Game of The Year: NEVADA +7 to UNLV



OK guys let me first start out by saying I grew up in Las Vegas rooting for UNLV but then went to school at Nevada, in Reno. I know these teams like the back of my hand (although UNLV is a different team this time around haven't got to see any of the new players)

The Las Vegas Hilton has Games of The Year lines up and they already have UNLV -7 to Nevada (sept 30 is the day of game). Now this line is obviously a joke 2-9 UNLV laying 7 to 9-3 Nevada? I will say straight up UNLV has 40 new players I havent seen them all yet, but I will go to a practice or two this week to see if they have anything thats going to turn my head. With Nevada returning every key piece and UNLV having massive roster turnover, I lean more towards UNLV has to prove something before laying a touchdown.

However, I can tell you with 100% certainty, it would take a turnaround of epic proportions for UNLV to even be favored in this game.

If that is not the case, this line is the biggest joke in the history of athletics and whoever set this line will be in the bread line soon after I get done pounding Nevada until they are favored.

Just giving you guys a heads up, I will update this thread with my thoughts from UNLV's practice.
Nick - I also feel very strongly about this side. However, there is one thing you have to take into consideration in this's a rivalry. Not to mention it will be at UNLV.

Having said that, I've already made my play on the Wolfpack. Getting 7 points against an opponent like UNLV is tough to pass up. :shake: :36_7_1:
Hey aztec, yep its at UNLV i got my 45 yard line row 13 seats already.

Let me just add this insight from living in both towns. This game means 10x more to Nevada than UNLV. Reno has an inferiority complex about Las Vegas, in fact people in Reno HATE Las Vegas. When I lived in Las Vegas as a kid, I didn't even know Nevada existed or that we played them once a year in every sport, it just wasnt a big deal here in vegas.

Chris Ault, Nevada's coach, took the Nevada job for the lone purpose of taking back the Freemont Cannon. He did last year, and will probably do it again this year.

Remember, the majority of the Wolfpack has already played a game in Vegas 2 years ago (they coulda won then, but Rowe threw a devistating INT that was returned for a TD) I expect the Senior laden team of Nevada, with JJ Milan coming back to take this one.
I think the more you look at this the number is flat out wrong. I would grab this now cause even if it dips half a point it's not as good of a bet. +7 there is almost no way UNLV wins, much less by more than a TD.

Like i said I will keep an eye on UNLV, and if they arnt significantly better this is the biggest gift you are ever going to get.
UNLV has a bye week before but that is offset by back to back trips to Iowa St and Hawaii (ouch!) the two prior weeks.
I take it this line is at What is the maximum wager? I was a big fan of Nevada last season and see them winning this rivalry game by about 7 to 10 points. Nevada is stacked and will NOT lose this game. Someone is out of a job and everyone needs to capitilize before it's too late.
I ask b/c I'm at werk and cannot get to any gambl1ng sites. However, I can get to CTG :bow:
Down to 6.5 at the places that have the line now. At Hilton, they took my 1100 max bet (what a wuss ass limit even if it is months away) and it moved down just off that bet. Id lay off for now guys if you didn't get it 7 was the key number for it to make sense to tie your money up this early. However + anything is still a good deal so go for it if you wish.
Insepkdah, yes has the lines up but its down to 6.5 now. Just wait till moneyline comes out and take that:shake:
Fazekas, it's official now that you are a homer...sorry bro, but we haven't even got to see UNLV play yet...I don't see how we can think about betting that game until we see Nevada and UNLV play this may be right that there's some value in the line, but it looks about right to me considering Nevada's history on the road...they almost lost to San Jose St. on the road last year!...
Dont know what to tell you pags, its just a good time to be betting ON nevada, and not against them I think its clear to see, and thats not being a homer. Like i said above, unless UNLV has a turnaround of epic proportions (I live here, and they are better but not -7 better) This line is a deal pretty simple, as is the +13 if you got it to fresno. Just calling it plainly as I see it. Believe me I was first in line during the basketball season to take idaho +26 and montana +8!!
Line is down to 6.5 now so it feels good to be a homer and get the best line atleast.:shake:
I definitely have to agree with Nick about the game meaning more to Nevada then it does to UNLV. Over 50% of my Mom's side of the family lives in Las Vegas. My aunt is a UNR grad, while my cousin went to UNLV. I know a decent amount about both schools, and I have to say that Nick is right when it comes to the game meaning more to Nevada. The whole inferiority complex thing that Reno has is quite true...people there just seem to have disdain for anything and everything Las Vegas. And I personally feel that Ault isn't just a good coach, but a great one. Even if talent levels were the same, I'd give the Wolfpack a significant edge in coaching.

