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Thursday, May 31, 2007

TC Update

Timmy Chang talks about the competition at the pivot spot on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
While most observers might expect Maas and King to battle for the starter's job, don't rule out Chang. The former University of Hawaii pivot could be the dark horse. He is fluid, has quick feet, and throws a tight spiral.

Chang threw at the Ticat free-agent camp last Saturday and says Canadian football isn't that much different from the Hawaiian variety.

"It's very similar. The routes are the same, the concepts are the same. The field is just a little wider but that benefits us," he points out.

The 25-year-old doesn't want any part of a quarterback controversy either.

"They are all great guys. The quarterbacks just seem to be great guys, great friends. That's one thing off the field. And when we're on the field, we have to compete. We all know that. We're just hoping to try our best and put the team in better position to win games."
Below is part of an interview he gave at Ikei Performance, where he was training. He talks about the sacrifices he's made and all the hard work he's put in. Interspersed are some shots of him training.

12 Games / New Warrior?

Well.... it's looking like it'll be a 12-game season. Perhaps we can put this saga to bed now. Look on the bright side, lots of time for rest and recuperation in the middle of the season.

UPDATE: Oh goodness gracious. It's not over. But that's good news, right? Here's Herman Frazier with an open-ended glimmer of hope:
The University of Hawai'i Warrior football team will play a 12-game schedule during the 2007 season barring acceptance of an offer by one of two Division I-A schools to play a nationally televised game at Aloha Stadium, Herman Frazier, UH athletics director, has announced.

"We have two Division I-A schools considering proposals that include an ESPN telecast at Aloha Stadium," Frazier said. "If neither accepts the offer, we will play a 12-game schedule. I'm mindful of the May 31 deadline I set earlier this month, so I wanted to provide our fans an update. However, the teams considering our offer are not operating on that same deadline. Currently, we have 12 games and we are prepared to move forward based on that. If a 13th game comes to fruition, we will add it, as well as a fifth national telecast to our 2007 schedule."
So May 31st wasn't exactly a "drop-dead" dealine. Why does that seem so familiar...hmmmm. In any case, here's hoping for the best. Once again.


And is Brandon Martel, an Australian wide receiver, a future Warrior?
Eighteen-year-old Brandon is aiming to take his skills overseas and currently waiting for a scholarship with the University of Hawaii.

"It's down to the last three and he is hoping to be accepted," John said.

Brandon recently represented Australia as a wide receiver in the international match against Korea played in Gosford.

In one match last year against the West Sydney Pirates, Brandon set a new receiving record for the club.

Brandon caught seven balls for 226 yards and three touchdowns while stand in quarterback Peter Upham threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns, both efforts new club records.

His talents also extend beyond gridiron having previously played for St George in rugby league and represented NSW in athletics.
Sounds like a great player. I'm sure we'll find out soon...

Drop Dead Thursday

Today's the day. Dave Reardon writes:
Today is the day Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier said he would announce if UH's 2007 football schedule will have 12 or 13 games.

Yesterday, Frazier indicated nothing new.

"Regarding finalizing the schedule, nothing is definitive," said UH spokeswoman Lois Manin, after speaking with Frazier.

Frazier told state lawmakers last week that if he couldn't get a 13th game by the end of May, the Warriors would go with a 12-game slate.


Frazier said Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson and ESPN were working with him in negotiations with six teams, including two from the Pac-10, to fill one of UH's openings on Oct. 20 or Nov. 3.

Frazier said a financial incentive of more than $700,000 was being offered potential opponents. But at this late date, schools are not looking for games in 2007.
I'd be really surprised if anything materialized by the end of today. But here's hoping for the best. Bleah.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Vince Manuwai gets high praise in this look at past drafts from JagNation.com:
2003 Third Round pick- Vince Manuwai, G, Hawaii- Vince Manuwai has been a great third round selection (#72 overall) for the Jaguars. Manuwai is a full-time starter at guard, and has been for nearly every game he's played in since being drafted (62 out of 63 games). Manuwai is one of the strongest guards in the league, and helped pave the way for the Jaguars third-ranked rushing offense in 2006.

