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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Glanville Expected to Leave

UPDATE: It's official. Check the original links, which have updated their stories, for the most part. And it's official here too. UH football will be okay.

Dave Reardon with the news:
Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville has reportedly been offered and accepted the head football coaching position at Portland State.

Mouse Davis, another UH assistant and the former Portland State head coach, is expected to join Glanville as offensive coordinator.

"It looks like Jerry's taking the job. I think they've reached an agreement and he likes it and they like it," Davis said in a phone interview with the Star-Bulletin this morning. "He's a very good fit, and his wife (Brenda) has fallen in love with the place."
Stephen Tsai with more:
PSU officials have scheduled a news conference for 1:30 p.m. Hawai'i time.

"We have nothing to say at this time," said Glanville, who has been in Portland since Sunday.

But he told The Adverertiser he postponed his scheduled departure from this morning until tomorrow.
And more:
Of the PSU job, Glanville said, "Somewhere along the way you do God's will. He'll either say 'yes' to you or he'll say 'no' to you as you look around. You wait for his signal."
Fare thee well Oh Sensei of the San Shi Defense. But fear not UH fans, we got some great coaches ready to assume the mantle. Guess we'll hear the official announcement later today.

Schedule Delayed Once Again

Dave Reardon writes:
UH's intention is to not release information on two or three unannounced nonconference games until the Western Athletic Conference divulges the 2007 league schedule. Commissioner Karl Benson said Monday that might happen by the end of this week.

"We don't want to announce anything until the entire schedule is done," said UH spokeswoman Lois Manin yesterday, relaying information from Frazier.
So basically, it's 4th down and 37... time to PUNT!

Stephen Tsai and Ferd Lewis sum up the entire scheduling situation in a short paragraph.
Frazier had promised a complete list of opponents would be finalized as early as last November. The promised announcement was pushed back to December, then January, then mid-February and finally to yesterday.
So I'm thinking.... middle of April. And when UH finally announces the schedule, it'll be like, hey, they're early!

But we shouldn't be so hard on them. They're working long hours, calling hundreds of people to put a great schedule together, and I'm sure when it's finally announced, it will be a great schedule. No pressure.

And Ikaika Alama-Francis writes about his experience at the NFL Combine.
My pec is feeling good. I've been running a lot. I started lifting, too. I'm feeling better, but I decided not to push it and try to do the drills. It's only been, like, five weeks since the surgery. That's cutting it close. My arm feels good, but I wasn't medically cleared yet. It's the type of deal I wanted to be safe and not re-injure myself.

Besides, I get my chance at the pro day on March 29. We'll see what happens from there.

I'm back in Pleasanton, where I was training before the combine. I decided not to go back home. I felt I had so much work to do. It won't stop. I won't be comfortable until the day after the draft ends. That's why I'm working hard. I dream about that one day when I put on an NFL team's hat. That's what I'm working toward. I don't even wear hats. But I hope to wear one on draft day.
Gotta love Ikaika's attitude.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is Today the Day?

Stephen Tsai writes on The Warrior Beat:
Jones has been told by two UH athletic department officials today will be the day the remaining non-conference opponents will be identified.
We'll see.
Dave Reardon writes:
UH officials had said the Warriors schedule would be announced this week, as early as today. But athletic director Herman Frazier was not expected to return until late today from a personal-reasons visit to his hometown of Philadelphia.

One nonconference game might be against Charleston Southern, a Division I-AA school in South Carolina. Charleston Southern would replace Eastern Washington, with which a deal could not be finalized after EWU officials said last month it was all but done.

Charleston Southern coach Jay Mills wouldn't confirm anything when contacted by phone yesterday. But he definitely implied a game is in the works with UH.

"All those announcements have to go through Herman Frazier at the University of Hawaii," said Mills, when asked when Charleston Southern's game at Hawaii would be played.
So maybe tomorrow??????

And is today the day Jerry Glanville decides to leave for Portland State? John Canzano of The Oregonian writes a column where he spends an hour with Jerry in a mall.
As we walked past a series of stores, the coach said he'd been thinking a lot about what was going to happen today behind closed doors during his interview at Portland State. He said he usually didn't wear jewelry, but that he had two football rings on his fingers, one from the Liberty Bowl, the other from a recent Hall of Fame induction at his high school because, "I figured maybe they'd impress someone on the selection committee.

"Truth is, I'll probably never wear them again."

The interview today is a lot about truth. The question behind closed doors isn't as much about whether PSU really wants Glanville as it is about how serious the Vikings are about their football program. If they are, Glanville will listen, and probably take the job, if it's offered. If they're not, he's going to walk out before lunch.
Well, sounds like Jerry's heart is now in Portland. But never say never! We'll find out soon.

And Dane Uperesa puts the injuries he suffered at the NFL Combine in perspective.
It was a good experience, regardless that it didn't work out. I was able to be around the top-echelon guys. I got to meet a lot of coaches and players at the combine. I got to meet head coach Herm Edwards from the Chiefs. That was real exciting.

At the same time, it's a little frustrating when you see guys test and get credit for things you might be able to do a little better. It's not cockiness. It's a lot of confidence. It's something every person has to have if they want to make it to the next level.

But I was happy my former teammate, Samson Satele, got the highest vertical jump among the linemen. He did a heck of a job at the combine, as expected.

I feel for another former teammate, Tala Esera, who came down with the flu and couldn't lift or run. He and I are in the same boat. It's frustrating for both of us. We're going to be at the pro day to do everything to impress the scouts.
Good luck to Dane and the rest at the Pro Day. And good luck to Leonard Peters, who participates in his portion of the combine today.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Nate and Samson at the NFL Combine

Nate Ilaoa writes a Combine diary for the Advertiser.
The whole combine was an experience. It was real fun because a lot of these guys are great guys. There are a lot of Hawai'i players and Polynesian guys at the combine. We were able to kick back with these guys. There were a lot of guys to talk to, and it was easy to make new friends.

I made some friends, like Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch. A lot of them took my number. They said they might come out to Hawai'i. I was like, "If you come through, hit me up."

The thing is, they all had respect for our team up in Hawai'i, as crazy as that sounds. A lot of these guys were like, "I wish I was out in Hawai'i to score all of those points and get all of those yards."

Lorenzo Booker, from Florida State, came up to me and said, "Man, I wish I took a visit to Hawai'i. I wish I knew you guys could move the ball that well and score all of those points."

Overall, I want to get back to Hawai'i and relax for a little bit. I'm going to be back in Hawai'i until the Pro Day next month.
Sounds like it was a great experience for Nate. And I hope Lorenzo Booker's words resonates throughout the land!

And Samson Satele had a great combine, writes the Advertiser staff:
University of Hawai'i center Samson Satele had the best performances in two drills among offensive linemen at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis over the weekend.

The 6-foot-2, 298-pound Satele, considered one of the top center prospects in April's NFL draft, ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.29 seconds and recorded a vertical jump of 33 1/2, according to results posted on nfl.com.
Way to go!

And finally UH QB coach Dan Morrison will be a guest on The Warrior Beat for a live chat at around noon HST. Be there!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Good News, Bad News at the Combine

First the good news:
University of Hawai'i center Samson Satele had the best vertical jump of the offensive lineman in his group during today's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

The 6-foot-2, 298-pound Satele, considered one of the top center prospects in April's NFL draft, had a vertical of 33½. Earlier, he benched-pressed 225 pounds 25 times.
Leo Goeas writes a Combine diary with some bad news:
Saturday, Feb. 24: It was a tough day for Dane Uperesa. He strained a hamstring in his first 40-yard-dash attempt. He pretty much couldn't do anything after that. He's going to have to make up for it at next month's Pro Day in Carson, Calif.

