Nevada Wolf Pack head coach Jay Norvell should focus on defense first says Darrell Moody (column) | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Wolf Pack head coach Jay Norvell should focus on defense first says Darrell Moody (column)

I admit to being a bit surprised at Nevada’s selection of Jay Norvell as its new football coach.

Certainly Norvell has worked at some big schools (Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona State) in his career, but he’s never been a head coach, and I think it takes a unique individual to run any sort of program/business.

Nevada athletic director Doug Knuth said he asked former coach Chris Ault about Norvell, and Ault put his stamp of approval on Norvell.

The one interesting thing will be to see what kind of recruiter Norvell is. Can he tap into the Arizona market at all? Does he still have any ties in Oklahoma?

Many Northern Nevadans complain about the lack of local talent on the Pack team. I think the Pack has missed on some local kids like Reed’s Parker Houston and Carson’s Asa Carter.

Parker played a lot at San Diego State this year, and outgoing coach Brian Polian certainly took some heat this year for that miss.

The best local player out there right now is Damonte quarterback Cade McNamara, who can throw the ball. Like most high schoolers, however, he needs to get bigger and stronger.

The biggest knock on the Pack program in recent years is a lack of defense.

Nevada has had some very good defensive players. Brandon Marshall, Josh Mauga and Isaiah Frey come to mind from my years of covering the team, but as a unit it has been sub-par even in the Ault years.

During the Colin Kaepernick years, the Pack won by outscoring people not stopping them on a regular basis.

Defense should be Norvell’s first priority. The Pack needs run-stoppers. If defense doesn’t dominate the recruiting class, we’re headed for more mediocrity and more empty seats.

Personally, I was rooting for Beau Baldwin, who has done great things as head coach at Eastern Washington and plays a wide-open style of football. Baldwin won a national title at EWU, and I have no doubt he will eventually move up to the Division I level.

In the early Ault years, wide-open football put the Wolf Pack on the map, and it was highly entertaining. My thought is if you are going to lose, at least entertain me.

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Corey Reid is off to a fast start for Azusa Pacific’s track team.

Reid competed at the Colorado School of Mines Alumni & Multi-event meet recently and finished sixth in the indoor heptathlon.

Reid chalked up 5,291 points which was good enough for an NCAA provisional mark for the NCAA indoor nationals.

Reid high jumped 6-7 3/4, posted a mark of 20-7 1/4 in the long jump, pole vaulted 15-1, ran 1000 meters in 2:48.73, chalked up a time of 8.57 in the 60 hurdles, ran a 7.20 in the 60-meter dash and threw the shot 38-feet 4-inches.

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Nicole Carlsen, who capably handles public relations for the Barracuda Championship, brought to my attention that a Reno charity has been honored by the PGA Tour.

Each One Tell One has been named the 2016 PGA TOUR Charity of the Year. Through fundraising efforts, including an annual golf tournament, support and educational programs, Each One Tell One is an organization dedicated to raising dense breast tissue awareness for early breast cancer detection.

“We are so honored to have the PGA TOUR recognize the work we do to bring about dense breast tissue awareness,” said Heather Reimer, Each One Tell One founder, in a press release. “To be associated with the TOUR is a dream come true for us and will allow us to continue helping save the lives of women. As a small non-profit from Reno, being associated with the PGA TOUR brand is a huge honor for us.”

The 2017 Barracuda Championship will be held July 31-Aug. 6 at Montrêux Golf and Country Club.