The Nevada football team's backfield is a little light in scholarship numbers, but it recently added a preferred walk-on from Oregon who might one day make an impact with the Pack.
Wesley Kommer has committed to Nevada as a walk-on for the 2020 season, according to the Eugene Register-Guard, after a record-breaking career for Thurston High in Springfield.
Kommer is a 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back who set the school record in rushing while leading his team to back-to-back state championships. Kommer had offers from lower-division schools but opted to walk on at Nevada for a chance to one day earn an FBS scholarship.
“I know that I’m capable of earning a scholarship and I think I will,” Kommer told the Register-Guard. “I’m pretty confident in myself.”
Thurston High is the same high school that developed Grant Starck, an all-state left tackle who will join Nevada on scholarship in 2020. Kommer rushed for 2,031 yards and scored 37 touchdowns as a senior, including 193 yards and a 41-yard score in a 14-10 win over Crater High in the Class 5A state championship game. Thurston went 13-0 and was ranked second in the state, per MaxPreps.com
Kommer, the 2019 5A offensive player of the year in Oregon, played three seasons at the varsity level and rushed for a school-record 4,463 yards and 62 touchdowns. He added 52 catches for 608 yards and six more scores. Kommer's speed was the biggest deterrent in his recruitment, his coach said.
“Wesley’s fast but he’s not 100-meter track star fast,” Thurston coach Justin Starck told the Register-Guard. “The Pac-12 coaches say they want those home run guys, and Wesley’s more of a wear-you-down guy. He’s got speed, and he was only run down one time in his career, and that was by a track kid from North Bend. So he’s fast, but he doesn’t have that absolute break-away speed.”
Kommer played his senior season with a padded club on his right hard to protect a broken wrist suffered in the season opener. Starck said Nevada's coaches were enthusiastic about adding Kommer to the roster even if he won't start his career as a scholarship player. Nevada running backs coach Vai Taua, who is second on the Wolf Pack's all-time rushing list, is in charge of Nevada's recruiting in the northwest.
“They were like, ‘We gotta get this kid on our campus,’” Starck told the Register-Guard. “His 40-yard dash and his height work against him, but you sit and watch him play, watch him catch the ball out of the backfield, literally play his senior season with a club and still do everything he needed to do, they were just really impressed with him.”
Nevada only has three scholarship running backs on next year's roster in Toa Taua, Devonte Lee and Avery Morrow, a freshman from Washington. The team also has walk-on running backs Aundre Carter and Terrell Johnson.
“It’s not anything guaranteed and it’s not a scholarship, but it’s still playing football,” Kommer told the Register-Guard. “I just have to prove myself and put in the work.”