He's going to have it checked out back home, but I don't think it's that serious.

If he tested today, with the numbers he was putting up at the training facility in Houston, he would have been among the leaders in some of the categories. He would have had one of the top verticals. Without that, it's hard to tell where he projects. If he did what he's capable of doing, he would have been a solid fourth-round or fifth-round kind of guy. He's disappointed, obviously, but we're trying to encourage him, and get him ready for the Pro Day.
The good news of the bad news is that it doesn't sound like a serious pull. But Dane's athletic ability was supposed to be showcased at the Combine. In any case, at least he has another shot with his Pro Day. Good luck to him and the rest of the Warriors!

And in keeping with the theme, John Canzano of The Oregonian writes a column full of both good news and bad news for Warrior fans regarding Jerry Glanville's trip to Portland. Here's some of the good news.
If PSU can convince Glanville that paltry salary, anemic budget and regular stiff kicks in the groin from the administration aren't so bad, there's a good chance he'll agree to coach their football team.
But then again, it could be regarded as bad news or at least neutral news if you compare those factors at UH... In fact Stephen Tsai writes in The Warrior Beat that the facilities are in some ways actually better at PSU. But nevermind those things! What we have in Hawaii is the people, the camaraderie, the Aloha spirit, the awesome team, the weather, the backrubs from Miss Momi Lomi Lomi... Write those letters to Jerry!

And finally again, some good news (and hopefully no bad) regarding the 2007 schedule, from The Warrior Beat.
June Jones said he has been assured — for real, this time — that a 13-game schedule has been finalized.
He said he's been told seven of the 13 games will be played at Aloha Stadium.
That means two of the three to-be-announced games will be at home.
Despite being pressed for details, the administrators did not give Jones the names of the final three opponents.
Oh please let it be for real! Don't funk with my heart!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stay Jerry Stay! / Satele Diary

Awww man!
Hawaii assistant football coach Mouse Davis said today it is likely he will be Jerry Glanville's offensive coordinator at Portland State if Glanville becomes the PSU head coach next week as expected.

"I think it's up to Jerry's wife (Brenda) whether he takes the job, but if he does, I'll probably go run the offense," Davis said in a phone interview from the Big Island, where he was getting ready for a round of golf.
Sounds like it's as good as done, doesn't it? Dave Reardon also writes:
UH head coach June Jones declined to comment, other than to say there are "several options" if Glanville leaves, including current UH defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold.
While I think Coach Reinebold would be a great heir to the defensive coordinator throne, Jerry cannot leave yet! This upcoming year will be even better than last! It'll be Jerry's crowning achievement! He'll get Division I-A offers next year! Reader Niall came up with a great idea. If you want to write a letter to Jerry, letting him know how much he is appreciated, maybe listing all the reasons for him to stay, perhaps offering to cook him some food, or offering backrubs from Miss Momi Lomi Lomi, you can write him at:

Coach Jerry Glanville
c/o University of Hawai'i Sports Media Relations
1337 Lower Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

That address is in the UH football press releases. I'll try to find out if there's an e-mail address out there, because it sounds like he'll make his decision early next week, if not sooner! Stay Jerry stay! WWCD? WDCD?! Eh?

And in other, less forlorn news, Samson Satele writes an NFL Combine diary for the Advertiser. Here's an excerpt:
Today I met with eight teams in a hotel room at different times. You get to meet the GM, the o-line coach, maybe the head coach, and a lot of scouts. There were 20 guys looking and listening. You've got to do it.

A lot of teams have been showing interest. Cleveland, Green Bay, Miami and Philadelphia have shown the most interest. I don't want to let it get to my head. I have to remember it's not like college. I don't get to choose a team. They pick you.

If I work hard, things will work out.
Hope all goes well this weekend.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Glanville News / Uperesa Diary

University of Hawai'i defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville has emerged as the top candidate for the head football coaching job at Portland State, The Advertiser has learned.

Glanville will arrive in Portland Sunday, have a face-to-face interview with PSU officials all Monday, and leave Tuesday or Wednesday, according to people familiar with the situation.
Oh well, I hope Jerry has a Jeff Reinebold moment and realizes that he likes it in Hawaii too much. But if he does get the job and he does take it, best of luck to him. But we'll all be forlorn. Tsai! Speaking of which, Stephen Tsai also writes that June Jones says Herman Frazier will announce the schedule next week. Let's hope this isn't another false alarm.

And Dane Uperesa writes a diary for the Advertiser.
I met with the Cowboys, Jets, Bengals, Panthers, Bears and Dolphins.

They ask about your family. They ask about your background. Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of football-related questions. They want to know about your character.

One of the teams asked: "In a street fight, who would win — me, Sam (Satele) or Tala (Esera)?" Let's put it this way, I couldn't hesitate. Of course, I had to say myself. I'm being tested, you know. But they were asked the same questions, so the scouts got three different answers.
Hmmmm, I wonder who would win in a street fight? I'd have to give it to Samson, because though all three are smart and strong, Samson got that look in his eye. No mercy! Samson going pound you!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NFL Combine Starting

Dave Reardon writes about the six Warriors, mainly Dane Uperesa, who are gearing up for the NFL Combine, which starts today.
Dane Uperesa's combination of agility and acuity could help him move up the charts during his time at the NFL Combine, which started today in Indianapolis. But the first day's test was mostly dealing with boredom.

"Medical stuff, live at the hospital for a day," Uperesa said last night, when asked what the meat market would feature upon check-in.


"The Combine's going to be huge for him," said Leo Goeas, his agent. "I think he'll test out very well. I know he will interview well. There's a chance (to become a first-day pick). He really needs to put up some great numbers."

Uperesa -- already known as very athletic for his size -- spent the weeks leading up to now working on his quickness.

"Probably the biggest thing was just getting the steps down for the pro shuttle and the 40. (The 40's) not just run straight-ahead," Uperesa said. "I covered those bases with techniques that help maximize each yard, things like staying low, getting a good start."
Dave also writes that Mel Purcell was not invited to the combine, but he will perform at UH's Pro Day in Carson, CA on March 29.

UPDATE: Leonard Peters writes a training diary for the Advertiser.
We have free time, but I don't do anything. I'm here strictly to prepare for the combine. I'm not here to see places or do stuff.

We work out every day from 8 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.

We do a lot of bench-press stuff, focusing on the chest and triceps. We do a lot of running, a lot of agility stuff.

Right now, I'm not trying to get bigger. I'm trying to work on the shuttles, the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump and the long jump. It's OK. It's different lifting than what I usually do because it's geared toward reps instead of strength.

I think the first two days will be used for testing. I'm sure they'll do all of the heights and weights at that time. I don't know my height, but I weigh about 214, 215.

I feel good. I'm healthy. My rib injury is gone. It's been gone for a long time.
Good to hear Leonard is doing good. He's gonna amaze some people!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Samson Interview, Pre-Draft Stuff

Draftdaddy.com's blog has a link to an audio (.wav) interview with Samson Satele that was recorded during the week of the Senior Bowl. It's about a minute and a half long.

Here's a link to their blog. It's mentioned towards the bottom of the 02/18/07 entries.

If you can't find it, here's a direct link to their .wav on Putfile.com. You gotta click through 3 or 4 different things to actually download it.

