UNLV football borrows Strip magician to present walk-on scholarship

Image

Ray Maker/ Las Vegas Sun UNLV football’s Ammir Aziz hugs coach Tony Sanchez after learning he was put on scholarship on Friday, April 13, 2018.

=” Ray Brewer contact page” > contact) Saturday, April 14, 2018|2 a.m. Associated Content Ammir Aziz thought his Friday couldn’t get any better when, during his early morning shift working security at the MGM Grand, he was introduced to country music star Blake Shelton.

Aziz is no stranger to Shelton’s lyrics, regularly singing them and other tunes to his UNLV football teammates.” Ask any of the men, I love to sing,” he said.

Aziz, as he does most early mornings, left work about 5 a.m. and went to campus for spring practice and classes. He is a walk-on defensive lineman who has actually played just a handful of snaps in three seasons.

However coaches say he’s an important member of the team, nonetheless, and deeply respected by his teammates. That’s because of what the 6-foot-6, 335-pound senior endures to be a Rebel reserve.

Take Friday, for instance.

Although Aziz was just a few hours eliminated from finishing a 13-hour work shift, he was still filled with interest at practice. He’s also kept a 3.0 GPA and is on track to finish next spring with a degree in sociology.

Click to enlarge photo

Ray Brewer/ Las Vegas Sun Magician Farrell Dillon, left, from the Masters of Impression program at Bally’s assisted UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez, right, present protective lineman Ammir Aziz a scholarship after practice on Friday, April 13, 2018.

When practice ended, Aziz’s day got better with the help of another Strip performer.

Coach Tony Sanchez arranged for magician Farrell Dillon from the Masters of Illusion show at Bally’s to carry out for the players.

Dillon, who donated his time, requested for the most significant Rebel to assist him, and the players all yelled, “Aziz.” At the end of the act, there was an envelope with Aziz’s name on it. He opened it to discover a message: “Congratulations on a complete ride scholarship.”

Within seconds, he was swarmed by his teammates in event.

” I didn’t know what was going on,” Aziz said. “This is such a true blessing. I am blessed to be on this team. I have 100 bros on this group. I would take a bullet for each among them.”

The scholarship will cover Aziz’s tuition, space and board for his final year. More important, he’ll no longer need to work the night shift to make ends satisfy.

This is the third walk-on Sanchez has actually granted a scholarship throughout his four years at UNLV. When he put Dalton Baker on scholarship 2 years earlier, Sanchez did a sophisticated discussion on the big screen at Sam Boyd Stadium.

That statement went viral, even finding its method to ESPN’s College Game Day. This one may likewise.

” It is Vegas. We can do cooler stuff than anyone,” Sanchez said. “There were a lot of ideas, however it’s hard to include 105 people into that. This worked out completely.”

Aziz, whose parents live out of the nation, has worked considering that he was a teenager at Durango High School to help support himself. During a night shift at Little Caesars 4 years ago, he was spotted by a UNLV assistant coach on a supper run.

The Rebels, in Sanchez’s initial spring, were brief on linemen for practice. This huge body working the pizza counter, a few months removed from playing in high school, would assist fill the space.

Little did the coaches know what type of person they were getting in Aziz. His character is contagious, his work ethic unmatched.

” He never ever had expectations of being on a scholarship,” Sanchez said. “It shows everyone out there that it is not always about (football), it is about doing the ideal thing each day.”

The balancing act of school, football and work isn’t really easy. However quitting was never a choice for Aziz– a mentality he credits Sanchez for helping instill.

” He established GATA in my life. You need to get after it,” Aziz stated, describing the acronym for Sanchez’s catchphrase: Get after them strongly.

The Rebels have actually enhanced their win total by one game in each of Sanchez’s seasons however still fell one win shy of getting approved for a bowl last season. This season will be different, Aziz said.

If his journey has actually taught him anything, it’s that the benefit for hard work isn’t really constantly instant.

” We have the talent. We have whatever we have to win,” he said. “We are a snap here and there away from winning, you know? Truthfully, this year I think we will take it all. We have the skill. We have the brotherhood.”

Ray Maker can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [e-mail protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *