Wolf Pack's Current Roster & Recruiting Needs

Wolf Pack's Current Roster & Recruiting Needs

Where does Nevada football stand in its 2015 recruiting class and who are the targets we'd most like to see the Wolf Pack staff get commitments from?

In order to understand what Nevada’s recruiting needs are, we first need to understand what they’ve currently got on the roster. That’s easier said than done. Figuring out what Wolf Pack football's recruiting needs are is more art than science. There is a lot of fuzzy math involved and a great deal of interpretation.

85 Scholarships

To simplify things, let's start with the NCAA roster rule that says teams can have no more than 85 scholarship players in the program. 85 slots with which to build a roster with, spread over 4 classes, 5 if you include red-shirt players and balanced with a mix of offense, defense and specialists.

As you can see from the chart below, Nevada has roughly 76 players on scholarship as it enters Fall camp. We say "roughly" because scholarships and rosters are very fluid things. Attrition, year to year scholarships and walk-ons make nailing down an exact number difficult, given that it's not always immediately clear when a player departs or when a walk-on is awarded a scholarship.

An analysis of Nevada's roster reveals a couple of interesting facts, the staff has roughly 24 slots available for the 2015 recruiting class and the 2012 recruiting class was severely impacted by attrition following the departure of long-time head football coach Chris Ault.

If the Nevada staff has 76 players currently on roster, if they have 15 seniors who'll be exhausting their eligibilty at the end of this season, if they don't award a scholarship to any walk-ons and if they don't have any attrition, they'll have 24 scholarships to give for the 2015 class.

The Wolf Pack signed 25 to their 2013 recruiting class, but they deferred 4 of those players to mid-year enrollment, so-called grey shirts. QB Cristian Solano, RB/ATH Kelton Moore, WR Victor Gonzalez and DL Cliff Porter will all technically count against Nevada's 2014 recruiting class, leaving 20 spots still to fill. As of this writing, 9 players have given non-binding verbal commitments to join the Wolf Pack in 2014, leaving 11 spots still open.

The lost class of 2012

Looking at the red shirt freshmen on the scholarship grid, it's also interesting to note how few of Chris Ault's final recruiting class remain. 10 players from that 20 person class departed early for one reason or another. It's not entirely surprising, given an unexpected change in coaching, those players weren't as invested in the program and the new staff would have less qualms about cleaning house if they didn't fit with what the new coach was trying to build.

The attrition from that 2012 class illustrates one of the reasons it's so difficult to project a team's roster from year to year. Players get injured, they leave football, they fail to make grades, they transfer for more playing time, they get dismissed for violating team rules, etc. We do our best to keep track of it all, because we're obsessed, but it bears repeating that recruiting is more art than science, and it's more chaos theory than it is straight up mathematics.

Positional and Class Breakdown

A position-by-position plus year-by-year look at the Wolf Pack football roster:

QUARTERBACK
Seniors: Devin Combs, Cody Fajardo
Juniors: NONE
Sophomores: Tyler Stewart
RS-Freshmen: Dante Mayes
Freshmen: Hunter Fralick
Grey Shirts: Cristian Solano
Need: 2
Have: 2 (Cristian Solano, Baylor Romney)

RUNNINGBACK
Seniors: Kendall Brock, Nate McLaurin
Juniors: Don Jackson
Sophomores: NONE
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: James Butler, Blake Wright
Grey Shirts: NONE, but athlete Kelton Moore might factor in here.
Need: 2
Have: 1 (Kelton Moore)

WIDE RECEIVER
Seniors: Richy Turner
Juniors: NONE
Sophomores: Hassan Henderson, Jerico Richardson
RS-Freshmen: Julian Brooks, D'Andre Fuller
Freshmen: Andrew Celis, Wyatt Demps
Grey Shirts: Victor Gonzalez
Need: 2
Have: 2 (Victor Gonzalez, Ricky Thomas)

TIGHT END
Seniors: NONE
Juniors: Zach Brickell
Sophomores: Patrick Clifford, Jarred Gipson, Kameron Richardson
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: Matt Moen, Brandon Scott
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 0
Have: 0

OFFENSIVE LINE
Seniors: Matt Galas, Kyle Roberts
Juniors: Abel De Haro, Nathan Goultry, Humberto Lopez, Brent Rolling, Connor Talbott
Sophomores: Jeremy Macauley
RS-Freshmen: Joey Angelmire, Austin Corbett, Ziad Damanhoury, Adam Khouri
Freshmen: Darren Echeveria, Mat McDermand, Chad Specht
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 3
Have: 1

KICKERS
Seniors: NONE
Juniors: NONE
Sophomores: Brent Zuzo
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: NONE
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 0
Have: 0

PUNTERS
Seniors: NONE
Juniors: NONE
Sophomores: Alex Boy
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: NONE
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 0
Have: 0

LONG SNAPPERS
Seniors: NONE
Juniors: NONE
Sophomores: NONE
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: NONE
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 1
Have: 1 (Wes Farnsworth)

DEFENSIVE END
Seniors: Brock Hekking
Juniors: Lenny Jones, Ian Seau
Sophomores: NONE
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: Patrick Choudja, Malik Reed, Korey Rush
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 3
Have: 1 (Hausia Sekona)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Seniors: Jordan Hanson, Dupree Roberts-Jordan
Juniors: Rykeem Yates, Jeremy Miller
Sophomores: Salesa Faraimo
RS-Freshmen: Kevin Sundberg
Freshmen: Kalei Meyer, Jordan Silva
Grey Shirts: Cliff Porter
Need: 3
Have: 1 (Cliff Porter)

LINEBACKER
Seniors: Gabe Lee, Jonathan McNeal
Juniors: Jordan Dobrich, Fie Faaituala, Bryan Lane Jr., Matthew Lyons
Sophomores: Alex Bertrando, Travis Wilson
RS-Freshmen: NONE
Freshmen: Jarid Joseph, Jacob Lacaden
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 4
Have: 3 (Riley Brand, Taylor Powell, Abiel Taito)

DEFENSIVE BACK
Seniors: Evan Favors, Charles Garrett, Nigel Haikins
Juniors: Duran Workman
Sophomores: Kaodi Dike, Elijah Mitchell, Randy Uzoma
RS-Freshmen: Tere Calloway
Freshmen: Kendall Johnson, Elijah Moody, Ahki Muhammad, Asauni Rufus
Grey Shirts: NONE
Need: 3
Have: 1 (E.J. Muhammad)

In the second part of this article, we'll take a closer look at Nevada's verbal commitments and what positional needs we think they are still looking to fill.

Neil Henderson can be reached via Twitter.

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