Samson is the #1 ranked center in NFL pre-draft rankings on Draftdaddy.com and Scout.com. Scout also ranks Ikaika Alama-Francis, Tala Esera and Nate Ilaoa in their Top 250, though I have a feeling Leonard Peters and Dane Uperesa will be joining them after the NFL Combine! And I hope Mel Purcell gets a late invite. Good luck to all of them!

QB Club Honors, 2007 Spring Preview

The Advertiser staff writes that the Honolulu Quarterback Club honored Colt Brennan, Kanoe Kamana'o and others last night.
University of Hawai'i quarterback Colt Brennan and Rainbow Wahine All-America setter Kanoe Kamana'o were named Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2006 by the Honolulu Quarterback Club.

Brennan and Kamana'o also were named Adult Athletes of the Year — spanning college to age 35.
Also, Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com has a 2007 WAC spring preview. Here's the Hawaii section:
The early spring buzz ... Who wants to play the Warriors? Making the trip to Honolulu was always a fun game to book for teams who'd likely have to battle for a bowl game. It was like a bowl played in the regular season, but more often than not, the sun, the bikinis and the vacation ruined the trip. Now, rumors of Michigan playing Hawaii are dead after the Wolverines backed (re: wussed) out to face Appalachian State.
The big spring question is ... Can Jerry Glanville squeeze just enough out of the defense to come up with the one or two stops needed to win most games? The offense will throw up 450 passing yards and 50 points on most afternoons, but the defense is just as likely to give up 451 yards and 51 points to the better offenses unless the experienced secondary plays far better. Finding some new ends who can get into the backfield is a must.
The most important position to watch is ... Running back. Colt Brennan will fling it around all over the place, but the offense needs someone to step in and replace the underrated Nate Ilaoa. The 254-pound back was a load to stop when he had a head of steam, and was a terror when he got the ball on the move in the passing game. He was second on the team in total offense and third in receiving.
Spring attitude... Get to the BCS. The one slightly difficult non-conference game, at the moment, should be Washington, and that's being played in Aloha. The official WAC schedule hasn't come out yet, but Boise State and Fresno State will likely have to come to Hawaii. With this offense, and just enough experience on defense to not be truly miserable, Hawaii has to shoot for one of the big five games.
Read the rest of the article for previews on the other teams around the league. But too bad Michigan didn't want to play UH. That would've been a great game. But the Wolverines shouldn't think they're getting a pushover I-AA team instead...

Because Appalachian is HOT HOT HOT!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Ferd Lewis writes that other teams in the WAC have scheduling problems too, but they appear completely unrelated to UH's scheduling problems.
Both of Boise State's openings involve MAC agreements as does Idaho's. Hurd said Bowling Green owes Boise State a return game from two years ago and the MAC owes the Broncos an unidentified opponent from last year when Boise State assumed a game against Utah in exchange for a MAC opponent this year. But so far, Hurd said, the team to fulfill the obligation "was never identified, still hasn't been identified and is likely not to be identified."

Asked if there is a possibility Boise State could be left with 11 of a possible 13 games, Hurd said, "That would be the worst case and, obviously, we hope that's not the case."

Hurd said, "I would say that is unlikely, highly unlikely" UH would face that kind of a scenario.
Anyway, let's hope it's all resolved soon. On the bright side, Hawaii didn't finalize last year's schedule until February 13! Wait a minute, what is today?

No need to dwell on that. So here are some awesome 2006 Warrior highlights, as put together by surfer808.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chad Owens Update

Stephen Tsai writes that former Warrior Chad Owens is excited about being a Buc.
Owens completed his UH career in December 2004. He finished the past two seasons on the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad. The Jaguars, who selected Owens in the 2005 National Football League draft, invited him back for a third season.

Instead, Owens chose to sign a two-year contract with the Buccaneers.

"I've got nothing bad to say about Jacksonville," Owens said. "I wish I could have had a long career there. You have to move on sometimes in life. It's a business. I'm trying to get my career started. I made a decision based on what was best for me and my family."


He said he is training to play receiver and returner. At last month's Senior Bowl, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden told agent Leo Goeas that Owens will earn a shot to play extensively at receiver.

"I'm fired up about that," Owens said. "The return game is a given. They know that's something I can do. I can't wait. It's two years (in the NFL). It's time to go ahead and make something happen."
All the best to Chad as he goes into next season with Tampa. And just in case you've forgotten what Chad brings to the table:

He! Will! Score!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

KG and the Duff Man

Stephen with more on Kenny Graham.
Last week was the first day of the NCAA signing period, but the Warriors reserved four scholarships. The wait resulted in Graham, who received a 4-star rating from Scout.com. He is UH's second 4-star cornerback, following Blinn College's Ryan Mouton.

"This is a super pickup for Hawai'i," said Kevin Lustgarten, whose site, JCFootball.com, evaluates prospects for Scout.com.


Graham said he has several hobbies, including competitive dominos. "It's really a mind game," he said. "If you can get your opponent to think a certain way, and you want to do something else, you've got the edge over him. The mental edge is what you need in the game. It's the same in football."
Sounds like a great guy and a great athlete. From what I understand, Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard are big dominos players too, so now they got competition.

Dave Reardon writes about new coach Terry Duffield.
Terry "Duff" Duffield, a former assistant coach at Dixie State now at Eastern Arizona, will join the Hawaii football staff as a graduate assistant, probably in time for the 2007 season.

"We're not sure when yet," said UH coach June Jones, when asked for a timetable for Duffield's arrival. "There's a lot involved."

Some of it has to do with the pending retirement of Jones' mentor and assistant coach Mouse Davis, 74. Davis was Jones' coach when Jones played at Portland State, and Davis brought the four-wideout run-and-shoot offense (which UH uses) to pro football, coaching with Jones at several NFL, USFL and CFL stops.

Davis, who joined the Warriors staff in 2004, has said several times -- as recently as last week -- that 2006 would be his final season. Yesterday, Jones would not confirm Davis' retirement.

When Davis retires, Dennis McKnight is the logical replacement. McKnight, who was UH's special teams coach in 1999 and 2000, returned to the Warriors last year as a graduate assistant. His work with the offensive line and special teams contributed greatly to UH's 11-3 season.

McKnight moving onto the regular staff would open a GA position for Duffield, 38.
If you read the rest of the article, Reardon writes how Duff was responsible for getting UH to recruit Adam Leonard. I like him already! We'll see how to coaching shuffle pans out.

And there's a separate section at the end of the article which states that the time-saving rules the NCAA implemented last year are going away!
Responding to negative reaction by fans and coaches, the NCAA football rules committee yesterday recommended completely eliminating the controversial clock rules of 2006 and implementing a new set of time-saving measures.
I'm a little wary of what the "new set of time-saving measures" are, but if they don't take away from any time on the field, look for the Warriors to break even more offensive records! It just makes everything accomplished in the 2006 season all the more impressive.

And finally, Leo Goeas, former UH player and current agent to some ex-Warriors getting ready for the Combine, writes about getting his clients prepared.
Another thing they'll have to do at the combine is take a Wonderlic test. It's a 12-minute, 50-question intelligence test. We gave them a two-minute version, and then talked about different types of questions that are on those tests. We wanted to improve their ability to take the test.

Physically, they look great and they'll have a great showing. But we think the interview process will be huge for them. We want them to understand this will be a job interview.

