Clayton gets starting nod

Starting QB Omar Clayton

UNLV head coach Mike Sanford made it official on Monday night that sophomore Omar Clayton will be his starting quarterback for the team's Aug. 30 opener against Utah State. No surprise there. But the fate of last year's starting QB, Travis Dixon, was a stunner.

Dixon will move to safety to help shore up UNLV's thin secondary.

Dixon actually made the announcement of his position switch to the team at a meeting on Monday and received a large roar from the defense. He wore a new uniform, No. 9, and reported with the secondary at Monday night's practice at Rebel Park.

"Youth football probably," Dixon said when asked the last time he played in the secondary. "It's been a while."

Dixon said "he was excited" and "ready to help the team out" when he got the news of the position switch.

"I just want to help the team out and get us some more victories this season," he said. "We're kind of think over there."

"I was kind of surprised," Clayton said when he heard that Dixon was moving to defense. "(Dixon) took it like a champ. ... I planned on being the starter anyway (but) the switch (by Dixon) was a surprise."

Redshirt freshman Mike Clausen, a highly touted recruit from Riverside, Calif., will back Clayton up.
< br> "Omar has had a great summer and off-season, and our players have a lot of confidence in him," Sanford said. "Travis is a great athlete. Our players have tremendous respect for him and he will help us on defense. ... I think it's really good thing for our football team."

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