Rebels ready to reveal 2014 recruiting class
Four Vegas kids commit to UNLV, two won’t be on team until 2016
Palo Verde High School defensive end Michael Hughes Jr. has verbally committed to play his college football at UNLV.
Hughes is a highly sought-after recruit after having a stellar senior year, racking up 56 tackles and five sacks in 2013. The four-year varsity defensive tackle had scholarship offers from Colorado State, Northern Arizona, Southern Utah and UTEP while also garnering attention from Oregon.
Ranking No. 72 in the country amongst defensive tackles on ESPN, Hughes is one of only two three-star recruits for the Rebels this year.
The choice to stay in Las Vegas could be due to Hughes’ potential for immediate playing time at UNLV. The Rebels struggled mightily against the run in 2013, ranking 107th in the nation in rushing yards allowed. UNLV’s defense that allowed 2,802 total yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground is losing key starters.
Hughes could see the field right away, especially with defensive tackles Alex Klorman, Mark Garrick and Tyler Gaston all graduating. He will likely compete with Charles Howard for a place in the rotation.
If he doesn’t see the field, it won’t be due to lack of size. Hughes is listed at 6-foot-3 and weighs 295 pounds – heavier than all but two UNLV defensive players.
Kicker Conor Perkins of Green Valley High School, tight end Austin Hunt of Silverado High School, Desert Pines High School athlete Tim Hough and Hughes are UNLV’s four Nevada commits.
However, Perkins (along with Hunt) will both be serving Mormon church missions for the next two years. They won’t see the field until 2016.
The Rebels also have a verbal commitment from three-star cornerback Dominique Fenstermacher from Arizona, the No. 64 cornerback in the nation (ESPN).
While UNLV has verbal commitments from Hughes, Fenstermacher and nine other recruits, the players won’t sign their national letters-of-intent until signing day Wednesday.