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UNLV to honor Las Vegas shooting victims and local heroes during game on Saturday, Nevada to wear ‘Las Vegas’ helmet decals

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The state of Nevada’s FBS football teams will honor the victims and local heroes from this past Sunday’s tragic shooting along the Las Vegas Strip.

According to a release by UNLV, the Rebels are planning a pregame tribute before Saturday’s contest against San Diego State that will include a 100-yard long American flag for the national anthem and a ceremony that will honor those lost in the attack, as well as first-responders, medical personnel and other local heroes who rushed in to save lives over the weekend. Both teams will also don red ‘Las Vegas’ ribbon decals on their helmets, in addition to similar ribbons being worn by coaching staffs and those in attendance at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and the families impacted by this senseless act of violence,” UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. “While football is just a game, it can also serve as a rallying point of unity and allow all of us to recognize the incredible heroism displayed by so many this week. We are all extremely proud of our community’s response over the last couple of days.”

UNLV, whose campus is just a few miles from where the attack took place, is not the only football team who will pay tribute to the victims either as Mountain West rival Nevada is also set to wear a ‘Las Vegas’ helmet decal the rest of the season. The team hosts Hawaii on Saturday afternoon in Reno and likely join many college football games across the country with a moment of silence as well.

At least 59 people were killed this week after a gunman opened fire on a concert venue just off the Las Vegas Strip in what is being described as the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history. NBC News has continuing coverage of the aftermath of the attack online and on various NBC television channels and programs.

Days after making Wolf Pack debut, ex-Alabama QB David Cornwell leaves Nevada too

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So much for that, I guess.

On Saturday, David Cornwell made his debut as a Nevada Wolf Pack football player.  Three days later, the football program announced that the quarterback has left the team and asked for a release from his scholarship.

No reason for the abrupt departure was given.

“We appreciate his contributions and wish him the best moving forward,” a portion of a statement from the school read.

The move ends an odd tenure for Cornwell with the Mountain West program.

In an early December of last year, Cornwell announced his decision to leave Alabama; a little over a month later, he landed at Nevada as a graduate transfer.  A strong spring practice led him to be named Nevada’s starting quarterback entering summer camp, but he couldn’t maintain that job ahead of the opener against Northwestern.

Idle the first three games of the 2017 season, Cornwell made his debut in the 38-point loss to Washington State in Week 4.  In that time, he went 13-of-25 for 97 yards and three interceptions.  On Monday, Ty Gangi, who started the first two games, was again named the starter while true freshman Kaymen Cureton, the starter the last two games, was named the backup.

One day later, Cornwell, the No. 3 quarterback on the most recent depth chart, asked for his release.

Cornwell was a four-star 2014 recruit, rated as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma. He did not attempt a pass during any of his three seasons in Tuscaloosa.

If he opts to transfer to a third FBS program, Cornwell would have one season of eligibility remaining that he could use next season.

Body of Nevada’s Marc Ma found, a year after he was presumed drowned

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Sadly, there is some closure for the family, friends and teammates of Marc Ma.

In mid-June of last year, Ma was one of a half-dozen or so Nevada football players who went paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe.  At some point, the group, only one of whom was wearing a life vest, was all washed off their boards, with the 20-year-old Ma heading back to shore to get help.

Ma subsequently disappeared, with the marina staff finding only his paddle board and personal flotation device.  It was presumed that Ma had drowned as his body wasn’t recovered.

That all changed over the weekend as Ma’s head coach, Brian Polian, confirmed Tuesday that the player’s body has been recovered from Lake Tahoe.

The recovery came, mynews4.com writes, after “Ma’s family hired private contractor “Bruce’s Legacy,” which is equipped with a specialized robotic camera system. Ma’s body was found in 240 feet of water very near where he was last seen, and was brought to shore with the aid of personnel from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Nevada names ‘Bama transfer as starting QB, but doesn’t say he’ll start opener

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David Cornwell, an Alabama transfer, will be Nevada’s starting quarterback — until he isn’t.

Wolf Pack head coach Jay Norvell said at Pac-12 media days that Cornwell will enter fall camp, which begins Monday, as the starter but that doesn’t mean Cornwell will actually start Nevada’s opener at Northwestern.

“David’s the starting quarterback right now and he’ll have to compete and earn that spot throughout training camp and if there’s reason for him not to be (the starting quarterback) we’ll address,” Norvell said, via the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Until we see that, we won’t make any changes at that position.”

A junior from Jones, Okla., Cornwell did not throw a pass with the Crimson Tide. He started Nevada’s spring game and completed 22-of-33 throws for 302 yards with two touchdowns.

“David fits those qualities and demonstrated those strengths the best out of all of our quarterbacks in the spring, and that’s why he was the starting quarterback,” said Norvell. “And the way he played in the spring game gave us even more evidence of that.”

Cornwell’s competition for the starting spot will be incumbent Ty Gangi, also a junior. Gangi appeared in 10 games last season, nailing 99-of-172 throws for 1,301 yards with eight touchdowns against six interceptions whilst rushing 49 times for 217 yards and three scores.

 

Pair of 2016 finalists headline Outland Trophy watch list

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In yet another sign that the offseason is quickly coming to an end and another season is rapidly approaching, the Outland Trophy has become the latest college football award to release its preseason watch list.

Given annually to the nation’s top interior linemen on either side of the ball, the Outland’s watch list this year consists of 81 players from all 10 FBS conferences.  Headlining that group are Washington State senior guard Cody O’Connell (pictured, No. 76) and Texas junior offensive tackle Connor Williams, two of the three finalists for the 2016 award won by Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

From the release, courtesy of the Football Writers Association of America:

The ACC (17) led all conferences with members on the Watch List, followed by the Big Ten and SEC (11 each), Pac-12 (10), American Athletic (9), Big 12 and Mid-American (6 each), Independents and Mountain West (4 each), Conference USA (2) and Sun Belt (1).

The list includes 24 offensive tackles, 21 defensive tackles, 20 centers and 16 offensive guards.