Tony Sanchez didn’t anoint his highly-touted quarterback the starter after the Rebels’ spring showcase, but Armani Rogers will be the starting quarterback for UNLV going into the fall.
Rogers beat out returning quarterbacks Johnny Stanton and Kurt Palandech, who each saw time as the starter last season.
“Armani Rogers is going to be the starter going into fall camp,” Sanchez said on AM 720 KDWN. “He did a great job this spring. We just felt like he had a little bit of a nod ahead of those guys.”
Rogers redshirted last season after coming to UNLV in the class of 2016 as one of the highest-rated recruits in UNLV history. Now it is time for Sanchez to see what he has in Rogers. Even if there is an adjustment period for the freshman, he’ll have a tremendous supporting cast to help him out.
“We’ve got to do a great job of putting some infrastructure around him and not putting everything on his decision making early on,” Sanchez said. “Give him some simple things to execute and use his natural athletic ability.”
The Rebels return four starters off one of the best offensive lines in the Mountain West a season ago. In 2016 UNLV ranked third in yards per carry and gave up the fewest sacks in the conference. The skill positions are well stocked too, as the Rebels may have the best receiving duo in the Mountain West in Devonte Boyd and Kendal Keys and two running backs that averaged over five yards per carry in Lexington Thomas and Charles Williams.
Rogers just needs to provide some stability and accuracy to the position and this offense should take off. UNLV ranked 125th (of 128 teams) in completion percentage last year at 46.9 percent.
Sanchez also talked about UNLV’s role in the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium. He was involved earlier in the process, but has since backed off allowing President Len Jessup and Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois to take control of negotiations. Sanchez did mention a few things he wants to see in UNLV’s lease for the stadium.
“Early on we talked about things that I thought were important,” Sanchez said. “I think it is important for us to be able to go there and practice a couple of times a year during the spring and or the summer. We definitely want to be able to have a spring game there. Obviously we all have to give and take a little bit on gameday. It depends on what the surface is going to look like. Is it going to be grass? Is it field turf? I think we can all work together and make that happen. I’m confident that UNLV is well represented.”
There is expected to be more information available about UNLV’s lease next month when the Las Vegas Stadium Authority meets. On July 11 there may be a draft of UNLV’s lease available to the public.
You can listen to the full interview below. Tony Sanchez comes on around the 25 minute mark.