There are several types of interviews. On the first day, the guys will be in a ballroom setting, and they'll be approached by coaches or scouts. It's usually one-on-one. Those are get-to-know-you interviews.
The article is really interesting and gives you insight on how the players are not only training physically, but mentally and socially as well.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Corner

The Advertiser writes that cornerback Kenny Graham of Bakersfield College will become a Warrior.
Graham, who is 6 feet and 197 pounds, said he can run 100 meters in 10.6 seconds.

He received a 4-star rating (5-star is the highest) from Scout.com.

Graham said he turned down offers from Baylor, Tulsa and Washington State.

"It's a great program," Graham said. "They're an up-and-coming team. I think they're going to compete for a BCS berth. They've got a Heisman Trophy candidate."
Congratulations to Kenny and UH! And soon he can say "we" instead of "they." Right on.

New Coach

Stephen Tsai writes that:
A successful football recruiter is joining the UH football team as a graduate assistant in August.
Terry "Duff" Duffield was a top recruiter at Dixie State College and Eastern Arizona. He has served as a defensive coach at both schools, as well as at top high schools in Seattle. With Duffield as defensive backs coach in 2004, Dixie was second nationally in interceptions.
"My wife's family is from here, and I always wanted to coach here," he said.
Hope this means Dennis "The Body" McKnight will become a full-time coach. Either way, welcome to Coach Duff!

Leon, Konrath, Timmy

Stephen Tsai talks to Leon Wright-Jackson about his visit to UH.
"I appreciate the way Colt, Adam and the rest of the team made me feel welcomed," Wright-Jackson said. "They made me feel like a Warrior. You look at Hawai'i on TV and you see paradise. But when you go there, you find out how nice the people are. Everyone I met was nice. It's the people who make Hawai'i a paradise."

Wright-Jackson, who left Nebraska after his second semester, said he expects to earn an associate degree in May or July. A two-year degree is a requirement for a junior-college transfer. After that, he will have three years to play three seasons.

"I'm grateful for this second chance after leaving Nebraska," Wright-Jackson said. "Coach (Rich) Miano and Coach Jones really are doing a nice thing. I'm going to make the best of this chance.

"I like the coaching staff and the players. The players are a team. There are no individuals. They play as one."
He should be tearing it up this year for UH (see video a couple posts below. Here's the link.) Tsai also writes that linebacker Kevin Konrath of Brother Rice HS in Chicago was finally able to send in his LOI after coming back from a school mandated retreat. Welcome to Kevin and Leon! Read the rest of the article for more on JC recruiting and Jeff Reinebold.

And we have a Timmy Chang update! The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL has secured "negotiating rights" for him.
Chang is the key for the Tiger-Cats. The University of Hawaii product attended training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles, and is expected to succeed as a pocket passer.
Man, I hope Timmy gets his shot and lights it up. Same goes for Chad Owens with the Tampa Bay Bucs and Ashley Lelie with whatever team he ends up for.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

2007 Schedule Almost Finalized

Seems like we've been hearing this for 2 or 3 months now, but Stephen Tsai and Ferd Lewis write that the 2007 schedule is very very close to being done.
As late as last week Southern California and Michigan were still possibilities for UH, which will play a 13-game regular season schedule. But UH athletic director Herman Frazier said Michigan, which had initiated contact, has since broken off talks.

Frazier said UH may have to go on the road for one of the three remaining games and another will be against a Division I-AA opponent.

The conference office has been in discussion with the schools and ESPN since the network tendered its "wish" list of games Feb. 1.
I guess Eastern Washington isn't a lock for being the Division I-AA team. In any case, let's hope it's finalized soon. I'll update the schedule on the top right when it is...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bryce Kalauokaaea to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that Bryce Kalauokaaea will become a Warrior.
Bryce Kalauokaaea, a 2006 Castle High graduate, is the latest UH quarterback.
He will compete in spring drills.
Last fall, Kalauokaaea went to the Mainland, but did not enroll in a college. He returned after a few weeks, and worked a couple of jobs before contacting the UH coaches.
He should have five years to play four seasons.
At Castle, he said, "we ran the run-and-shoot. I feel comfortable in that offfense. Hawai‘i is all about the run-and-shoot."
He is 6 feet 2 and 190 pounds.
Congratulations to Bryce and UH! At the end of his post, Stephen writes:
Anyone find it odd that some people will cut-and-paste comments from here, then post it on other forums. I was checking out other boards this week and noticed debates from here spilled to those sites. Wouldn't it have been easier to talk about Will Brogan over here?
Just a thought.
Luckily, this is not a problem I have to worry about. Woot woot!

Nate Ilaoa Gets Ready

Nasti Nate submits a journal entry to the Advertiser. Here's an excerpt:
I don't really have any specific goals for the combine, like what I want to run in the 40. I'm going to run as fast as I can. That's all you can ask for: to do your best. You can't wish you had something else, but you can work to do your best. Besides, there's a lot more to it than running 40s.

I'm continuing to lose weight. It's all through running and working out. I'm focusing on being at full strength. We'll see how it goes. I haven't weighed myself.


The combine is coming up, but I'm not really nervous. Well, maybe a little bit, but that's natural. Before a game I'm kind of nervous. But then I go out and do what I have to do. That's the way to think about the combine. It's an easier way to approach it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mat McBriar, New Warrior Highlights

Paul Arnett writes that Mat McBriar had a good Pro Bowl.
"My Pro Bowl was awesome, man, I had a blast," McBriar said. "It was a great week. I had a lot of fun. I got a little bit of work at my old setting. I had a good time man. It was great coming back here and kicking for the fans."

McBriar did an excellent job adapting himself to his old surroundings as he quickly adjusted to the trades that were whipping across Aloha Stadium from the first quarter on. He had four punts for the afternoon, averaging a whopping 51.0 yards a kick.

Equally impressive was how he allowed guys not used to covering punts the opportunity to get close to the return men. On the four punts, the AFC averaged 9.3 yards a return for a net average of 41.8.


"It was a lot of fun hanging around the best in the NFL. A dream come true for me. When I was at Hawaii, I never even thought about coming back here and playing in the Pro Bowl. I was just trying to make a team. To be able to be here is something very special for me."
And below are some high school highlight videos of three incoming Warriors. The first is defensive lineman Vaughn Meatoga from Kamehameha:

Next is offensive lineman Austin Hansen from Valencia High School.

He just keeps going and going, finishing off his blocks and then some.

And finally, here's an amazing highlight video of Leon Jackson, the transfer running back from Nebraska via Pasco, Washington.

Dude is like Secretariat, outpacing everybody by 40 lengths! Glad Leon, Austin and Vaughn decided to become Warriors!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Brogan To Leave

Stephen Tsai writes that Will Brogan will be leaving the UH football team to be closer to home.
Brogan, a non-scholarship player, has agreed to participate in spring practice to help tutor freshman quarterback Kiran Kepo‘o and give more reps to the receivers.
UH quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison praised Brogan's work with the scout team, saying, "He was very good at preparing and studying the opponent. He was a real contributor."
Brogan was named the team's Scout Player of the Year for offense.
Brogan was so valued that, even though he was redshirting, he was invited to stay with the team in the hotel the night before a home game and suit up.
Hate to lose a competitor and student of the game like Will. Good luck to him.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Reinebold & Recruiting

First of all, it's great news that Coach Jeff Reinebold is still a Warrior!
Reinebold was a finalist for a coaching job with the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders requested — and received — permission from UH coach June Jones to interview Reinebold for the job as special teams coordinator.

Reinebold met with Raider officials Monday and Tuesday in Oakland.

