Sanchez hopes fifth recruiting class addresses UNLV football's defensive needs

Tony Sanchez is looking to the defense with his latest recruits. (KSNV)

After a 4-8 season, UNLV Football coach Tony Sanchez said his biggest need was defense, and on National Signing Day Wednesday, he spoke about his fifth recruiting class which he hopes will help address that need.

The recruiting class was ranked eighth out of the 12 teams in the Mountain West Conference by Rivals and 247Sports.

Of the 21 recruits that make up Sanchez's fifth recruiting class, 12 are on the defensive side of the ball, and of those, seven are junior college transfers.

“Defensively, we felt like we needed some guys that they could come in and play right now, make a difference,” said Sanchez.

On offense, UNLV returns many of its starters, like quarterback Armani Rogers, but Sanchez did add more experience on that side of the ball as well, with graduate transfer Jordan McCray, a wide receiver out of South Alabama.

While it'll be hard to replace outgoing senior running back, Lexington "Lightning" Thomas, UNLV does have a surprising addition at the position.

Bishop Gorman graduate, Biaggio Ali Walsh, will be a walk on.

The grandson of “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali, who also works as a model, decided to move home to Las Vegas after two years at Cal, the first of which, he redshirted.

As Sanchez prepares to enter his fifth year at the helm of UNLV's football program, News 3’s Amber Dixon asked him how he interprets UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois' statement that she “looks forward” to UNLV being bowl eligible this year.

“I don’t even worry about it,” said Sanchez. “I have to focus on my guys; I have to focus on just the details of continuing to build this program.”

Spring practice begins February 25, 2019.

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