New QB(s?)

Stephen Tsai writes that QB Jake Santos has transferred from Missouri Southern and will join the Warriors as a walk-on.
Although he will have to sit out this season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, Santos is expected to be invited to training camp in August. He is attending summer school at UH.
The other UH quarterbacks invited to training camp are: Colt Brennan, Tyler Graunke, Inoke Funaki, Kiran Kepo‘o and Shane Austin.
Bryce Kalauokaaea, who parcticipated in spring practice, is not expected to compete in training camp. He is eligible to join the team Aug. 20, the first day of UH's fall semester, when the NCAA-imposed roster limit is lifted.
Tsai also links to an article about Greenwood High School QB Tyler Wilson, who has been offered a scholarship by UH.
“Their quarterbacks coach (Dan Morrison) compared Tyler to Colt Brennan,” Rick Jones said. “They have a really special system. They have a tremendous legacy of throwing the ball.”

The quarterback coach gave coach June Jones tapes of 20 quarterbacks, and he pared it down to three. Wilson was one of those three.

Shaun King Connection / Nate / LaBoy

Hamilton Tiger-Cat QB Timmy Chang now has more competition for the starting job.
Former National Football League quarterback Shaun King is expected to be unveiled as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at a media conference today, squeezing into an already crowded depth chart that should erupt into a full-blown positional battle when training camp opens this weekend.

Hamilton now has five quarterbacks under contract, including incumbent starter Jason Maas. King, who turned 30 yesterday, has seven seasons of NFL experience on his resume but has not thrown a meaningful pass in three years.
Good luck to Timmy. In an interesting bit of trivia, Shaun King has a connection with three UH quarterbacks:

1. King will be competing with Timmy Chang for the Tiger-Cat's starting QB job.

2. King was released from the AFL's Las Vegas Gladiators last month, a team that former UH QB Nick Rolovich is now currently starting for.

3. Last season, Colt Brennan broke Shaun King's NCAA season passing efficiency record.

Ooooo, spooky.


Nate Ilaoa talks about being in Eagles mini-camp, which continues through this week.
Both Hunt and Ilaoa said they thought their aptitude for catching the ball was helpful.

"This offense has a lot of good routes for the backs, in motion, split wide," Hunt noted. "As a running back, you kind of like that, being matched up against a linebacker in space."

Ilaoa (pronounced Allow-ah) said he'd heard "there was a lot more passing here than with most NFL teams," which is fine with him because "that's what I'm used to out in Hawaii. You block first in Hawaii; you always have a gunslinger sitting back there [at quarterback]. Coach [June] Jones wants you to protect 'the golden arm.' Everything happens from there. Here, you're not just blocking, you can go out there and get the ball."

He said he was "bug-eyed" in the first minicamp, but "this [camp] kind of takes a step back . . . everybody's on the same page, you can just kind of sit back and get through this thing together."

Ilaoa said in this minicamp, the coaches take over the roles veterans played in the first get-together.

"When the vets were here for the first camp, me and Tony were tapping into their information system the whole time," Ilaoa said. "The coaches weren't really coaching us, they were just kind of like, 'Let's go, this is the tempo.' With the vets here, that's how they run things."