On Tuesday night, Jones recalled, "I talked to (Oakland head coach) Lane Kiffin and I felt he was going to offer the job to Jeff."


But Reinebold, whose right leg and arms are covered with Polynesian tattoos, said it would be too difficult to leave a program that has become his hanai family.

"When the plane started its descent to the Islands, I felt like I was coming home," Reinebold said. "I've got an awful lot invested here emotionally."

He said his decision became easier after four of his recruits — Ray Hisatake, Francis Maka, Jake Patek and Myron Newberry — stopped by his office yesterday.

"It was like, 'Oh, my gosh,' " Reinebold said. "All of a sudden it hits you. You get emotionally attached to these players. You're not supposed to, but you can't help it. I've never been able to coach the game without getting attached. It's hard for anybody who doesn't do this to understand."

Jones said: "Lucky for us he's not leaving. Jeff is as good a coach as (defensive coordinator) Jerry (Glanville) and I have ever had."
Stephen Tsai with the inside scoops. Glad to hear "Sun God" will be here, and it sounds like he'll be here for a while.

Back to the new recruits, many of which Reinebold recruited, Stephen Tsai writes that Korey Reynolds will become a Warrior, after a night of deliberation, after all.
During Hoover's news conference Wednesday, Reynolds, wearing a lei, signed his UH letter. His father co-signed.

But later Wednesday, Auburn made a gray-shirt offer to Reynolds. In deciding to mull the offer overnight, the Reynolds did not fax a copy of the signed letter to UH. The NCAA recognizes a faxed copy as a binding agreement.

Late yesterday morning, Korey Reynolds reaffirmed his commitment to UH. The Warriors received his fax yesterday afternoon.
Right on! Glad Korey is a Warrior!

Jason Kaneshiro has a round-up of this year's recruits and how they'll help down the line and along the line.
Jones said defensive ends Christopher Leatigaga (6-5, 250) and Joshua Leonard (6-4, 275) will be in the mix to replace seniors Melila Purcell and Ikaika Alama-Francis. Jones said returning defensive linemen Amani Purcell, John Fonoti, Victor Clore and Nate Russell will have a chance to develop into contributors up front, "and when we add these other kids with them we're pretty good."


"When you talk to these kids, they feel something different when they come on their recruiting trip," Jones said. "We may not have a lot of the things other schools have, but we do have a great unity and a great family atmosphere and the kids like it here. They like playing with each other and they like playing for the coaches we have."
Great job of Coach Jones for fostering this type of atmosphere at UH. And finally, on this page, the Honolulu Advertiser has links to video of Jones' press conference discussing the recruits.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

June Jones Discusses the Recruits

From the University of Hawai'i athletic department's football page, June Jones talks about the shiny new recruits who have signed letters of intent with UH.
2007 Signings Biographies

Austin Hansen
Position: Offensive Tackle
Height: 6-4
Weight: 285
Last School: Valencia HS
Hometown: Placentia, CA

Expected to compete at guard or tackle...bench presses 345 pounds...runs a 4.9 40-yard dash...posts a 4.49 shuttle time...rated a one-star player by Rivals.com...chose Hawai'i over UC Davis.

Jones says: "We really think that Austin is going to be able to do what we do very well. He might even compete this year for playing time. He's a big, strong kid, and has got a really good motor."

Chris Leatigaga
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-5
Weight: 250
Last School: Foothill College
Hometown: Los Altos, CA

Named second team Junior College All-America, and first team all-area, and first team all-league in 2006...runs a 4.8 40-yard dash...recorded 55 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, and seven sacks in 2006played defensive tackle in 2005 and defensive end in 2006...helped Foothill College to a 10-1 record and Silicon Valley Bowl victory in 2006...rated a three-star player by Rivals.com and Scout.com...chose Hawai'i over Idaho, San Jose State and Portland State.

Jones says: "This kid is a big time player. Of all the kids that we signed, I was most impressed with his size and how he played on film. He's very aggressive, he's big, and can run. Once he sees the football he's fast, he has another gear to go get the quarterback. I think he's definitely going to have an impact for us on defense right away".

Levi Legay
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-3
Weight: 270
Last School: Kealakehe HS
Hometown: Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i

Expected to play center or guard...rated a two-star player by Rivals.com...also competed in shot put and discus at Kealakehe.

Jones says: "Levi is an offensive lineman who we think has a great upside. He has really good balance. He's a great kid. He will be coming in next January. He just needs to get a little stronger and I think a year or two years from now he will be a force. Athletically, I think he has everything we need to be an offensive lineman."

Matagisila Lefiti
Position: Offensive/Defensive Line
Height: 6-1
Weight: 290
Last School: Mater Dei HS
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA

Played both offensive guard and defensive tackle at Mater Dei...named second team all-county and all-league in 2006...rated a two star player by Rivals.com.

Jones says: "Sila is a guys that I met four years ago when I took a trip to American Samoa. I think he will compete for a job this year. It's not very often that freshmen come in and compete right away, but I think this kid is in that caliber. He's got great balance and does all the things we teach on the offensive line very well."

Joshua Leonard
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-4
Weight: 275
Last School: Sierra College
Hometown: Roseville, CA

Named first team Junior College All-America and third team junior college Gridwire All-America in 2006...a two-time all-conference selection...recorded 17 sacks and named the league's Defensive MVP in 2006...runs a 4.7 40-yard dash...bench presses 475 pounds...recorded 21 sacks in two seasons at Sierra, including 16 as a freshman...rated a four-star player by JCFootball.com and Scout.com...an all-city pick and team's Defensive MVP as a prep senior...chose Hawai'i over Boise State, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.

Jones says: "On film, Josh may be the most impressive defensive lineman we've ever gotten from the mainland. This kid was wanted be a lot of schools. He's a big time player and I think he will get a lot of playing time once he gets clued un to what we're doing."

Elijah Lesu
Position: Wide Receiver/Safety
Height: 5-10
Weight: 180
Last School: Farrington HS
Hometown: Honolulu, O'ahu

Named to first team all-State as an all-purpose player by The Honolulu Advertiser in 2006...named 2006 OIA Offensive Player of the Year...had 43 receptions for 713 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior...also the starting point guard on the Farrington basketball team.

Jones says: "Elijah is probably the best athlete of the group. He's instinctive and has great vision. We like how he plays. H reminds us of how Chad Owens played. He's has speed and quickness and we're excited about him."

John Manu-Olevao
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-3
Weight: 315
High School: Kahuku HS
Hometown: Kahuku, O'ahu

Named all-State as a senior...helped Red raiders to State Championship as a senior...listed in the Top 20 of all college prospects coming out of Hawai'i by Rivals.com...chosen to play in the HUB Goodwill All-Star Game in 2006...rated a two-star player by Rivals.com...chose Hawai'i over UNLV, New Mexico State and Oregon State.

Jones says: "John is exactly what we're looking for at tackle. He's powerful, got great balance, good size and explosion. We think he could potentially be one of those kids who will start for us three or four years once he learned the system. He's a very good athlete."

Vaughn Meatoga
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6-2
Weight: 280
Last School: Kamehameha Schools
Hometown: Kalaheo, Kauai

An all-State and all-league selection as a senior...chosen to play in the HUB Goodwill All-Star Game as a senior...recorded over 40 tackles and had 10 sacks and two fumble recoveries...bench presses 225 pounds 17 times...posts a 4.6 shuttle time...runs a 5.0 40-yard dash...rated a three-star player by Rivals.com...also rated the seventh-best college prospect in Hawai'i by Rivals.com...chose Hawai'i over Nevada, Boise State, Portland State at UNLV.

