RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada football program announced the signing of five players on Wednesday, the first day of the midyear signing period.
Three of the five signees are offensive linemen and the other two are defensive players – a linebacker and a safety. All five will enroll next month and will go through offseason workouts and spring drills with the team.
“We are very excited to welcome these five young men into our program at the mid-year,” Nevada coach Brian Polian said. “We believe that they are high character people who will have the ability to come in and make our program better, both on and off the field. Each should have a chance to be an impactful player for the Wolf Pack in 2014 and beyond.”
The three offensive linemen include two freshmen in Daren Echeveria and Chad Specht, along with junior college transfer Humberto Lopez. On the defensive side, Nevada signed linebacker Michael Spivey and safety Duran Workman, both junior college transfers.
Echeveria is a 6-foot-5, 270-pounder from Antelope Valley (Calif) High School who will likely play tackle. In addition to earning all-city, all-league, all-section and all-state honors as a senior in 2012, he was also a section champion in wrestling and lettered in track and field.
“Daren is an athletic offensive lineman who has a long frame that will carry more weight as his body develops,” Polian said. “He displayed a toughness in his high school film that made him an attractive prospect to us. We hope that he will develop into a core player for us on the offensive line in the future.”
Lopez is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds and is also slotted to play tackle for the Wolf Pack. A native of Desert Hot Springs, Calif., he played two seasons at College of the Desert, where he earned second-team all-conference honors. He also played basketball and competed in track and field at Desert Hot Springs High School.
“Bert is very athletic and light on his feet for man of his stature,” Polian said. “He has also displayed a work ethic and desire throughout his time in junior college that leads us to believe that he will be a success here at Nevada. We hope that with his size, strength and experience he will be able to come in and compete right away for a spot on the offensive line.”
Specht signed with Nevada in February and will enroll next month as a grayshirt. A product of Fresno, Calif., he earned first-team All-Valley honors as a junior and a senior. He is now 6-5 and 285 pounds.
“We are happy to have Chad back in the fold,” Polian said. “Originally a signee in the 2013 class, he suffered an injury in training camp and chose to return home for the fall and grayshirt. Before his injury, he had made a very strong impression on our staff and there is no reason to believe that he won’t play himself right back into the mix. Chad has a very bright future.”
Spivey is 5-11 and 240 pounds and comes to Nevada after two seasons at the College of San Mateo in the Bay Area. He was a running back and linebacker at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon.
“Michael is a very active, hard-playing linebacker who cannot only play inside the box, but has shown the ability to make plays in space as well,” Polian said. “He plays with punch and knocks people backwards. Michael should compete for playing time on defense and make an impact on the special teams pretty quickly.”
Workman (5-11, 200) is a native of Charleston, W.V., who recorded 100 tackles over the past two seasons at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. At George Washington High School in West Virginia, he was a four-year starter who earned all-state honors as a junior and senior.
“Duran is a very savvy football player with great instincts,” Polian said. “He is a sure tackler and has shown the intelligence and flexibility to play both the free and strong safety positions. Like Michael and Humberto, we would expect Duran to come in and have a chance to compete for playing time in short order.”