Home really means Nevada to Silver State natives Reagan Roberson and Sam Hammond.
“Being the Battle Born State has always been special to me,” said Roberson, a senior Nevada tight end who played for Douglas High. “You wear this with pride. There aren’t many places you bring your family to every game, let alone your extended family, cousins, aunts and uncles at every home game. , big hatchbacks and all that. It’s pretty special. “
Roberson and Hammond are two of 12 players from the state of Nevada, including five from Las Vegas.
“As a local, the community really responds to you,” said Hammond, a senior defensive lineman from Yerington. “It kind of gives them something to cling to, ‘Oh, this guy is from Yerington, like it’s right down the road.’ And I think the community is really approaching me with open arms. “
Roberson said that growing up it was rare for local players to stay home and get scholarships in Nevada, but that has changed in recent seasons. All but one of Nevada’s residents joined the team as substitutes, but Roberson and Hammond, among others, were quickly awarded scholarships.
“A lot of the guys I know who are native to northern Nevada and come to the University of Nevada are just tough, uncompromising guys,” Roberson said. “I mean Sam Hammond is one of the toughest guys I know, especially for him doing it like he did. (Coach Jay) Norvell explained that he was Yerington’s toothpick and that he is now the lumberjack. “
Because northern Nevada usually isn’t heavily recruited, Hammond said local players have an extra chip on their shoulder.
“I think coming from rural Nevada you’re kind of built differently,” Hammond said. “Your mindset is a little different. I love being in the moment, and I think it really comes from being from a small town, living together and understanding the people up close. count. “
Hammond walked in 2016 after a call from the late Wolf Pack assistant coach Mike Bradeson, while Roberson walked in 2017 and saw playing time as a true freshman on special teams. Both earned scholarships during their time with the Wolf Pack, as well as defensive tackle Zak Mahannah, a Reno graduate who played at two colleges before joining the Nevada roster in 2018 as a replacement. Former Bishop Manogue quarterback Drew Scolari became the first local player to sign with Nevada after high school since head coach Jay Norvell was hired in 2016. Christopher Smalley of Douglas High is also hired as part of the Nevada Recruiting Class of 2022.
Hammond became an All-Mountain West second-team pick last season as Roberson grabbed the winning touchdown in overtime to win the 2018 Arizona Bowl. Both had a big impact on the schedule and showed the locals can thrive in Nevada.
“We have all kinds of northern Nevada talent on offer, and it’s awesome,” said Roberson. “It’s cool because we don’t often get local guys to stay and have good careers here. Most notably is probably Austin Corbett, a guy from Reed who came here and had a really good career. , he plays in the league. I just think it’s special to be able to stay home, stay close to your people and try to represent something that you grew up watching. ”
Although they lived 55 miles from each other with Roberson in Gardnerville and Hammond in Yerington, the two have never faced each other in youth sports. But they became good friends while they were members of the wolf pack.
“It’s like I’ve known him for years and years at this point,” Hammond said. “I did it because we’ve been playing together for half a decade, but he and I act like we’re childhood buddies. I like to fight with him on the pitch every day, but that he is a good guy and I like to see him face each morning, he always brings a good charm to the team. “
Roberson added: “They say man sharpens man and iron sharpens iron, and me and Sam sharpen each other every day because he gets the best out of me, I shoot the best of it. We go back and forth, and we have a really friendly rivalry with that. “
You can watch our full Wolf Pack All Access feature on Sam Hammond and Reagan Roberson below.