Of course, every play we make is a tad risky at this point...especially these GOY Future plays. Having said that...I think Rowe will shine in this one, and along with Hubbard, will be too much for UNLV too handle.

Aztec4Life said:
Of course, every play we make is a tad risky at this point...especially these GOY Future plays. Having said that...I think Rowe will shine in this one, and along with Hubbard, will be too much for UNLV too handle.


Haha, the only risk in this play is the opportunity cost of tying your money up that long!
how do you guys make bets like this? what if the starting qb gets hurt and is out for the season?..there are too many what if's for me to play these type of games....I love your knowledge on these teams nick...I don't get any west coast news out here in the midwest, so good to see..I just don't see any value in this play but that is just my opinion...only becasue of suspensions, injuries, etc...GL bro.
Suspensions, injuries are all serious factors. The reason I played it now is because 7 is obviously such a key number, and barring Jeff Rowe getting hit by a bus, the line is going down (has gone to 6.5, will likely drop more). If UNLV proves to not live up to lofty Vegas expectations early on (very likely with road games at iowa st, at hawaii) thats more reason for a drop.

If UNLV is 1-2 when the game is played (they almost certainly will be) would you even want to lay more than a FG?

Nevada may be no more than 2-2 themselves, but thats with games at fresno, ASU, and home vs northwestern and Col St.

even if Jeff Rowe gets hurt id be tempted to take the +7 so for me it made sense to lock in now. At this point in their respective programs Nevada is just a year or two ahead of UNLV. UNR has an edge in depth which would help them deal with injuries and suspensions.

Good luck with what you decide guys!
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Hunt - This is dmac1824 from covers. :cheers:

While I definitely see where you are coming from, I don't think your argument holds much merit here...for a number of reasons.

1. This game between Nevada & UNLV isn't 3 months away. It's 4 weeks into the season. Injuries can and do happen, but why worry about something you have no control over? They won't even be a month into the season when this game rolls around. I'm not too worried about any injuries...if they happen, they happen.

2. Sure, Nevada players could get injured...but UNLV players take the same risks as their opponents. Who's to say that the entire UNLV starting defense won't come down with the flu the week of the game? If you're banking all of your money on one or two key players, then you're betting for the wrong reasons in my opinion.

3. What exactly are the 'too many IFs' you are referring to? How can the "possibility" of non existent injuries worry you?

Glad to see you around bro. :hammer:
Dmac, sorry...didn't have a chance to respond, I was gone for a bit....I am glad to see you here bro.

I totally understand where you are coming from...It is just a preference for me. You guys know these teams inside and out..I have no clue about either of them so maybe that's why I have a hard time seeing the value, you guys do though and I understand. Crazy stuff happens and I for one think one impact player can change the whole face of the game, but that is just me...I know you don't have control over that but the week of the game you might be kicking yourself because of key injuries and's a risk, but what isn't in gambling right?

FOr example, I love Michigan getting 6.5 or whatever it is in these futures with ND but if CHad Henne gets hurt in week one, there is no backup with game experience and Notre Dame blows them's just a risky thing for ME to do, although it is tempting.

GL fellas.
Appreciate the feedback bro. Of course, I do think one or two players can significantly affect the outcome of a game. I guess what I meant was that it should not be the only factor in determining if you've got a winner or a loser.

GL this upcoming season man! I'm sure we'll talk more football as the weeks go on.

oopps, put this in Horns thread, should be here.

