Barredo, Andrews look to contribute for Pack | NevadaAppeal.com

Barredo, Andrews look to contribute for Pack

Marty Greenstein

The University of Nevada football team didn’t have to look far to find two players on this year’s roster. Joe Andrews of Gardnerville and Chris Barredo of Carson City are both playing for the Wolf Pack — and they are looking forward to contributing.

Andrews, a red-shirt sophomore who has been practicing on the offensive line the past two years, is making the transition to tight end. While the move from being a blocker to a receiver seems challenging, Andrews played tight end at Douglas High School and seems comfortable with the switch.

Because practices are just starting, Andrews isn’t sure of where he is on the depth chart, but he does have some expectations.

“Myself, I’d just like to see the field quite a bit on special teams or wherever else I can get out there. As far as the team, we want to get this program back to where is used to be. I wouldn’t throw out any clear number for our record, but we want to keep improving on what we’ve done before.”

The Wolf Pack have struggled the past few years, going a combined 5-18 under coach Chris Tormey. With 19 returning starters, the team is set to improve this season.

Playing in the Western Athletic Conference, however, the competition is pretty tough.

“There’s a lot of good teams out there,” Andrews said. “Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, and Louisiana Tech all return quite a few starters and won at least eight games last year. It’s a pretty tight race and should be interesting.

“As a team, we’re pretty close. We just need to keep our eyes on what we need to get done.”

For Barredo, a walk-on kicker who’s expected to red-shirt, this season is going to be a learning experience.

“I’m just working to get stronger, get my leg a little bit strong, and get faster,” Barredo said.

Barredo is also getting used to playing for a Division 1 school instead of Carson High School, where he kicked a 50-yard field goal as a senior in 2001.

“This is a whole new level,” he said. “(The difference) is huge. (Kicking) off the ground is a big change, but I’ve been kicking pretty good.”

Barredo makes up half of the team’s two place kickers. The starting kicker is sophomore Damon Fine, who is regarded as one of the finest in the country. Playing behind Fine, Barredo probably won’t see playing time this season.

“I’m just going out and having fun with these guys,” Barredo said. “It’s a new experience for me. “

Both Andrews and Barredo will benefit from playing close to home.

“It’s real nice to have friends and relatives that can just come up and watch you play,” Andrews said. “It’s a little nerve racking sometimes because you want to make everyone proud, but you do your best.

“There’s just something about being from Nevada and playing for Nevada.”

Notes: Fine, who finished last season as the Wolf Pack’s only place kicker, is elated to see Barredo on the team.

“I’ve heard a good word on him and that he has a really strong leg. I’m anxious to go out and work with him. To get a new freshman in the program is great; Lord knows we need more of us.”

Fine is a finalist for the Lou Groza award, given to the top place kicker in the country.

“It’s a big honor and a pleasure to hear the people think highly of me. It’s also a challenge to put forth that much more effort and get the best out of me this season and see if I can get a real running shot at it.”

The star of the team is Chance Kretschmer, who created a shockwave when he became the leading rusher in the country. The shock is gone now, and opposing teams will be focusing their defenses on him.

“There’s going to be a big X (on me), but you got to look past that and get all the yards you can get. My goal is to maybe rush for 1,000 yards. I’m just looking for more wins, whatever gets us to a bowl game.”