Tuesday, June 17, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Dalton Sneed's junior highlights
Quarterback Dalton Sneed is just a two-star prospect by Rivals.com in the evaluating site’s scale of five stars used to rank recruits.
But if the 6-foot-1 Sneed were taller, the incoming senior at Horizon High in Scottsdale, Ariz., might be a more sought-after recruit.
For UNLV, though, he could be a diamond in the rough.
Sneed said he verbally committed to UNLV Monday, picking the first Division I school to offer him a scholarship. The others were mostly from the Ivy League and Big Sky Conference. He’s the Rebels' first commitment for the class of 2015, according to the Rivals database.
“Obviously, they say I’m undersized for a quarterback,” Sneed said. “What I feel I bring to the table is talent. I feel I have the best leadership. At the end of the day, I move the ball down the field and score points. I’m here to score points and win games.”
Last season at Horizon, he did a lot of both.
Operating in a spread offense comparable to UNLV’s, Sneed completed 70-percent of his passes for 3,795 yards and 44 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. He also rushed for 498 yards and four touchdowns on 82 carries, helping Horizon score 557 points in 11 games and post an 8-3 record.
“He’s a high IQ kid,” said Horizon coach Kris Heavner, a former graduate assistant at the University of Arizona. “They are going to get a kid who is a high academic kid. He approaches football like the classroom. He’s always studying film and that translates onto the field. The kid has all of the intangibles.”
Sneed was recruited by UNLV offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Timm Rosenbach, who in his initial season calling the Rebels’ plays last fall helped them reach a bowl game for the first time in 11 seasons. UNLV averaged 411 yards per game, the sixth-best mark in school history, behind quarterback Caleb Herring’s efficient passing in Rosenbach’s offense based on short pass completions.
Sneed appears to be a perfect fit, having completed 205 of 290 passes.
“That was a big reason (I committed),” he said of the UNLV offense. “I love throwing the ball and saw the numbers they put up.”
Heavner compared Sneed to former Arizona quarterback Nick Foles, who thrived last season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both signal callers complete a high-percentage of passes in a spread-offense attack.
"He can really spread the field and do his thing," Heavner said of Sneed. "Everything I teach at Horizon is what we did at Arizona. He should have a leg up when he gets (to UNLV)."
Rosenbach attended one of Sneed’s spring practices at Horizon, watching him direct a no-huddle offense. At the end of May, UNLV offered the scholarship. He took an unofficial recruiting visit two weeks ago.
“It just happened out of the blue,” he said of UNLV’s recruiting. “I really love the coaching staff. Some coaches are hard to talk with, but (UNLV’s) were great — easy to communicate with.”
Verbal commitments are nonbinding and not official until a letter-of-intent is signed. Signing day is in February. Coaches are unable to comment on verbal recruits.