Looking at the Coaches Poll, see Nevada is getting points from coachs, not UNLV
From Las Vegas Review-Journal

Sophomore Corey Anderson, listed as a co-starter at wide receiver, has been suspended indefinitely from the UNLV football team after being arrested early Sunday morning.
Anderson, 19, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to maintain his lane and driving without a valid driver's license, according to Henderson Police Department spokesman Todd Rasmussen. Police pulled over Anderson at about 3:45 a.m. Sunday, Rasmussen said, because the player's car was seen going in and out of lanes near Sunset Station.
UNLV coach Mike Sanford would not comment on the incident itself but said, "We don't tolerate people doing things that are of this sort, and that's why he is suspended indefinitely. We're going to let the process carry itself out and make some decisions down the road as far as consequences because there will be very serious consequences for this."
Anderson is listed as a co-starter at one receiver position with junior Aaron Straiten and at the H-back spot with sophomore Renan Saint Preux.
"It's a big impact because we were counting on (Anderson) to be possibly a starter," Sanford said of the suspension. "But we're not going to let that affect us."
Sanford said the coaches will consider shuffling players, such as sophomore Justin Marvel at H-back. Marvel's injured left shoulder was better Wednesday, and he did not show any signs of discomfort.
"What we want to do is get the best players on the field," Sanford said. "So we're going to crosstrain some people."
Anderson arrived at UNLV last year with plenty of promise. He chose the Rebels after also visiting UCLA and San Diego State.
He played immediately as a freshman and started the final three games last season. Anderson finished with 14 receptions for 205 yards and a touchdown.
a lot of the UNLV players are're just loving this fazekas, aren't you bud?...
No pags.

I grew up in Las Vegas, cheering for the rebels man. I am not a "Reno homer" as you seem to think. I am just giving unbiased info about the game here go bet rebels and burn your cash cause you obviously feel UNLV is the play to call me a homer.
This is a tough blow to the UNLV offense fellas. Now Aaron Straiten a 4 star JUCO transfer is going to have to shoulder the load in the early going and Nevada has Joey Garcia and others to match him.
NickFazekas said:
Hey aztec, yep its at UNLV i got my 45 yard line row 13 seats already.

Let me just add this insight from living in both towns. This game means 10x more to Nevada than UNLV. Reno has an inferiority complex about Las Vegas, in fact people in Reno HATE Las Vegas. When I lived in Las Vegas as a kid, I didn't even know Nevada existed or that we played them once a year in every sport, it just wasnt a big deal here in vegas.

Chris Ault, Nevada's coach, took the Nevada job for the lone purpose of taking back the Freemont Cannon. He did last year, and will probably do it again this year.

Remember, the majority of the Wolfpack has already played a game in Vegas 2 years ago (they coulda won then, but Rowe threw a devistating INT that was returned for a TD) I expect the Senior laden team of Nevada, with JJ Milan coming back to take this one.

Youd have to be a moron to think me being from Las Vegas would find joy in UNLV kids getting arrested, you are just talking shit now.
Just give me ONE reason UNLV even wins if you can pags. Take all the time you need.
pags, I just signed up for the yahoo football challenge we'll settle the debate there:shake:
Nick - pags is just messin with ya bro. :cheers:

What are your thoughts on Sanford as a Head Coach?...
Mike Sanford is a great coach, UNLV is definitly on the up. You could tell last year even when they were getting their teeth kicked in he was still on the sidelines busting his ass to get things right. UNLV is atleast a year away from being on the same level as UNR. I mean come on UNR has Rowe, UNLV either has Steichen or Jackson (LOL) or an unproven sophomore in Hinds who will be playing his first live snaps ever. Next year its possible UNLV might be better than UNR.
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In contrast to UNLV after Anderson's suspension, Nevada is returning a VERY deep recieving corps highlighted by All-Conference Caleb Spencer.

