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September 24, 2021

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No answer on quarterback as UNLV nears end of camp

UNLV Football Training Camp

Wade Vandervort

From left, UNLV football quarterback Cameron Friel (7), quarterback Tate Martell (16) and quarterback Jared Heywood (14) attend training camp at Bill “Wildcat” Morris Rebel Park Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.

When UNLV opened training camp three weeks ago, Doug Brumfield and Justin Rogers were engaged in a competition for the starting quarterback job. Now, as the team readies to close out camp and enter game-week preparations for the season opener, Brumfield and Rogers are still battling for the job.

Oh, and a wild card has been added to the mix in the form of Tate Martell.

It begs the question, is UNLV any closer to finding its No. 1 quarterback than it was a month ago? Or even during spring ball? Head coach Marcus Arroyo has said he wanted to settle on a starter by the end of camp, and on Wednesday he pointed to the team’s upcoming mock game as an opportunity for someone to take hold of the job.

When asked if he has made a decision yet, Arroyo said the competition is still ongoing.

“That hasn’t presented itself yet,” Arroyo said. “Hopefully over the weekend we get a chance to get some things done here. We have a mock game [Thursday] and then we’ll evaluate from here on and see how the week goes. Hopefully we get a chance to get a high percentage of the reps for one guy and move forward.”

None of the quarterbacks have been made available to the media during training camp, so it’s impossible to know how any of the three contenders are approaching the situation.

UNLV will face Eastern Washington on Sept. 2, which gives the team exactly one week to pick a quarterback and get him ready for what could be the biggest game of the season.

Transition to game week

With 17 of 19 scheduled training camp practices in the books, Arroyo is now transitioning the team to “game week” practices, which differ from camp in a few key ways.

Training camp is made up of general drills and scrimmage, and the weeks are built around learning your own playbook and executing it--against your teammates. It’s a time to evaluate players, settle position battles and self-scout. Once UNLV enters its game-week prep for Eastern Washington, practices will take on a narrower, more focused tenor.

As Arroyo said, soon it will be time to hone in on specifics and do whatever the coaches deem necessary to beat Eastern Washington.

With an opponent on the schedule now, the tenor of practice changes. Now it’s time to hone in on specifics and do whatever the coaches deem necessary to beat Eastern Washington.

Arroyo said UNLV has already begun transitioning from training camp to game week.

“That’s the biggest change, is now you’ve got service teams running cards and you’re running opponent stuff as opposed to just running against each other in training camp,” Arroyo said. “We’re easing our way into it in the last few days here from training camp 17 to 19. That’s probably the biggest adjustment for guys, is you truly lock into an opponent instead of your own offense or defense.”

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

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