal caller.
“I’ve been very transparent with the group,” Arroyo said. “Anyone we add to any of these rooms is coming in to compete for a job.”
With the second signing day now complete and the team in the middle of its offseason workout schedule, Arroyo acknowledged there are still position groups he’d like to strengthen.
He’s still looking for a little help in the defensive backfield and on the defensive line, as well as an older presence at tight end to replace Giovanni Fauolo Sr. – both in terms of production and mentorship.
All of this change comes while Arroyo searches for an offensive coordinator after Glenn Thomas was hired away by Arizona State.
“There are a lot of guys who are pursuing this job,” Arroy said. “It’s just got to be the right fit.”
UNLV’s spring football will start March 29, with a scrimmage scheduled for sometime in late April.
UNLV football new additions
QB Harrison Bailey, Tennessee
OL Cobe Bryant, SMU
OLB Jordan Eubanks, Florida State
DB Trenton Holloway, City College of San Francisco
WR Senika McKie, Erskine College
OL Preston Nichols, Charleston College
WR Ricky White III, Michigan State