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Rebels’ coach Bobby Hauck pleased with performances in Ely camp

MWC Football Media Day 2012

Sam Morris

UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck takes part in the Mountain West Conference football media day Tuesday, July 24, 2012.

ELY — On one play during the UNLV football team’s scrimmage Wednesday to close the 11-day training camp in Ely, quarterback Caleb Herring found himself lined up at wide receiver.

It was toward the end of the scrimmage when the offensive and defensive reserves were getting some action, but the receiver scheduled to be in on the play was getting re-taped with the trainer.

Herring, who earlier in the week found out he lost the quarterback battle to redshirt freshman Nick Sherry, acted quickly to keep the scrimmage on schedule. Wearing his yellow quarterback jersey — one of five players in yellow — he sprinted up field and caught a long pass in stride from Sean Reilly for a 55-yard completion.

Herring’s teammates enthusiastically congratulated him on the grab.

While the moment was relatively minor in a long list of notable plays in Ely, it served as a great example of what UNLV coach Bobby Hauck learned about his team at the camp. The players are willing to do anything to be successful.

“The guys love to play. This is a group that likes football,” Hauck said.

Hauck said Herring was disappointed to learn he wasn’t the starter but took the news like a professional. He showed that Wednesday by stepping in at wide receiver.

“We needed a receiver, so we threw him in. He knows the routes,” Hauck said. “They left him uncovered. I don’t know how they didn’t see him (in the yellow quarterback jersey).”

With the Ely camp in the books, the next challenge is preparing for next Thursday’s season opener against visiting Minnesota at Sam Boyd Stadium. The team spent a good portion of the Ely trip studying film on Minnesota and implementing a game plan. When they weren’t at Broadbent Park for practice, they were in meetings at the hotel preparing for the first of four games at Sam Boyd to open the season.

“(Football) is all that is going on here, 24-7,” said junior running back Tim Cornett, the Rebels’ leading rusher the past two seasons. “You barely have time to talk to your family. You are either in film ... in practice or in treatment. It’s just always something to do with football when you are down here.”

The annual trip is partially designed to leave behind the Las Vegas heat for the cooler climate of Ely for two-a-day practices. It also gives the players a chance to form a bond before the season starts.

“I feel the team got a lot closer knowing we are here mostly by ourselves,” Cornett said. “I feel like the chemistry has gotten much better, and that is something we didn’t have last year.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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