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Nevada's Nephi Sewell, a two-year starter at safety, expected to transfer

Nephi Sewell
Nephi Sewell is expected to transfer after starting for Nevada for two seasons. (John Byrne/Nevada athletics)

Nephi Sewell, a two-year starter at safety and one of the top returning players on Nevada's defense, is expected to transfer, Wolf Pack coach Jay Norvell told NSN on Monday morning.

After the season finale against UNLV, Sewell has not returned to the team for pre-bowl practice and won't play in Nevada's Arizona Bowl on Dec. 29 against Arkansas State. Norvell said Sewell told him he's homesick and would like to play closer to home (his family lives in Utah).

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound safety had 53 tackles, including six for loss, this season. He also had an interception and fumble recovery. A starter as a true freshman, Sewell has 111 tackles, including 10.5 for loss, six pass breakups, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery at Nevada. He's played in 23 of 24 games during his Wolf Pack tenure, missing one game this season with an arm injury.

Sewell's older brother, Gabe, is Nevada's starting middle linebacker and is expected to return for his senior season, Norvell said. Since Nephi Sewell played as a true freshman, he still has his redshirt season remaining, which would be required if he transferred to an FBS program (transfers must sit one season under NCAA rules).

Sewell committed to Nevada in 2017 over offers from from Washington State, Weber State and Southern Utah. His older brother, Penei, was a national recruit who considered Nevada before signing with Oregon. Their younger brother, Noah, is a four-star recruit with offers from most of the Top 25. He is a class of 2020 recruit and the Sewells have long said their ambition has been to play together.

Sewell would be the third scholarship player to transfer out of Nevada following wide receiver McLane Mannix, who cited personal family issues, and tight end Trevion Armstrong, who announced his decision last month.

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