It’s Polian’s ‘sexiest’ class at Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

It’s Polian’s ‘sexiest’ class at Nevada

Joe Santoro
For the Appeal

The Wolf Pack’s 2016 recruiting class . . .

TREVION ARMSTRONG

Size: 6-3, 215

Year: Freshman

From: Trinity Episcopal School, Richmond, Va.

Position: Wide receiver

Notes: Caught 56 passes for 987 yards, 17 touchdowns last year and 63 for 1,095 and 19 scores as a junior. Was also a standout basketball player in high school. Recruited by Pack assistant coach Scott Boone.

Polian says: Trevian combines size and athletic ability and that is what we are most excited about. He catches the ball real well and runs better than what people give him credit for.

MILES BEACH

Size: 6-4, 235

Year: Freshman

From: Los Gatos (Calif.) High School

Position: Tight end

Notes: Caught 18 passes for 506 yards, six touchdowns last year. Also had 36 tackles, 2 sacks as a defensive end. Recruited by Pack assistant coach Mike Bradeson.

Polian says: Miles is a real solid tight end prospect with good measurable. He showed a physicality that we liked on both offense and defense. He plays the game the right way. It is important for us to recruit good student athletes from the Bay area and he is a good one.

DANIEL BROWN

Size: 5-10, 165

Year: Freshman

From: Narbonne High, Harbor City, Calif.

Position: Defensive back

Notes: 48 tackles, four interceptions as senior, 36 tackles as junior. Recruited by Pack assistant coach Ricky Thomas.

Polian says: Daniel is a high quality cover corner who has worked real hard at his craft. He is really technically sound. He had above average football IQ and excellent movement skills.

NATE BROWN

Size: 6-5, 285

Year: Freshman

From: Tracy (Calif.) High School

Position: Offensive line

Notes: Enrolled at Nevada this month. Last season of high school football was 2014.

Polian says: We felt out of high school he needed six months of physical growth and maturity and the extra six months helped his physical maturity a great deal. He has added some good weight and should be able to compete as a member of the Union in short order.

CARL BURTON-HILL

Size: 6-5, 296

Year: Freshman

From: Dixon (Calif.) High School

Position: Offensive line

Notes: Also had 26 tackles and a sack last year as a defensive lineman.

Polian says: For a 300-pound man he really moves his feet and runs well. We believe the sky is the limit as he continues to develop. When you watch him on film, he really tries to hurt people.

MAX CHRISTENSEN

Size: 6-1, 231

Year: Freshman

From: Sky View High School, Smithfield, Utah

Position: Defensive line

Notes: Projects as defensive end. Will delay enrollment at Nevada and go on 2-year Mormom mission. Had 100 tackles last year with 13.5 sacks and 60 tackles and 14.5 tackles for a loss as a junior.

Polian says: Max plays with a great motor, has natural pass rush ability and he has very long arms which help him fight off blockers at the line of scrimmage. He has the wingspan of a man 6-foot-6.

TY GANGI

Size: 6-2, 205

Year: Sophomore

From: Ventura College

Position: Quarterback

Notes: Last year of high school football was 2013 at St. Francis High in La Canada, Calif., Passed for 3,311 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior. Attended Colorado in 2014 but sat out season and transferred to Ventura College in 2015, where he passed for 2,288 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Polian says: We were attracted to Ty’s makeup as a person , his accuracy as a thrower and his ability to extend plays and make things happen with his feet. He doesn’t have an overwhelming, powerful arm but he can make all the throws.

NICK GREGG

Size: 6-0, 295

Year: Freshman

From: Reed High School, Sparks

Position: Defensive line

Notes: Two-time Northern Region Defensive Player of the Year. 80 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, eight sacks as a senior. 90 tackles as a junior. 17 career sacks at Reed.

Polian says: Nick Gregg is one of the best players in northern Nevada and we are thrilled to keep him here. It is important for us to start our recruiting efforts at home and Nick is an example of that. He has terrific size and power but is also very light on his feet for a 290-pound player.