Jones says: "He has a tremendous chance to contribute right away. He is an instinctive, explosive player. He has the ability to make big plays. He's got that something that Keith Millard, that quickness off the ball, the ability re-direct really fast and just looking at him, he has a chance to be a 315-pounder once he gets out here and on or weight program."

Ryan Mouton
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5-10
Weight: 185
Last School: Blinn CC
High School: Kady HS
Hometown: Brenham, TX

Named first team NJCAA All-America in 2006...voted team's Most Outstanding Defensive Player at Blinn CC...runs a 4.28 40-yard dash...helped Blinn CC to a 12-0 record and JC Gridwire National Championship in 2006...recorded five interceptions, two returned for touchdowns...also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns...had five sacks in national championship game...rated a four-star player by Scout.com...an all-area selection and Texas Top 100 pick as a senior at Kady High School...chose Hawai'i over Utah, TCU, Arkansas and Boise State.

Jones says: "Ryan is as natural a corner as we've had. He's probably one of the most highly recruited junior college corners in the nation. He's got some work to do, but we think he's got a chance to be maybe one of the best corners we've ever gotten here. He can fly to the football. He has 4.23 speed and can run away from people. He has another gear when he sees the football."

Jeremiah Ostrowski
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 5-9
Weight: 170
Last School: Punahou School
Hometown: Honolulu, O'ahu

Led the state in receptions (81) and yards (1,317) as a senior in 2006.... also scored 10 touchdowns...a two-time all-State wide receiver, as well as a three-time all-state guard in basketball...rated a two-star player by Rivals.com...chose Hawai'i over Northern Arizona for football, and Santa Clara, Montana State Football and Texas State for basketball.

Jones says: "We think that `Miah' has a great chance to replace Davone (Bess) once he leaves. He's smart and has extreme 25-yard quickness catching the ball and getting away from people. I think he, having done a lot of what we do at Punahou, puts him a little bit ahead of most freshmen that come in."

Erik Robinson
Position: Safety
Height: 5-11
Weight: 193
Last School: Navarro CC
Hometown: Corsicana, TX

A two-time Junior College Preseason All-America pick...led all defensive backs in the nation with 115 total tackles in 2006...also had two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries (including a 60-yd TD return), and two interceptions...an all-conference selection in 2006...runs a 4.46 40-yard dash...rated a three-star player by Scout.com.

Jones says: "I can't wait until Jerry Glanville sees this kid on the field. He's a big time hitter and has got Jacob Patek instincts to the football. He's the real deal. We had a need there with Leonard (Peters) leaving and we think he will be an impact player for us this season. Being from junior college he's a little bit older and more mature. His size and speed is a little different that what we've been used to."

Gabe Tuata
Position: Running Back/Wide Receiver
Height: 5-6
Weight: 170
Last School: Kealakehe HS
Hometown: Kealakehe, Hawai'i

Named second team all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser as a junior in 2005...rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior in 2006...runs a 4.5 40-yard dash...bench presses 260 pounds...has a 32-inch vertical jump...also returned punts and kickoffs, and played cornerback.

Jones says: "Gabe is probably the most exciting player I've ever looked at, next to Barry Sanders, on tape. I don't think I've ever seen a tape like this kid's. He's got great vision and unbelievable quickness. We think that he will be a slot for us or maybe like how Michael Brewster was for us. I don't think anybody can tackle him one-on-one."

Drew Uperesa
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-2
Weight: 245
Last School: Punahou Schools
Hometown: Hauula, O'ahu

Played tackle at Punahou...expected to compete at center or guard...also participated in basketball and track...was 2006 State Shot Put Champion...younger brother of former Warrior offensive tackle Dane Uperesa...chose UH over UNLV.

Jones says: "Drew is a little further along on pass protection than the others because Punahou runs similar schemes to our scheme. He's got great natural balance and he's going to be a pretty good pas protector for us. I think he'll be about 285 or 290 by the time he arrives next January. I would think that he'll be competitive right away when he gets here."

Signing Day Wrap-Up

June Jones speaks later today about the new recruits who have signed letters of intent, which is always fun. It's like he's unveiling a line-up of shiny new weapons that the fans can marvel at. More LOIs will be arriving in the next few days, as Stephen Tsai writes. He also talks to each of the 14 who did sign yesterday and gets their reactions. Here's an excerpt:

Named to Advertiser's All-State second team. Listed as state's No. 7 prospect by Rivals.com. Benches 365 pounds.

Why UH: "The coaching staff is really great. I like my d-line coach (Jeff Reinebold). I met the other coaches, and I really like them, too. The best thing is I get to stay home and play in front of my friends and family."


Named to NJCAA All-America team. Received 4-star rating from Scout.com. Ran 40 in 4.28. Blinn went 12-0 in 2006 and was named as JC Grid-Wire's national champion.

Why UH: "I picked Hawai'i because of the coaches and the players and the atmosphere. It's Hawai'i. What else is there to say about it?"


Named to Advertiser's All-State first team after leading the state with 81 catches for 1,313 yards. Also three-time All-State basketball player.

Why UH: "One, I chose UH because my family is here. I have a big family and I wanted to play in front of them. And two, I want represent and play for my state."
Right on. They all sound excited to be Warriors!

Paul Honda writes that in addition to Levi Legay and Drew Uperesa, Gabe Tuata and Jeremiah Ostrowski will be grayshirting as well. Paul also talks to some of the local recruits.
Wide receiver/defensive back Elijah Lesu of Farrington also signed a letter of intent with UH yesterday at the PIAA press conference at Kapolei Hale.

Lesu is projected as a defensive back with Hawaii. He is close to qualifying academically, he added, pending an upcoming SAT.

"It feels good. I'd rather play defense. I'd rather hit than take the hit," said Lesu, who was recruited by UH assistant coach George Lumpkin.
Man, you like to hear stuff like that from your DBs.
Meatoga showed up at both the PIAA signing and the press conference at Kamehameha Schools on Tuesday.

"After getting to know some of the (UH) players, I know where I have to be at with my skills and strength on the field," he said.

Hawaii wasn't his only choice early in the process.

"In the beginning, I wanted to get off the island," he said of summer camps on the mainland, including Utah. "But I talked with some guys like Vaka Manupuna."

Manupuna, a former Saint Louis standout, played at Colorado and is now with the Washington Redskins.

"He said, if he could do it again, he'd stay home because his parents would've seen more of his games. For me, my parents would have to save money to fly (to the mainland)," Meatoga said.

"Especially with the talent we got in Hawaii, we could be a Top 25 team every year."
Glad Vaughn is staying home!

And The Warrior Beat will be hosting a live chat with Coach Jeff Reinebold at 10 a.m. HST today. He's becoming a regular. Be there!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Signing Day

Today's signing day. Keep up with the news at The Warrior Beat. Stephen Tsai also gives an update on last year's grayshirts here. Grayshirting this year will be Drew Uperesa and Levi Legay. And here's some news regarding George Kauwalu.
Meanwhile, Waianae linebacker George Kauwalu, who verbally committed to UH, said he wants time to mull an offer from Idaho.
Idaho? Come on George, you're a WARRIOR! And here's some walk-on news.
Also, quarterback Shane Austin of Rio Mesa High (Oxnard, Calif.) has agreed to join UH as a non-scholarship player. He is 6 feet and 180 pounds.
Welcome to Shane!

