UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield enters transfer portal

UNLV Rebels quarterback Cameron Friel (7) throws a ball during football practice in UNLV, Wedne ...

UNLV sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield, who played in three games and started two before back injuries derailed his 2021 season, announced Tuesday he is entering the transfer portal via his Twitter account.

“Thank you, Las Vegas,” he wrote.

Brumfield, a 6-5 quarterback from Inglewood, California, was one of three players expected to compete for the starting job this spring along with 2021 Mountain West Freshman of the Year Cameron Friel and Tennessee transfer Harrison Bailey.

“I just kind of have this mindset of may the best man win,” Brumfield said after UNLV’s first spring practice March 29. “The best man is what’s better for the team, and that’s what I want at the end of the day.”

Following practice Tuesday — before Brumfield announced his intention to transfer — UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo complimented all his quarterbacks for the work they’d put in so far this spring. He also praised Bailey, in particular, for quickly integrating himself into the program.

Brumfield originally committed to coach Tony Sanchez as part of UNLV’s class of 2020. The Rebels hired Arroyo as their new head coach ahead of the 2020 season, and Brumfield, who prepped at Southern California powerhouse Junipero Serra, chose to reaffirm his commitment to UNLV.

The left-handed signal caller’s choice initially seemed to pay off. He played in two games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, completing nine passes for 157 yards and rushed for 37 years while maintaining his redshirt.

The next season started well too. Brumfield came off the bench against Eastern Washington and impressed enough to be named the starter against Arizona State the next week. Against the Sun Devils, Brumfield completed six passes for 60 yards and rushed eight times for 43 yards and a touchdown.

However, an injury late in the third quarter began a series of misfortunes for Brumfield. He missed UNLV’s next game, but returned to play against Fresno State. The Californian was forced off the field again in the first half, eventually missing the rest of the season after suffering a fracture to a vertebrae in his lower back.

“It gave me a lot of time to get mental reps and grow as a person and as a quarterback overall, so I took what I could from the situation,” he said.

In Brumfield’s absence, Friel ascended to become the conference’s offensive freshman of the year.

Friel and Bailey will now go head-to-head for the starting job.

“We’re nowhere near where we want to be, but we’re getting a step better each day,” Arroyo said.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.