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Nevada football's most important players in 2020: No. 21 Hamish McClure

Hamish McClure
Hamish McClure might be a walk-on, but he's got a big arm and good athleticism. (Kyle Pulek/Nevada athletics)

The Nevada football team is scheduled to open its season Aug. 28 against UC Davis. We are counting down the Wolf Pack's 25 most important players, one each until the season opener. Today's player: No. 21 Hamish McClure.

Hamish McClure

Position: Quarterback

Class: Sophomore

Height/weight: 5-11/190

Hometown: Encino, Calif.

Career college stats: 3-of-3 passing for 20 yards; two rushes for minus-9 yards (at Nevada); 1-of-4 passing for 11 yards; eight rushes for 32 yards and a touchdown (at Sac State)

Why he's on the list: In the best-case scenario, McClure won't take any snaps under center this season, and that's not a slight toward McClure, but no college football team wants to play its backup quarterback entering a year. Likewise, Nevada would prefer for sophomore starter Carson Strong to stay healthy and productive all season, although history has shown the Wolf Pack has usually had to use its backup. Nevada's backup quarterback has started at least one game in each of the last four seasons and seven of the last nine years (with 13 starts combined in those nine years). While Nevada doesn't have proven depth behind Strong at quarterback, my hunch is McClure wins the backup job. Despite being 5-foot-11 and coming to Nevada as a walk-on (he was a scholarship player at Sac State for a season prior), McClure has excellent arm strength and good athleticism. He briefly saw the field last season, playing in the Wolf Pack's blowout at Oregon, and also played a little during his lone season at Sac State. He had offseason surgery but is expected to be 100 percent for the start of fall camp, and unlike the three other players vying for the backup job, McClure was on the Wolf Pack roster last season, so he should have a better grasp of the offense (McClure ran the scout team and was Nevada's 2019 offensive scout team player of the year). Again, Nevada would prefer not to lose Strong at any point this season, but if it happens, McClure -- or whoever wins the backup quarterback job -- has to be ready to run the Wolf Pack's offense. I think McClure would be up for the job.

Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

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