LAWSON HALL

Size: 6-0, 210

Year: Freshman

From: Narbonne High School, Harbor City, Calif.

Position: Linebacker

Notes: Mother is a Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant. Had six sacks last season and 269 tackles in high school career.

Polian says: Lawson has the athletic ability to play in space and also possesses strength and toughness to be effective against the run. He should not only help us on defense but on special teams as well. He will make us better just with his personality alone.

ISAIAH HAMILTON

Size: 5-11, 190

Year: Freshman

From: Inderkum High, Sacramento

Position: Running back

Notes: Did not play football last season at Inderkum because he had to sit out year because of transfer rules. Played two previous seasons at Vanden High in Fairfield, Calif., where he rushed for 1,158 yards, 18 touchdowns as a junior and 1,114 yards and 17 scores as a sophomore. Competed on track team for Inderkum last spring.

Polian says: We really thought highly of him as a player off of his junior film. Our feelings only got stronger as we watched him deal with the frustration of losing his senior season. He showed significant maturity. He has straight line burst. He sees it and hits it.

DAVID HARVEY

Size: 6-1, 193

Year: Freshman

From: New Caney (Texas) High School

Position: Wide receiver

Notes: 63 catches, 1,257 yards, 19 touchdowns as senior. 47 catches, 707 yards, six scores as junior. Born in Pasadena, Calif.

Polian says: We are excited about his position versatility. He can play in the slot and can also line up on the outside. We also believe he can be impact (on special teams) because of his strength as a skill player.

KEVIN HOWELL

Size: 5-9, 180

Year: Freshman

From: Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High School

Position: Defensive back

Notes: 57 tackles, three interceptions as senior. Also had 87 catches for 1,631 yards, 23 touchdowns in career as wide receiver.

Polian says: Kevin is a little bit undersized but we could not help but get excited when we watched his tape. He makes plays on offense and defense and is a very physical player. We believe he can play corner or safety and also on special teams.

DAQ IRBY

Size: 6-1, 187

Year: Freshman

From: San Diego, Calif., Morse High School

Position: Defensive back

Notes: First name is Daquirae. Also played basketball and competed in track in high school.

Polian says: Daq is an interesting prospect because of his size and athletic ability. Daq is tall and has long arms which are valuable traits for a defensive back. He also moves and changes directions with ease.

DAYLON JOHNSON

Size: 6-1, 171

Year: Freshman

From: Conroe, Texas, Oak Ridge High School

Position: Defensive back

Notes: Projects as a safety. 61 tackles as senior, 68 as junior.

Polian says: Daylon is a true safety. He has good length and with time and effort in the weight room will grow into a good sized defensive back.

JAXSON KINCAIDE

Size: 5-9, 180

Year: Freshman

From: St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Position: Running back

Notes: Rushed for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns as senior. Had six 100-yard games.

Polian says: Jaxson is a very exciting football player. Jaxson is a little undersized but has exceptional feet and vision. He was very effective against a high level of competition.

SEAN KREPSZ

Size: 6-5, 320

Year: Sophomore

From: Riverside (Calif.) College

Position: Offensive line

Notes: Projects as a guard. Graduated from Martin Luther King High in Riverside, Calif., Committed to Washington State out of high school but then sat out 2014 season and transferred to Riverside.

Polian says: Sean is a big, powerful man with physical maturity. He should compete quickly for playing time on the offensive line. He plays with tenacity, uses his hands well and tries to finish people.

NAKITA LEALAO

Size: 6-2, 305

Year: Junior

From: Laney College, Oakland

Position: Defensive line

Notes: Played in 2011 and 2015 for Laney. Went on Mormon mission for two years in between. Had 52 tackles and six sacks in 2011 at Laney. Graduated from Herriman (Utah) High School in 2010. Had 17 sacks as a senior.

Polian says: Nakita is an older player who we hope can come in and compete quickly. He possesses a maturity that most college players do not. Our hope is that he can be an effective player in the interior of our line and help us defend the run.