And it looks like Travis LaBoy is on his way to recovering from knee surgery.
BACK: Several other Titans players were back on the field working on Tuesday, including receiver Jonathan Orr (hamstring), cornerback Ryan Smith (hamstring) and defensive end Travis LaBoy (knees).
Good news.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Samson Update

In an article about the Dolphins signing their rookies to contracts, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes this about Samson Satele:
Neither Schulman nor Craig Doman - who represents Satele and fourth-round defensive tackle Paul Soliai - feels threatened by Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga's edict for rookies to get in early or sit the bench. Satele is the leading contender for the starting center spot since Rex Hadnot was moved to right guard last week.
With this and yesterday's "inside source" quote from another Miami sportswriter, things are looking good for Samson.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Opponent Web Sites / Miami / Nate

I've compiled a list of links to opponent blogs and boards, which I've posted in the right sidebar. Here's the list below, in case you can't find it in all the clutter.Even though some teams have lots of fan sites, I only chose to list one link per team. As for Charleston Southern, I could not find a legitimate or active fan site. If any CSU fans know of a blog or forum, e-mail or write me a message.

And let's hope I can add one more I-A team to this list on or before Herman Frazier's "drop-dead" deadline on Thursday.


Garret from UH Warrior Quotes has been a news finding fiend. He found this Q&A Forum on MiamiHerald.com, where reporter Jeff Darlington answers questions from Miami Dolphin fans. Here are a few excerpts, both answers from 5/28/07:
Q. Jeff..I thought you were dead...I'm glad you're still breathing. I would like to hear your opinion on Reagan Juggernaut Mauai (sic). I hope he can break it open for Ronnie and Lorenzo....


Reagan is a nut. Crazy. When I covered Channing Crowder in college, I immediately saw that natural side of him during a hog-hunting experience we took together. No doubt, Reagan seems to have that same quality ticking in his head somewhere. And I really think it might be the most underrated quality of an NFL player. If you've ever had the opportunity to stand on an NFL sideline, you know just how truly violent this game is. So if you can somehow lack the ability to care about, well, your body, you can really do some unbelievable things.
I'm told the team has a lot of faith in center Samson Satele, the second-round pick. Actually, speaking to one source, they said they actually anticipate Satele having the biggest impact of anyone on this rookie class. That wasn't a knock on Ginn, either. It simply reflected the high level of faith the team currently has in Satele. Still, this line has a lot of progress to make if it's going to allow this offense to excel.
Great things to hear.


And here's a Scout.com story on Nate Ilaoa.
Despite his 5-foot-9, 248-pound frame, Ilaoa can really move. And unlike many running backs, instead of relying on making defenders miss, he's just as likely to take them head-on. It wasn't uncommon to see a defensive back try to ready himself to react to one of Ilaoa's nifty cuts, only to literally bounce off his body as he rolled straight through the would-be tackler instead.

"I think that just plays in my favor, having the ability to do both pretty well," Ilaoa explained during a recent Scout Radio interview. "It puts defenders in kind of a limbo type of situation."


Many draft experts figured that "Nasti Nate" would play fullback at the pro level. While he's not fully sure yet about what his role will be this year, the Eagles don't have Ilaoa on the roster as a fullback.

"They have me at tailback, maybe a short-yardage type situation," he said. "They haven't basically come out and told me, but you know, that's the whole point of these camps.

"It's not the fact that you can play football anymore because everybody at this level can play. It's just a matter of if you can fit into their system."
The story also has a link to a 5-minute audio interview with Nate, but unfortunately you have to be a Scout member to listen to it. So if anyone has a membership, there you go.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nate Ilaoa Update

Garret from UH Warrior Quotes found this article from the Eagles website, about Nasti and his roommate, fellow rookie running back Tony Hunt. Here's an excerpt:
Ilaoa knows nobody outside the Eagles. He has his playbook, his friendship with Hunt and his desire to make this football team.

It is a good start to his grown-up, professional life.

"I love it," said Ilaoa. "There is so much to learn. That is what you do every day -- you learn. Then you take it outside and see if you have learned well.

"It can be a nerve-wracking time, but it's been good. Tony is in the same situation, so we have a lot to talk about. He's a good roommate, a quiet guy. I know it has been great for me so far and I'm sure he feels the same way."


"We're kind of stuck together with a playbook to learn," said Hunt. "We're partners in that way, so it is good to go through that with Nate. If we have any questions, we can talk about it with each other.