From the Reno-Gazette Journal

Scott Baumgartner is hoping to have to make some very difficult decisions soon. Nevada's receivers coach has what might be the most talented group in recent memory. Some of that talent is more potential than proven, but it is certainly enough to raise expectations.
"There is some great competition right now and all the kids understand that," Baumgartner said. "It is a good group of kids and they all just want to play their butt off for you."
Caleb Spencer, a returning first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection, is the most proven of the group and the closest to securing a starting job. But beyond that, there are more than a dozen others vying for playing time, and the competition is getting intense.
"There are going to be some hard decisions," Baumgartner said. "The new guys have a lot of potential but they need to learn the system. Some of the veterans have come back strong."
Senior Kyle Sammons and sophomores Mike McCoy and Jack Darlington all have a semblance of starting experience while sophomores Rocco Bene and Andy McIntosh and redshirt freshmen Art King and Dwayne Sanders are all looking to break out.
In most cases, that kind of talent and depth alone would be enough to compete with. But an impressive crop of newcomers have raised the bar, at least in terms of athleticism.
"I see a lot of speed," quarterback Jeff Rowe said when asked about the new receivers. "But they are still learning. You can see them thinking and (the offense) is not natural for them yet. It will come."
Chris Wellington is probably one of the fastest players on the team and sophomore transfer Marko Mitchell, at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, has the unique combination of speed and size.
"Chris has a lot of speed and Marko, he will surprise you," Rowe said. "It doesn't look like he is running that fast because he is so smooth. He is pretty athletic."
Throw in Virgil Green, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder who could be a wideout or a tight end in the making, and walk-ons Matt Smith and Jonathan Nunez, and you have a lot of talent to catch just one football.
And waiting on the sidelines is senior Alex Rosenblum, who is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in the Hawaii Bowl last year.
"The competition is exactly what we thought it would be," Nevada coach Chris Ault said.
But Ault said he is not pleased with what he has seen recently in camp -- that the competition is tight, but the level of play has not risen to where he had hoped.
"I think there are some nice athletes in there, but I am not pleased with how they have been practicing, to be honest with you," he said. "I think we have a nice group. We have some good skill. But our practices, in terms of our expectations, have been very minimal.
"The competition is there. The execution is not."
Ault said the Pack is looking for seven receivers to separate themselves from the group and that will be the core group that will get the bulk of playing time.
"From there, the starters and all that will be determined later," he said. "We just want seven guys so that we're all on the same page with timing and all that."
And that makes the battle for playing time an interesting one to watch over the next couple weeks.
Ault and Baumgartner singled out Sammons for "picking up where he left off" in spring ball. Every other scholarship receiver is either a freshman or a sophomore.
Darlington and McCoy have experience in the system while King and Sanders have both had strong showings at times during the first week of practice.
But Wellington and Mitchell might have an overall athleticism edge that, according to the coaches, means nothing if they don't learn the routes and fit into the offensive system.
"It is a pleasant problem to have," Baumgartner said of the depth of talent.
Reno Gazette-Journal

-- Nick Hawthrone, a mainstay in the secondary the last three years, was back in action on Wednesday. The senior safety, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament midway through last season, was cleared to return to practice.
Pack coaches and trainers said Hawthrone still has some work to do to get back to an ideal level of conditioning.
"We're a good secondary right now," co-defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter said. "If Nick comes back and is at the level he can play at, we could be a very good secondary."
-- Joe Garcia, a first-team All-WAC cornerback, will miss a couple practices after cutting open his knee on a blocking sled on Tuesday. The senior has stitches in his knee, which reduces the flexibility. He said he hopes to be back at full speed "in a couple days."
-- The Pack worked its kick-return team early in Wednesday's practice. That unit struggled mightily last year as Robert Hubbard was hurt for much of the year and Nevada never found a capable replacement. On Wednesday, redshirt freshmen Art King and Dwayne Sanders returned kicks with Hubbard.
-- Quote of the day: "My foot is a tank. I have seven screws in there and it's bone on bone in some places. My ankle will break before my foot does again." -- defensive end J.J. Milan, who has had three foot surgeries in the last year and a half.
Reno Gazette-Journal