MARCUS LUCAS

Size: 5-11, 183

Year: Freshman

From: McGill Toolen Catholic High School, Mobile, Ala.

Position: Defensive back

Notes: Also played basketball in high school. High school team won football Class 7A state title in Alabama. Recruited by Pack assistant coach Ricky Thomas.

Polian says: We are going to start him off at safety but he played both safety and cornerback at high school, often covering the opposition’s best player. He has shown the tools to operate in space and the toughness to tackle.

AKEEL LYNCH

Size: 5-11, 220

Year: Senior

From: Penn State

Position: Running back

Notes: Rushed for 282 yards and three touchdowns last year at Penn state after gaining 678 yards in 2014. Rushed for 1,318 yards in three years at Penn State. Graduated from St. Francis High in Buffalo, N.Y., the same school that Polian graduated from. Recruited by Pack assistant coach Lester Erb.

Polian says: Our relationship with him goes back years. Lester Erb recruited him at Iowa. (Will join Pack in June after graduating Penn state in May). We expect him to come in and compete immediately. He will give us another powerful back with tremendous size and feet.

JAKE NELSON

Size: 6-5, 275

Year: Sophomore

From: Saddleback College

Position: Offensive line

Notes: From San Juan Hills (Calif.) High School. Enrolled at Nevada this month. Projects as offensive tackle.

Polian says: There is no doubt that Jake has room to grow physically but has experience playing tackle and moves his feet well.

D.J. POWE

Size: 6-2, 210

Year: Freshman

From: El Cerrito (Calif.) High School

Position: Linebacker

Notes: Had 96 tackles, four sacks as senior

Polian says: D.J. is exciting because he is a raw athlete with a tremendous amount of upside. He played all over the field in high school on both offense and defense. We are excited about his speed, his aggressiveness and his physical frame. With time in our strength program he is going to grow into a big man who can run.

ALEC SIMPSON

Size: 6-1, 215

Year: Freshman

From: Pacific Palisades (Calif.) High School

Position: Linebacker

Notes: Had 82 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss as senior. 115 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss as junior

Polian says: We have known Alec for a long time and feel good about his future here. He is an instinctive linebacker and we feel he will be a big athlete after some time in our weight room.

KAMERON TOOMER

Size: 6-3, 235

Year: Freshman

From: Palo Verde High School, Las Vegas

Position: Defensive line

Notes: Projects as defensive end. Father Kyle played at UNLV. Brother Korey plays for Oakland Raiders.

Polian says: Kameron Toomer is a guy who jumped out at us in a camp in Las Vegas. And we are fired up because of his physical tools. He has a great frame and above average speed and burst. There is no doubt that Kameron’s best days are in front of him.

Brian Polian believes his 2016 recruiting class has made the Nevada Wolf Pack a better football program.

“It’s a rock solid group,” said Polian of the 23-player class who signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday. “There’s nobody you look at and say, “Geez, I hope he pans out.’ I’m very happy with this class.”

The Wolf Pack signed players from seven different states (California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Florida, Alabama and Virginia), adding four junior college players, one fifth-year transfer and 18 high school players.

“Admittedly, it might not be the sexiest class we’ve ever had here,“ said Polian of his fourth signing class since becoming the Wolf Pack head coach in January 2013. “But I’m not worried about rankings. Once you get past the Top 25 schools in the country, people don’t really know. Even we don’t know completely. But we’re taking educated bets and I feel real good about all our new players.”

Polian seemed most pleased with the five defensive backs (all high school players) the Pack added: Daniel Brown (Harbor City, Calif.), Kevin Howell (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Daq Irby (San Diego), Daylon Johnson (Conroe, Texas) and Marcus Lucas (Mobile, Ala.).

“This DB crop is real good,” Polian said. “There are one or two freshmen that could end up in our depth chart.”

Johnson’s recruitment

involved talking to his grandmother on Skype. “She really wanted Daylon to go to a school closer to New Orleans, where his family is from,” smiled Polian.