Dave Reardon and Paul Honda talk to coach Jeff Reinebold about filling the Warriors' needs.
"It takes time to develop an offensive lineman in our system," Reinebold said.

That's why the Warriors rarely recruit a transfer, JC or otherwise, for the offensive front. High school players like Drew Uperesa (6-2, 245) and Levi Legay (6-3, 270) don't have the experience, but they possess the frame and the potential.

"It's so much like the NFL Draft. You're trying to improve your team for the short-term and the long-term," Reinebold said. "The guys you draft early have to help you right away, the guys you draft in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds are guys you hope can help you down the line."
Lanaly Cabalo of The Garden Island profiles new Warrior Vaughn Meatoga.
Hawai‘i started recruiting Meatoga last summer while he was attending the Big Man Camp at Moanalua High School.

“I was doing one of the drills one day and (Hawai‘i defensive coach) Jeff Reinebold saw me and he made me do it again,” he said. “So I did it again for him, then at the end of the day, he asked if I was ever interested in playing for Hawai‘i.”

Meatoga had been looking at Boise State and University of Nevada-Las Vegas as backups, but Hawai‘i was his top choice.

“As soon as he asked me that, I didn’t even care about any other schools after that,” he said. “Just the fact that I’d be playing with UH, that’s what I want.”
Ikaika Alama-Francis writes a diary about getting ready for the NFL Combine.
I'm just happy to be working out. During the Hula Bowl, I tore a pec muscle. I remember being in the locker room after that, and it was such a tough time. Nobody wants to get hurt, and I get hurt in an all-star game. I guess things happen for a reason.

There wasn't anything I could do but be positive. I had a problem and I had to fix it. I stayed positive and I worked at it. That's all I could do.

After the surgery, I didn't want to keep my arm in a sling. It was the type of deal where the more movement you have, the faster it will heal. You've got to get the blood flowing real good. There's still a little pain, but it's not too bad. I don't mind a little pain.
And finally, both Jason Kaneshiro and Kyle Sakamoto profile former Warrior Mat McBriar, who's returning to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. From Sakamoto's article:
"Back when I was in Australia, like in high school, we didn't really have much media coverage of the NFL, and I didn't have any idea about the rules," McBriar said. "I just kicked the ball a few times."

He is the first player from the June Jones era (1999 to present) to be named to the Pro Bowl.

"Obviously we're proud of him," Jones said. "I knew he had potential the first time I saw him kick."

Things didn't start out smoothly at UH for McBriar, who "dropped one of three" snaps, according to Jones.

But Jones added: "Once he learned how to take the snap and learn the steps, the rest is history."

As a senior, McBriar averaged 44.8 yards on 48 punts and was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference first team.

He went undrafted, signed with the Denver Broncos in late April 2003, but was traded to the Seattle Seahawks four months later. McBriar was released, then signed with Dallas in 2004.

McBriar's average per punt this season (48.2) was the highest in the NFL in 43 seasons. His average was nearly six yards better than each of his previous two seasons.
From Kaneshiro's article:
In a meeting of former Warriors, McBriar had a chance to punt to fellow UH product Chad Owens, then the Jacksonville Jaguars kick returner, this season.

"That was really exciting," he said. "We had a chance to talk before the game. He said, 'just give me a chance.' I'm like, 'Oh yeah you'll get one.' "

To McBriar's relief, the Dallas coverage unit did contain Owens well enough to prevent an on-field reunion.

"Me and him in the open field? You don't want to see that," McBriar said. "I don't want to see that."
Pretty funny. Congratulations to Mat.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Corey Paredes

Stephen Tsai writes a really great and touching story about Corey Paredes, who will be joining the UH football team this fall.
Corey Paredes fulfilled two dreams yesterday when he accepted an offer to join the University of Hawai'i football team.

"I'm doing it partially for him," Paredes said of Patrick Kapahu, who died Oct. 5 from injuries suffered in a skateboard accident.

Paredes and Kapahu were best friends since the first grade at 'Ahuimanu Elementary, and eventual Castle High teammates in football and baseball.

"He really loved the Warriors," said Paredes, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker. "He really wanted to play for them. I'm happy I can do this for both of us."

Paredes completed a UH recruiting visit Sunday. His parents attended many of the UH-hosted functions, such as the tour of the academic and athletic facilities.

"We had an awesome weekend," Abby Paredes said. "It was unbelievable. To get the call today (from UH coaches) was really exciting. We're totally ecstatic he's going to UH."
A great, great article.

The Advertiser will also be publishing diaries of the former Warriors who are getting ready for the NFL Combine later this month. Today's diary is by Dane Uperesa.
Melila Purcell, Nate Ilaoa, Samson Satele and I are in Stafford, 20 miles outside of Houston, where we're training for the NFL combine.

It's not bad. They have a Wal-Mart, which we make a trip to every night. There are a lot of restaurants. We've been to Jack in the Box the most. Fuddruckers is the best. It's a burger place. They serve a one-pound burger. We train extra hard so we can make room for it. Because Mel has to gain weight and Nate has to lose, Nate eats half a burger and gives the rest to Mel. It all works out.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Recruiting Update: 02-04-07

Stephen Tsai has more on Drew Uperesa.
"He's a hard worker," Kevin said. "He's a good kid. I'm very proud of him."

Drew also received an offer from UNLV. "It was a good experience to visit," Drew said.

Kevin said: "That wasn't the place for him to go for four years. He's a local boy. He's wanted to be a Warrior for a while."

Drew praised his UH host, saying offensive lineman Aaron Kia is "a good guy."

Drew said the plan is to gain at least another 20 pounds. "I'm going to work at it," he said.

Dane said: "He can definitely fill out. He has a good work ethic. He's a smart kid. He listens to people. He does what the coaches ask."
In a local recruiting article, Paul Honda and Dave Reardon also talk to Drew, who says he's planning on grayshirting.
Uperesa (6-feet-2, 245 pounds) said the plan is for him to enroll at Manoa in January 2008. In the meanwhile, he'll have time to bulk up and prepare for the rigors of Division I.

"I really like the idea of grayshirting," Uperesa said.
They also write that recent UH commit George Kauwalu will likely go to a JC to catch up on his academics. And in a sidebar, Honda and Reardon list all the players committed to UH leading up to LOI day.

Local UH commitments
» George Kauwalu, OLB/S, Waianae
» Levi Legay, OL, Kealakehe
» Elijah Lesu, S, Farrington
» John Manu-Olevao, OL, Kahuku
» Vaughn Meatoga, DL, Kamehameha
» Miah Ostrowski, SB, Punahou
» Gabe Tuata, SB, Kealakehe
» Drew Uperesa, OL, Punahou

other UH commitments
» Austin Hansen, OL, Valencia (Calif.) High School
» Ray Hisatake, DT, San Mateo (Calif.) JC
» Leon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
» Kevin Konrath, LB, Brother Rice (Chicago) High School
» Chris Leatigaga, DE, Foothills (Calif.) JC
» Matagisila Lefiti, OL, Mater Dei High School (Calif.)
» Josh Leonard, DE, Sierra (Calif.) JC
» Francis Maka, OLB, San Mateo (Calif.) JC
» Ryan Mouton, CB, Blinn (Texas) JC
» Korey Reynolds, DL, Hoover (Ala.) High School
» Erik Robinson, S, Navarro (Texas) JC

Looks like a great list of great players. We'll find out who else will be grayshirting, redshirting, JC-ing or HPU-ing a little later, and June Jones will probably be talking about each of the signees after letter of intent day. Speaking of which, from a 2-3-06 Dave Reardon article, here are comments June made last year about the 2006 eventual grayshirts and redshirts who will be playing for the Warriors in 2007. I color-coordinated it too, because that's how I roll.