On the defensive side, where the Pack is now in the second year of the 3-4 scheme that co-defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter brought from Ohio, things are looking up.
"That is the fun part of being in the second year of a package," DeRuyter said. "The guys who are back who have some confidence in it and have a bit of a swagger, which you want them playing with. But they also become teachers. They help you on the field and that is when you get the chance to advance the defense."
Nevada returns seven starters on defense and that number is staggered from the front to the linebacking corps to the secondary.
"Every unit is kind of represented, which really helps," DeRuyter said. "It would be one thing if we just had rookies in the back or on the front, but we don't. We have some veterans throughout the defense and those guys are important parts."
Keep the inside info coming, Nick. :shake:

I like Sanford as well. I watched the Rebels play twice last season, and they were handled pretty good both times. Yet, despite the score, UNLV continued to play hard for a full 4Q's, and they definitely played better after halftime in both cases. To me, that is the sign of a good coach who's got his team on the right track.
UNLV has some good athletes now in the secondary as everybody knows (Milvon James, Eric Wright, Tony Cade) but they clearly don't have the size or numbers to match up with the sets Reno can throw at them. I mean look at the above article its a joke how many recievers 6'4 and up Reno has and they are all burners.
Dont mean to keep picking on the rebels but this passage really stood out to me.

Ault said the Pack is looking for seven receivers to separate themselves from the group and that will be the core group that will get the bulk of playing time.

Nevada is going to field 7 recievers?!

UNLV only has 3 starting level corner backs, thats a huge mismatch.
I've been tempted to hit it again. But...2 Units is a healthy wager for me, so I'm content with my maximum value play at Nevada +7. :shake:

my comment regarding you being happy was only towards your bet on Nevada...I too am never happy when young kids fuck up like that, but bottom line it's better happening to the team we don't have action on rather than the team we do...

aztec is right, I am messing with you...regarding the contest, talk all you want right now bud, you're in for a real dogfight bud...

regarding sanford, he's yet to prove to anyone he's a great head coach...yes, he's a good coordinator, but the jury is still out on him as a head coach...
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Reno Gazette-Journall

There are a number of intangibles that can be worked, tweaked, practiced and changed to make a football team get better.
But there is no amount of effort that can force chemistry, that special something that allows two or more players to perform at a higher level. It is the kind of bond that exists between Nevada quarterback Jeff Rowe and receiver Caleb Spencer.
"You can't command chemistry," Wolf Pack coach Chris Ault said. "That just happens. And I think those two have it."
The bond began two years ago when Spencer arrived in Reno after a year at Palomar College in Southern California. He was a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference receiver last year, but most forget that he was a quarterback throughout his high school career at Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, up until that first year at Palomar when a shortage of receivers led to a position switch.
The fact that Spencer used to be the guy in Rowe's shoes, the leader of the offense, the most high-profile position in football, might be part of it, too.
"Caleb is a very smart football player," said Scott Baumgartner, Nevada's receivers coach who was the quarterbacks coach two seasons ago. "He understands defenses and coverages. But he also understands the job the quarterback has to do. He can relate to what Jeff goes through. They have that chemistry.
"Those two, man, peas in a pod. They can just look at each other and each knows what the other is going to do and it gets done."
When Spencer married his wife, Megan, back in June in his native Hawaii, Rowe was there. No Pack coaches or other members of the team made the journey to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But the quarterback did.
"Everybody had summer school and all that," Spencer said. "Jeff had summer school, too. But he made the trip. That was awesome."
Rowe said being friends with Spencer comes easily because of the receiver's laid-back nature.
"He is just a likeable guy, an easy-going guy," Rowe said. "What can I say, he's Hawaiian. Nothing seems to bother him."
Spencer has been the consistent one the past two seasons, catching 67 passes in 2004 and another 67 last year. Nearly every one of his receptions has come from Rowe, who battled inconsistency two years ago before excelling in the new pistol scheme last year.
"You start catching that many balls from the same quarterback, there is a bond," Ault said. "There is something special. It has turned out that you have two guys who have a great feel for each other. They are very comfortable and very confident in each other. They are both very passionate about this game.
"I think the chemistry between the two in what we try to do offensively is very, very strong."
Off the field, the friendship is more than just football.
"It started off slowly during my first year here," Spencer said. "That offseason, we just started hanging out together. I started hanging out with his family and he started hanging out with my family. We really got close.
"This year, we are even tighter off the field. We just have that bond."
On the field, the Pack is counting on Rowe and Spencer to do more than they did last year. The production is one thing, but the coaching staff is expecting more from a leadership perspective from each, though in a different way.
Spencer, as the veteran in the receiving corps, is being asked to be more vocal and to be more than just an on-the-field leader for the younger players.
But for Rowe, this needs to be his team. He needs to be the guy that the rest of the team rallies around when adversity strikes. He is expected to be the calm presence in the middle of the storm.
"That is the role he has," running back Robert Hubbard said. "He has taken it. We all look to Jeff as the leader. He has that respect, not just from the offense, but from the whole team. When Jeff speaks, everyone listens. He's our guy."
Rowe has slowly grown into that role during the offseason, making step-by-step progress during winter conditioning, spring practice and voluntary summer workouts. He's become the guy that can find a way to compliment any of his teammates when speaking publicly. But he saves his most genuine praise for Spencer.
"The guy is just a hell of an athlete," Rowe said. "You can see that on the field. But he is smart, too. He used to play quarterback so he understands the positions. He understands where I am coming from."
Spencer returned the volley in the game of compliment-your-best-friend.
"He is the best quarterback, I think, in the nation," he said. "Everything I accomplish is because of him. He throws a perfect ball. I never have to do anything extra."
Las Vegas Review-Journal

