Update 2:20 p.m.
In coach Norvell’s weekly press conference—held every Monday on campus—he announced walk-on Malik Henry will be the starting quarterback versus San Jose St.
“Playing quarterback is more than just going out on the field and throwing the ball around, you have to prepare, you have to go to class, you have to take care of business off the field with your teammates,” Norvell said. “…so he just had to earn the trust and respect of everybody involved with him.”
Saturday’s game against the Spartans will be the first time Henry has seen action in Mackay Stadium since Nevada’s spring game, held every April. In that scrimmage, Henry completed 16-28 of his passes for 211 yards. His highlight of the day came when he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Romeo Doubs. It was his only score of the afternoon.
As the press conference moved on, Norvell commented on the growth Henry has made since coming to Nevada.
“I’ve had a lot of great conversations with Malik [Henry], and we talk about a lot of things besides football,” Novell said. “I really think he’s a misunderstood guy, I think he’s earned his opportunity here and so I’m excited to watch him play, I really am.”
Coming into the match against San Jose St., Nevada is sitting at 3-2 on the year and in fifth place in the Mountain West Conference West Division.
Near the end of his press conference, Norvell made it clear he doesn’t believe switching quarterbacks is the ‘magic decision’ to correct every issue facing Nevada football.
“The big thing that I want to say too, is that it’s just not the quarterback. This is not going to be the magic decision that makes us a special football team. It’s about everybody doing their job, everybody competing and making plays,” Norvell said. “…the quarterback position is no different than any other position, so we got to play better, and we feel that Malik [Henry] gives us a real chance. He’s got really good athletic ability, he’s got a really accurate arm and he’s got a good football mind, so we’re excited to watch him play.”
During Jay Norvell’s weekly press conference, the Nevada football head coach announced quarterback Malik Henry will start against San Jose St. this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.
The walk-on quarterback came to Nevada from Independence Community College last spring. Prior to his stint at ICC, Henry was a four-star recruit at Florida State University.
While playing for ICC, Henry completed just under 54 percent of his passes while throwing for 1383 yards and 10 touchdowns. He appeared in 10 games for the Pirates.
Before going to Florida State, Henry was ranked as the No. 17 recruit in the nation by ESPN.
Henry gained national attention when he became one of the featured athletes on Netflix’s ‘Last Chance U’. The show highlights the lives of collegiate athletes who may have struggled at the D-1 level, but have received a second chance at the community college level.
Henry appeared in one game this season for the Wolf Pack at UTEP. In that game, Henry completed all three of his passes for 28 yards.
This will be Henry’s first FBS start of his collegiate career.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated when more information is made available.
Ryan Freeberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports