Nevada football players entering the field

Isaac Hoops/The Nevada Sagebrush
UNR vs Wyoming – October 24, 2020

As the Wolf Pack begin their delayed and shortened football season, they are debuting some new players on the roster for 2020.

Instead of recruiting top ranked players, Jay Norvell picked up two quarterbacks from community colleges; Nate Cox from Garden City (Kan.) Community College, and Jacob Barlage from Riverside (Calif.) City College. Both players have one season of collegiate level play under their belts and have potential to become the back-up to expected starting quarterback Carson Strong. 

Cox committed to the Wolf Pack in January of this year. Prior to this, he began his collegiate career with Louisiana Tech where he remained for two years but did not see any action on the field. He transferred to Garden City for the 2019 season where he completed 131-of-253 passes and threw for 1,891 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He will begin this season as a junior.

Barlage joined the team in July, and will enter as a sophomore. In his one season with Riverside City College, he completed 200-of-289 passes for 2,786 yards and 30 touchdowns. He threw for 289 yards and a touchdown in a California State championship game win against College of San Mateo. His contribution to the team led them to a perfect 13-0 season and the championship, and he was named the Most Valuable Player of the game.  

The Pack also acquired freshman players for the new season, including wide receivers Isaac Jernagin and Jamaal Bell, linebacker Naki Mateialona and more. 

Hailing from Bakersfield, Calif., Jernagin will begin the season as a true freshman. In high school, he was a three year starter and caught 21 passes for 248 yards and scored five touchdowns. He rushed 47 times for more than 600 yards and seven touchdowns. Defensively, he had 30 tackles and an interception. He chose Nevada over offers from notable schools like USC, Arizona State, and Oregon. 

True freshman Bell played for Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, Calif. Where he had 34 carries for 302 yards and 70 additional receptions for 1,272 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Mateialona attended Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. where he was lettered in football and basketball and has been described as a stand-out player. The true freshman was also a three year starter for football, and played for the offense, defense, and special teams. 

Nevada played their first game on Oct. 24 in a 37-34 win against Wyoming. Next, they will battle UNLV for the Fremont Cannon on Oct. 31.