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Nick Blake / Twitter @nickblizzy23

T.J. Otzelberger has prioritized local recruiting in his first few months on the job, and that strategy paid off on Friday when Las Vegas native Nick Blake became the first player from the Class of 2020 to commit to UNLV.

He made his announcement via Twitter just three days after finishing up his official visit to UNLV:

Blake, a 6-foot-7 wing player, is a 3-star prospect who began his high school career at Durango before transferring to a prep school in California last year. He is rated as the No. 163 player in his class by 247Sports, and he chose the Rebels over an offer from Kansas State.

Blake spoke highly of his hometown school when recapping his UNLV visit.

“It definitely means way more,” he said. “I feel like almost every kid dreams about playing for their hometown. UNLV used to be a high-major school, now it’s mid-major but I think it’s big time. Being able to play in front of family and friends, it’s big for me.”

Blake is an offensive-minded guard who can score off the dribble and in transition, but he said he wants to make an impact at both ends of the court for the Rebels.

“I’m able to do a lot of things,” Blake said. “I feel like I’m a versatile scorer, I can guard 1 through 4, I’m a very good passer. I’m starting to get better at rebounding more consistently every game, and I want to defend at an elite level at all times because I feel I’m capable of that.”

Blake may not be the only local recruit to join the Rebels in the coming days. Coronado forward Jhaylon Martinez is visiting UNLV this weekend and by all accounts the sweet-shooting big man is also seriously considering pledging to Otzelberger.

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

Article written by #LasVegasSun