Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 10:20 a.m.
- Having Marcus Sullivan back in the return game makes UNLV instantly better
- With eligibility issues almost fixed, Dre Crawford could help upgrade the UNLV defense
- UNLV redshirt freshman QB Nick Sherry ready to compete for starting spot
- UNLV football transfer hails from Tom Brady’s high school; was ranked as Northern Cali’s No. 1 RB prospect
- Mark your calendars: UNLV’s 2012 football schedule officially set with four home games to open season
- Funding plan for new UNLV stadium still relies on tax infusion
- UNLV coach Bobby Hauck preaches the importance of reading to students during Nevada Reading Week
- All UNLV Football Coverage
As a freshman, Bradford was the team’s second-leading rusher, with 615 yards on a 4.6 per carry average and three rushing touchdowns. Hauck didn’t discuss the situation in-depth, and Bradford is expected to transfer from UNLV “for personal reasons”, Hauck told the RJ, in the near future.
With his departure, UNLV’s backfield — a perceived strength coming into the year — faces some questions. The good news is that leading rusher Tim Cornett, who will be a junior, is back. Last year, he averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 671 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. His yardage ranked 11th in the conference, one spot ahead of Bradford.
The Rebels also return Bradley Randle, a capable junior who put up nearly 500 yards and a pair of touchdowns last year. But Randle, who’s 5-foot-7 and 190 pounds, seemed more fit as a change-of-pace back than a player who'll have to share the load with Cornett.
Beyond those two, there’s only one running back listed on the roster — oft-injured senior Imari Thompson. He’s only rushed for 24 yards in his career and has played mostly on special teams while losing nearly two full seasons to injury. The Rebels also have two fullbacks — sophomores William Vea and Darius Andres. Vea, who started as a linebacker, didn’t have any carries last year, but he caught six passes, including one for a touchdown.
Northwestern transfer Adonis Smith has to sit out this season before having two years of eligibility left with UNLV. With the hole that Bradford has left, Hauck may need to look around his roster, possibly at backup linebackers, for another guy to carry the ball.