UNLV's banged-up middle linebacker spot took another hit Saturday when junior Bradley Niles injured a toe on his left foot and is expected to be out four to six weeks.
Coach Mike Sanford said a chip was discovered in Niles' toe.
The Rebels have been without starting middle linebacker Matt Pattison, a senior who injured his left ankle Thursday. Pattison is expected to return soon.
"The good thing about it is we're going to train some other guys," Sanford said.
* OTHER INJURIES -- Redshirt freshman linebacker Mike McDonald and freshman wide receiver Tate Knutson suffered concussions.
Neither appeared overly serious, but Sanford said he would be cautious.
"We've got to learn the difference between pain and injury," Sanford said. "A concussion is an injury. I totally defer to the medical staff on an injury, but when it's just pain, that's different."
* MISSING LINEMEN -- Freshman center Ray Lobato left the team, and senior offensive tackle Marcus Bryan is back in Las Vegas working on academics.
Sanford said he did not know why Lobato left. But he was deep in the depth chart, behind senior Aaron Mueller, senior Kea Toledo and freshman Joe Hawley.
Bryan is listed as the backup to senior Chris Bowser at left tackle.
"(Bryan) needed to take care of an incomplete, and we said if he didn't have it done by the time the bus left (Friday afternoon), he was not coming," Sanford said. "He's back taking care of academics and will be here when he gets here, which could be five minutes. It could be three days."
UNLV coach Mike Sanford assesses
the play of his quarterback candidates
Reno Gazette-Journal

News and notes from the Nevada football team's practices Monday:

A review of the film from Saturday's scrimmage reaffirmed what coach Chris Ault felt immediately after the 106-play scrimmage.
"I really liked what I saw defensively," Ault said. "They flew around and we were consistent. They rallied and they got better."
While the defense had the upper hand on the offense, there is the notion that defenses are usually ahead of offenses at this stage of camp. But the coach said it was the best first scrimmage the defense has had in the three years since he came back to coaching.

The depth in the defensive backfield has led to some strong battles for playing time so far in fall camp.
It's also been a welcome change from last year when the healthy players saw extra repetitions in practice because of a lack of available players.
"We are able to get our breath back a little," cornerback Joe Garcia said with a smile. "We have a lot more guys this year. We have a lot of great athletes and there is some good competition out there. I love this. I am a competitor and I love all these guys fighting for time. It is going to make us a better defense."

