Star running-back Charles Williams, true freshman quarterback Cameron Friel, and kicker Daniel Gutierrez were some of the main contributors to UNLV’s first win since 2019 on Saturday.
They each have added some new titles to their names, with all three breaking records, earning awards and being named semifinalist for national college football awards.
The active Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) career rush leader, Charles “The Chuck Wagon” Williams, added another milestone achievement to his name over the weekend, becoming UNLV’s All-Time leading rusher during the Rebel’s win against New Mexico.
On an 11-yard rush in the third quarter, Williams earned the throne and title as UNLV’s “Rushing King.” Williams is only the second man to hold the title of “Rushing King” since Mike Thomas became the record-holder in 1974. Williams now has 3,763 total rushing yards at UNLV.
“The whole reason why I was coming back was also to help the team win,” Williams stated in a press conference Monday after becoming UNLV’s all-time leading rusher. “But breaking records is something where I can set my name in stone here [UNLV] and I did something right.”
Averaging 20 rush attempts per game, Williams is on track to become UNLV’s career rush attempts leader, he currently sits at 730 rush attempts, 39 attempts behind the current leader, Tim Cornett. Williams also sits fourth in UNLV career 100-yard games with 13 total and sits fourth in UNLV’s career rushing touchdowns with 29.
Stats aside, Williams was the first Rebel football player ever named a CoSIDA Academic All-America team member and in October was named a semifinalist for the 2021 William V. Campbell Trophy, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award.
A legendary career by Williams at UNLV is still far from over but it came full circle in Albuquerque this past week. On the other sideline, stood New Mexicos’ special teams coordinator Jamie Christian. Back in 2016, Coach Christian recruited Williams to UNLV and on Saturday night watched him break the all-time school rushing record.
After the game, head coach Marcus Arroyo was awarded the game ball but in a press conference Monday, stated he gave it to Williams for his outstanding performance.
Freshman quarterback Cameron Friel has been making a name for himself the past couple of weeks.
First in week 5 against UTSA, Friel became the first UNLV quarterback to pass for 200 yards since Max Gilliam in week 2 of the previous season. Friel went on to pass for over 200 yards again in week 6 against San José State.
After two outstanding back-to-back performances, Friel was ranked a top 5 PFF (Pro Football Focus) true freshman quarterback in passing for week 6.
Most recently, the Mountain West league announced Friel as Freshman of the week after leading his team to their first victory in 706 days. During the game, Friel threw for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns while throwing a 60% completion rate.
“The first four-minute situation of his career, and that’s one that takes some time to understand how you do it, how you understand it, where you snap the ball, what the intent is,” Arroyo said, praising Friel during his first four-minute offense attempt during Saturday’s game. “So that was an awesome opportunity for him to kinda work through that and it is a different situation.”
Averaging a 63.8% completion rate this season, Friel is on track to beat UNLV’s single-season record by a freshman since Omar Clayton’s 61.1% season in 2007.
After entering UNLV as a walk-on, kicker Daniel Gutierrez earned himself a full scholarship this past summer.
In week 1, Gutierrez had a career night knocking down all four of his field goal attempts, including his then-personal-best 51-yarder, earning him Lou Groza Star of the Week.
Since then, Gutierrez broke UNLV’s school record for most consecutive three-pointers with 16. In week 7 against San José State, Gutierrez kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal.
This season he has made 12 field goals out of 13 attempts, which currently ranks him 11th in the nation with a 92.3 field goal percentage.
Daniel’s career field goal numbers at UNLV are 33-of-40 which ranks him first in school history with a percentage of 82.5, he also is 24-of-25 all-time from 29 yards or closer.
This past week, given Gutierrez’s incredible kicking ability, he was named a 2021 Burlsworth Trophy nominee as well as a semifinalist for the Lou Groza award, an ultimate kicker honor award.
Be on the lookout for Williams, Friel, and Gutierrez in UNLV’s last three games of the season. The Rebels are set to host Hawai’i on Nov. 13 at 1 p.m at Allegiant stadium, UNLV students get free tickets for the Allegiant Stadium games at unlvtickets.evenue.net