For the first time, Tony Sanchez is bringing a Bishop Gorman High School alum to the Rebels. Two years removed from dominating Las Vegas sports, and being named the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s 2016 Male Athlete of the Year, Biaggio Ali Walsh is coming home.
As a transfer, he will most likely be forced to sit out next season before joining the team for the 2020 season as a walk-on. Ali Walsh was on the transfer market for just under a month after deciding in December to leave his life as a Golden bear in the past. To say that he underwhelmed in his time at Cal would be an understatement. After redshirting his first year in Berkeley as a three-star recruit, Ali Walsh barely found the field in 2018.
The grandson of boxing legend Muhammad Ali announced his commitment to UNLV on social media on Jan. 30.
— Biaggio (@BiaggioAli1234) January 30, 2019
While playing in 10 games on the year, Ali Walsh recorded nine yards on four rushing attempts. That’s his entire offensive career with the Golden Bears. He did also pick up one tackle and a single forced fumble as a special teamer last season. None of this mattered for Sanchez and the UNLV coaching staff.
He knew that Ali Walsh is still the same guy who ran for 65 touchdowns and over 4,500 yards in three years on the varsity team in high school. He’s the same Ali Walsh that won three USA Today National Championships at Bishop Gorman while multiple All-State honors and becoming the Gatorade Nevada Football Player of the Year.
Ali Walsh, in an interview with the Review-Journal, said, “It took a while to decide, but I sat down with my family and decided coming back home would be the best move for me. Being coached by Tony Sanchez, who’s my former coach at Bishop Gorman, I think would be the best move for me career-wise. I had no idea that Tony even wanted me or anything.”
He will now be the ninth member of the Gaels to join Sanchez in Sin City joining Alex Perry, Greg Francis, Dalton Baker, Farrell Hester II, Zack Singer, Jaron Cardwell, Julio Garcia and Brandon Gahagan.
Good convo with @unlvsanchez @cofieldandco. The coach also announced that former 4-star RB Biaggio Ali-Walsh has joined the Rebels football program. Back in 2017, the Bishop Gorman star chose Cal over Arizona, Colorado, Louisville and Vanderbilt.
— ESPN 1100/100.9 FM (@ESPNLasVegas) January 30, 2019
He will also be joining a running back group that uses depth to make up for the lack of celebrity with Lexington Thomas graduating. It’s not yet known if Ali Walsh will get a waiver to play next season or if he has to sit out the year.
If he can play next season he’ll be competing with juniors Charles Williams, Tariq Hollandsworth and Tyree Jackson as well as sophomores Rashad Walker and Chad Magyar. If he spends next season on the bench he’ll have the same competition—they’ll just have another year’s worth of experience.
At least in name, Ali Walsh is the star power of the new UNLV transfer class, but the team will get more immediate impact from their junior college transfers. The team also brought in Gamon Howard, a safety from City College of San Francisco, and James Baldwin III, a former minor league baseball player and DE/P from Golden West College.
— G Howard ll 🦍👑 (@BigWoog007) February 5, 2019
I publicly want to announce that I have been enrolled at UNLV since the semester began and I am 110% committed to furthering my academic and athletic career at UNLV! Beyond thankful for this amazing opportunity @UNLVSanchez @CoachTSkip @CoachTSamuels & the entire #UNLVfb staff
— James Baldwin iii (@baldwin_iii) February 4, 2019
Howard recorded 30 tackles and five interceptions in his one season with the Rams. Baldwin was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round in 2010 and spent six years in the minor leagues before trying his hand at football with the Rustlers. In his one season with the Rams, Baldwin III punted three times, recorded three kick returns, 11 total tackles and one sack.