Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023 | 2 a.m.
Notes Saturday from the second day of UNLV football training camp:
It’s raining INTs
For the second straight day, UNLV’s defensive backs swarmed whenever the ball was in the air. They came away with three interceptions in 11-on-11 action, including a nifty sequence that saw senior cornerback Jerrae Williams undercut a route over the middle and tip the ball in the air, allowing junior Cameron Oliver to swoop in behind the play for his second pick of camp.
The other interceptions were hauled in by sophomore defensive back Rashod Tanner and senior defensive back B.J. Harris, with Harris’ pick coming in a 2-minute drill at the end of practice.
The buzzing activity in the secondary is a good sign for UNLV, which is transitioning to a DB-heavy scheme under new head coach Barry Odom.
First-year defensive coordinator Mike Scherer has been pleased with they way his corners and safeties have covered so far.
“They play hard and they’ve got attitude,” Scherer said. “We’ve got to keep building on it, but they’re off to a really good start.”
Scherer also singled out Williams for his leadership among the defensive backs.
“That sucker is the hardest playing kid we’ve got on the team,” Scherer said.
Reese bounces back
Senior running back Courtney Reese had a bit of a scare on Friday, when he crumpled to the ground after running a deep pass route. He missed the second half of practice, but appeared no worse for wear on Saturday.
Reese suited up and was back in action for Day 2, and he made the most of his carries, breaking off back-to-back chunk plays in early 11-on-11 play.
While Reese figures to slot in as a pass-catching back on third downs, veteran transfers Donavyn Lester (William & Mary) and Vincent Davis (Pitt) continue to see most of the first-team reps in the running game.
Receivers take over
Jacob De Jesus was one of the pleasant surprises of the offseason, as the spritely 5-foot-7 slot receiver proved to be uncoverable in UNLV’s spring showcase. That has continued in camp, as De Jesus has continued to get open and produce out of the slot.
On Saturday, De Jesus turned in a gem by beating his man over the middle and making a diving catch of a Jayden Maiava pass, accounting for a 25-yard gain.
It was also a big day for No. 1 wide receiver Ricky White, who hauled in three deep over-the-shoulder passes from Doug Brumfield in 11-on-11 drills. Two of the catches went for touchdowns.
White, who is coming off a campaign that saw him post 51 catches, 619 yards and four touchdowns, said he wants to improve his numbers across the board as a junior.
“Just being more explosive, taking deep shots and bettering my (yards after catch),” he said. “I want to make every play that comes my way this year.”