Po'okela Ahmad (6-2, 205, LB; Kapolei): "When I watched him on tape, I could not believe what I was looking at. He has speed and athleticism and I was surprised nobody else was on his bandwagon."


Mitch Farney (6-0, 185, WR; Phoenix, Ariz.): "I would project him to be a slot for us. He is a legitimate receiver as far as catching the ball and being able to break away."

Brysen Ginlack (6-3, 275, OL; Kahuku): "He'll probably redshirt. He has the athleticism we like and he's working real hard in the weight room. He has a lot of upside."


Keenan Jones (5-11, 180, CB; Compton College, Calif.): "He's maybe as good a corner as I've looked at on film. Jerry (defensive coordinator Glanville) and I both said we'd draft him."

Kiran Kepo'o (6-2, 220, QB; Iolani): "Kiran is competitive and an accurate passer who seems to have all the intangible things. He's been running a system similar to ours, so it was pretty easy to evaluate him in terms of being able to do what we need."

Clayton Laurel (6-3, 255, DL; Leilehua): "He's so athletic. Very long arms."


Jared Lene (6-4, 240, OL; Altus, Okla.): "Jared Lene will grow. I've known his dad for a long time, and he's a big guy. Weight's not going to be a problem. He's already strong and he's a hard worker. And he can run. He's our kind of guy."


Elliott Purcell (6-3, 230, LB; Saint Louis): "I could see him stepping in as a starter (in 2007). He's going to get bigger and stronger."

Greg Salas (6-2, 190, CB/WR; Chino, Calif.): "He's one of the most talented high school athletes we've brought in here. He's an unbelievable receiver, but also a great bump-and-run defender. He did everything for their high school."

Spencer Smith (6-0, 180, S; Kell, Marietta, Ga.): "You could tell he was serious about (coming to Hawaii). He's a hitter."

Rick Taylor (5-11, 177, WR; Nease, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.): "We grayshirted him last year. We saw his tape last year and he played in an offense like ours in high school."

Alasi Toilolo (6-3, 230, DE; Kapolei): "He's the defensive end of the future, very athletic. He reminds me of Mel (Purcell) and Ikaika (Alama-Francis)."

There are some others not listed including Kealoha Pilares, Afa Bridenstine, Kenny Estes, etc., as well as some walk-ons who are bound to be future Warrior superstars. I got some help for this list from this Warrior Beat post from September as well as Sportshawaii.com's awesome 2007 recruiting prospects thread. Between the 2007 commits and the 2006 grayshirts and redshirts, there's a lot of good players coming in this year!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Decade of Uperesas

As Dane Uperesa leaves UH for the NFL, his brother, Punahou offensive lineman Drew Uperesa, will carry on the Uperesa torch for the Warriors. Stephen Tsai writes:
Punahou School offensive lineman Drew Uperesa today accepted a University of Hawaii football scholarship.
"It's a good situation for me," Uperesa said.

It has not been finalized whether he will join the Warriors in August or next January.

Uperesa, who is 6 feet 2 and 245 pounds, is projected to play guard or center at UH. He was a tackle at Punahou.


"Athletically, he's as athletic, if not better, than I am," Dane Uperesa said.

Drew Uperesa said: "That's flattering, but I don't know about that."

Kevin Uperesa said his youngest son "has had some good coaching. He's a hard worker. He's a good kid. I'm very proud of him."
Sounds like he might be grayshirting. Time to get bigger and stronger! Congratulations to Drew and UH!

Glanville Inducted

Jerry Glanville, along with Tigers manager Jim Leyland, got inducted into Perrysburg High School's athletic hall of fame last night.
Glanville excelled in football, track and baseball as a Yellow Jacket before ultimately finding his niche as a football coach, who went on to become a head coach for the Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons.

Considered one of the most quotable coaches in professional sports, Glanville said.

"You name a place and I've been there, but there's nothing like coming home and being with the people who knew you from way back," said Glanville, following the induction ceremony that concluded with a standing ovation.

Glanville, who served as defensive coordinator at the University of Hawaii last spring, was a member of a Yellow Jackets football team that finished the season undefeated during his senior year. He paid tribute to his teammates during a dinner ceremony earlier in the day by holding up a 1958 Perrysburg team picture when he posed for his Hall induction photo.

"I had at least 11 teammates who were better players than me, but we all played for each other," Glanville said. "What I learned here I carried with me for 42 years of coaching. It's all about we and not about me. That's what Perrysburg taught you."
Congratulations to coach Glanville! I hope the usage of past tense regarding Jerry serving as Hawaii's defensive coordinator was just carelessness on the writer's part. Gotta be, he wrote "last spring" when it should've been "last fall" or at least "last year". Anyway, I haven't heard any recent rumblings of him leaving, but in any case, get back to Hawaii soon Coach!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Austin Hansen Commits

Stephen Tsai writes that offensive lineman Austin Hansen of Valencia HS in Cali will become a Warrior.
He said he runs 40 yards in 4.9 seconds, completes the shuttle drill in 4.49 seconds, and bench presses 345 pounds.

He will play either right guard or right tackle at UH.

Bryce Runge, a former UH long snapper, alerted the coaches to Hansen.

Hansen visited UH two weeks ago.

"I love the people over there," he said. "I love the family atmosphere. It's close to my Italian heritage of family and everybody taking care of each other."

He said offensive lineman Aaron Kia was his host.

"Aaron Kia is awesome," Hansen said. "If anybody had an influence on me, it was Aaron Kia. He's a solid dude, just awesome."
Congratulations to Austin and UH!

And here's more scheduling speculation from Ferd Lewis. Can't wait till this is done.
If the University of Hawai'i does not land a nonconference opponent for the Thanksgiving weekend, there is a chance the Warriors could play Boise State on national television Nov. 24 at Aloha Stadium.


Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson said that is one of the scenarios still in play as the WAC and its network partner, ESPN, put together their TV lineup for the fall.

ESPN submitted its preliminary "wish" list of games to the WAC Thursday, opening what Benson termed a "10-day window of discussion" about the schedule. Benson refused to disclose which UH games were on the list but said he believes the Warriors could "end up with several" TV dates.

Benson said, "Right now Hawai'i has asked us to keep that (Nov. 24) date open."
Well, good news is that the Warriors may be on ESPN multiple times this season. Hope to have a final schedule soon so we'll know for sure!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

John Manu-Olevao Commits

Stephen Tsai writes that Kahuku offensive lineman John Manu-Olevao will become a Warrior.
One of the best blockers on the state's best high school football team in 2006 has accepted a scholarship from the University of Hawai'i.

"I'm going to be a Warrior," declared offensive lineman John Manu-Olevao of Kahuku High School.

Manu-Olevao, who is 6 feet 3 and 312 pounds, made his commitment during yesterday's face-to-face meeting with UH head coach June Jones on the North Shore.

UH assistant Jeff Reinebold also attended.

"I went to all of the (UH home) games last year, and I always talked to coach Jones after the games," Manu-Olevao said. "We got to know each other."

Manu-Olevao said he was impressed with the program and the coaches. He also said he wanted to play in front of family members.

"They can see all of my games," he said. "My family is happy."
The UH O-line just keep getting better! Congrats to John and UH.
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