Covering High School Sports in America
Foothill (Henderson) senior Connor Afoa suffered a serious knee injury during the football season, but he still caught the eye of UNLV's coaching staff.

A 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker, Afoa was offered a scholarship on Monday by UNLV coach Bobby Hauck and he quickly made a verbal commitment to the Rebels, according to

Afoa is the first player from southern Nevada to commit to UNLV, which signed eight local players last year.

"They're really turning it around coaching-wise," Afoa told "Me and my mom were very pleased with the way they approached us and talked to us the whole time."

Afoa, who had an earlier offer from Utah State, underwent surgery in November for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He was a first-team All-Southeast League pick at running back and also played safety for the Falcons (10-2), who advanced to the Sunrise Region semifinals.

Afoa is expected to play linebacker for UNLV.

"Being through all of it, the knee surgery, now I've got (a scholarship)," Afoa told "It's just lifted the entire world off my shoulders. I couldn't be happier right now."

Afoa ran for 524 yards and nine touchdowns before being injured. He also had 19 tackles and two sacks.

"I'm really happy for him. He's worked awfully hard," Foothill coach Martin Redmond told "A lot of kids can't bounce back from that kind of an injury."