Wideout Jack Darlington missed Monday's workouts and is out for the foreseeable future with a concussion. The sophomore went down on Friday after taking a hit from linebacker Josh Mauga and cornerback Paul Pratt during drills.
"They are still keeping him out," Ault said. "He took quite a shot."
Fellow wideout Mike McCoy returned to practice on Monday after missing a couple days following a hit last week.
"He got dinged but he's ready to go," Ault said.
Linebacker Nick Fuhr (hamstring) also returned to practice. Ault said defensive end Charles Wilson has a minor heel problem that is slowing the senior down.
well so far any way the under in UNR Fresno could be a great play as everybody has mentioned, especially after it gets pounded up by the national TV audience.
This is all you need to know about the difference in talent between the two teams right now. UNLV's starting reciever is a 6 ft walk on from alaska who is only on the team cause of a promise made by john robinson

Las Vegas Review Journal

Casey Flair gave himself a year at UNLV to prove he could be a Division I-A wide receiver, or he would consider other options.
He didn't even need a year.

Flair, who took a chance by moving from Anchorage, Alaska, without a scholarship, proved as a redshirt scout team member in 2004 that he could play at this level.
"He was the best scout team wide receiver," safety Jay Staggs said. "He did better than the No. 1 defense he was going against. He was catching passes on fades and making ridiculous catches from his back, from his knees. When (cornerbacks Ruschard) Dodd-Masters or Charles Ealy wrapped around him, (Flair was) catching the ball all day, every day for a whole year."
Not only did teammates notice, so did the coaches.
Then-coach John Robinson told Flair early in the 2004 season he would give him a scholarship. It was great news, but Robinson retired after the season and Flair still wasn't certain he would be part of the program in 2005.
In the offseason he held jobs as a bank teller, a ramp checker at the Anchorage airport and a laborer for a landscaping company to earn enough money to come to UNLV.
Grant and academic scholarship money also helped. Flair, who plans to major in psychology, carries a 3.5 grade-point average.
Flair was nervous about his status when the Rebels hired Mike Sanford as coach in December 2004. Flair met Sanford soon after and Flair was assured the promise of a scholarship would be honored.
"That was one of the biggest reliefs of my life," Flair said. "It was definitely a life-changing event, because if I didn't get that scholarship, I don't know where I'd be right now."
This is where Flair (6 feet 1 inch, 190 pounds) is now -- a starting wide receiver as the Rebels prepare for their Sept. 2 opener against Idaho State.
"The thing about Casey that we all like is he's very reliable," receivers coach Kris Cinkovich said. "You give him an assignment on a big play, you like to think he can get it done. So the staff has a lot confidence in what he has demonstrated over the last year and a half."
As a redshirt freshman last season, Flair quickly established himself as a go-to receiver. His first seven catches resulted in first downs. His receptions moved the chains 19 times overall. For the season, Flair caught 32 passes for 382 yards and two touchdowns.
"It was a big boost to know that after I made a few plays against Idaho (I knew I could) play at this level," Flair said.
So the gamble to move from Alaska worked out.
Flair wound up at UNLV after one of his youth coaches talked with then-Rebels offensive coordinator Bruce Snyder. The coaches shared a connection from when Snyder was Utah State's head coach from 1976 to 1982.
Flair sent videotape of his play, and was invited to walk on.
The Alaska native has adapted to the Southern Nevada weather; he exercises constantly during the offseason so his body can better stand up to the heat.
Apparently, Flair has started a trend. His ex-teammate at Anchorage East High School, wide receiver Tate Knutson, is on the Rebels, as is defensive end Jake DuBuck, who is from Wasilla, Alaska. Both are walk-ons.
"I'm trying to represent a state," Flair said. "If I come down here and do something good, it's a chance for other kids to get looked at."
How many football players come from alaska!?!? This guy is nothing special at all UNLV offense is gonna need a big year from RB Erick Jackson or they arnt going to score points.