Howell, Polian says, is a big-time hitter. “He just destroys people on film,” he said.

The Wolf Pack, it seems, also added a stable of running backs who could help immediately and in the future.

“It’s hard to not get excited about this running back group,” Polian said.

The Pack lured former Penn State running back Akeel Lynch to help share the load with returning tailback James Butler next year. Lynch, who has just one year of eligibility remaining after gaining 1,318 yards at Penn State in his career, “will help us win games next year,” Polian said.

The hope is Lynch will help fill the void left by the loss of senior Don Jackson off last year’s team. Lynch, who graduated from the same high school (St. Francis High, just outside Buffalo, N.Y.) as Polian, will graduate from Penn State this May and join the Wolf Pack in June.

“We’ve known about Akeel for a long time,” Polian said. “James Butler is our guy. No question. But we want to play two tailbacks. That makes us better by the end of the season.”

New Pack backs also include high school players Isaiah Hamilton from Sacramento and Jaxson Kincaide from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Hamilton had to sit out last season after transferring to Inderkum High. But he did gain just under 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in two seasons combined as a sophomore and junior at Vanden High in Fairfield, Calif. Kincaide is from St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, the same school that also produced former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin and tennis legend Chris Evert.

“The first time I saw film (of Kincaide) I perked up and said, ‘Whoa, look at this,’” Polian said. “He has exceptional quickness, exceptional feet and exceptional vision.”

The four junior college transfers the Pack added are quarterback Ty Gangi of Ventura College, defensive lineman Nakita Lealao of Laney College and offensive linemen Sean Krepsz of Riverside College and Jake Nelson of Saddleback College. All will be sophomores in the fall except Lealao, who will be a junior.

Lealao and Krepsz could see extensive playing time this season, Polian said. “They can have an immediate impact,” Polian said.

Gangi, who went to Colorado out of high school (St. Francis High in La Canada, Calif.,) before transferring to Ventura, passed for 2,288 yards and 21 touchdowns last year. He also ran for 279 yard and five touchdowns and might press returning starter Tyler Stewart at quarterback. “I’m not saying there’s a quarterback controversy,” Polian said. “We’ll go to spring ball and go from there.”

Lealao, a 305-pound defensive tackle, could help the Pack replace departed senior defensive tackles Kevin McReynolds and Rykeem Yates. “He’s an older, mature guy,” Polian said. “We brought him here to compete right away. He’ll be a run stuffer.”

The Wolf Pack also recruited Nelson a year ago out of San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) High. “We were concerned about whether or not he could put weight on so we suggested he go to junior college for a year and it worked out real well,” Polian said. “He got better and he put on 20 pounds and is now 275 pounds. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up red-shirting this year but we look at him as a 295-pound tackle someday.”

The Wolf Pack also added two Nevada high school players in Reed High’s Nick Gregg and Palo Verde High’s (Las Vegas) Kameron Toomer. Toomer, a 6-3, 235-pounder, is a defensive end while Gregg, a 6-foot, 295-pounder, is a defensive tackle.

“I saw (Gregg) play in person against Damonte Ranch this season and I was impressed with how well he moved for a guy his size,” Polian said.

The Wolf Pack also signed three talented and athletic linebackers in Lawson Hall, D.J. Powe and Alec Simpson. Last year’s starters, Matt Lyons, Jordan Dobrich and Bryan Lane, were all seniors.

Hall is from Narbonne High in Harbor City, Calif., Powe is from El Cerrito (Calif.) High and Simpson is from Pacific Palisades (Calif.) High. “Powe is a little raw but he has big upside,” Polian said. “Lawson Hall can play inside or outside and is very athletic and tough. Simpson is a very instinctive player.”

The Wolf Pack lost one senior on offense (Jackson) and seven on defense (defensive linemen Ian Seau, Lenny Jones, McReynolds and Yates) and linebackers Lyons, Dobrich and Lane who saw extensive playing time a year ago.

“This is just another year of building a foundation of what we hope will lead to a Mountain West championship,” Polian said.