Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2021

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Two pull verbal commitments to UNLV football

luke russell

Special to the Sun

UNLV football recruit Luke Russell has pulled his commitment from UNLV. He has committed to Louisiana-Monroe, where former Rebel assistant Todd Berry is head coach

Two high school seniors who originally committed to the UNLV football program will follow former Rebel assistant Todd Berry to Louisiana-Monroe.

Wide receiver Luke Russell of Denton, Texas, and defensive lineman Ray Stovall of Tulsa, Okla., each pulled their commitments from UNLV this week and said they will sign with Louisiana-Monroe. Berry was hired as the Warhawks' head coach last month.

Each was recruited to UNLV by Berry, then the Rebels' offensive coordinator, and committed to the Rebels in the summer. But after Berry and all other members of former coach Mike Sanford's staff were fired last month, the recruits were left in limbo waiting for a new coach to be hired.

Per NCAA guidelines, coaches weren't permitted to call recruits until Monday because of a recruiting dead period over the holidays. Russell said he wasn't contacted immediately by new UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck.

So, he followed Berry.

"It was weird because I hadn't heard from anyone affiliated from UNLV," he said. "I didn't know if they were going to honor my scholarship."

Another UNLV recruit, defensive lineman Quentin Jones of Northland High in Columbus, Ohio, said he still is committed to UNLV and will take his recruiting trip on the weekend of Jan. 15. Jones said he talked to Hauck, who said his scholarship offer is still good.

"I'm looking forward to meeting those coaches and getting to know them," Jones said. "I still want to come to UNLV."

Hauck and his staff have been active on the recruiting trail since Monday.

They made a home visit to Green Valley High kicker Nolan Kohorst on Monday night, recruited Del Sol High wide receiver Evan Weinstock on Tuesday at the school and were on state champion Bishop Gorman's campus for most of the school day Wednesday.

Several locals will take their official visits this weekend.

Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said Hauck offered multiple players from his program. He added the coach was enthusiastic about local players — not just from Gorman — and genuine about recruiting the area.

Recruiting Web Site still lists UNLV as only having three commitments for the Feb. 3 signing day. However, Russell and Stovall have bolted, leaving Jones as the lone known commitment — something that will surely change after this weekend.

Verbal commitments are non-binding and don't become official until signing day.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].

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