"Nate is a cool guy and a good roommate. He is the guy I compare things with. Two weeks ago, I didn't know anything at that camp (post-draft). I feel like I've already learned a lot, and so has Nate. It's football, when you come right down to it. We have to go out there and play football."
... And here's another article from the Eagles website with Nate talking about adjusting to the offense.
Running back Nate Ilaoa is making progress learning the offense.

"I'm not bug-eyed anymore about it," he said. "I have not played in this system, but it is everything I expected. I just have to keep learning. It's going to be tough. This is the top level of football. Having these camps give me a lot of reps and a lot of time to learn."

When it comes down to it, Ilaoa says, it is "just football." That is a comforting thing for a 245-pound running back. This is not a typical size for a back.

"At Hawaii, the running backs behind me were heavier," he said. "They looked at me as the little guy. I think it's OK to have an unusual body. A lot of models have unusual bodies. That's a good thing for them. You have to go with your strengths."

Ilaoa and Tony Hunt shared all the running back reps last week in the two days of practice and will continue to get plenty of reps through the next few days. And then?

"I will do whatever they need me to do," he said. "The goal is the same for everybody here. We're working to improve every day."

Lelie Ahead of Schedule / Frazier

Good news for Ashley Lelie.
The 49ers lost WR Ashley Lelie to a quad strain on the first day of minicamp, but his recovery is ahead of schedule and he's expected to be ready for the start of organized team activities on June 4. Team officials are hopeful that Lelie's health will hold to allow him to work more with QB Alex Smith and build rapport between the two.
This is a make or break year for Lelie. Hope he can get back up to speed and have a monster season with the Niners.

And Kalani Simpson takes a long hard look at Herman Frazier, comparing his time at UAB with his time at UH.
Frazier has faced some tough circumstances in both places, of course -- here, we know a few of those are at least partly self-inflicted, but tough circumstances nonetheless. But it was Bill Parcells who said, yes, you have injuries, you have bad bounces, you have bad luck. But in the end, Parcells said, You are what your record says you are. That's it. Bottom line.

This is Herman Frazier's record. Twice now.

He means well, and in his mind he's doing his best. But I'm starting to think that this is what happens when he does his best.
Well... let's hope this has all been a learning experience? Again?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ascending in Miami

Good news for the Warrior Dolphins. For Samson:
Cameron also mentioned veteran offseason acquisition Chris Liwienski when he talked about the guard positions. With Hadnot no longer at center, the logical front-runner to start at center is second-round pick Samson Satele.

Cameron wasn't ready to announce anything Friday, pointing out that offseason pick-up Johnathan Ingram was doing a nice job at the position.

But being that the Dolphins did pick Satele in the second round, the best guess right now for a Dolphins starting offensive line would be Vernon Carey at left tackle, Liwienski at left guard, Satele at center, Hadnot at right guard and L.J. Shelton at right tackle.
For The Juggernaut:
The 6-foot, 270-pound Mauia also was impressive, showing good balance and quickness and sure hands catching the ball. Remember, not too long ago Mauia was a 380-pound nose guard.
And from that same page, for Tala, Reagan and Samson.
During Friday’s organized coaching session, the starting offensive line remained the same with Hadnot at RG, Ingram at C, Chris Liwienski at LG, L.J. Shelton at RT and Vernon Carey at LT.


The second-team offensive featured LT Julius Wilson, LG Drew Mormino, C Samson Satele, RG Tala Esera and RT Mike Rosenthal.

Gibran Hamdan lined up at QB, with Lorenzo Booker at RB, Kyle Eckel/Reagan Mauia at FB and Kelly Campbell and Derek Hagan at WRs.
Not bad for some rookies, eh? Looks like they're poised to get a lot of playing time. Right on! Wish I could watch all their games this year.

UPDATE: Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post writes:
The Miami Dolphins slew of early signings continued today when sixth-round pick Reagan Mauia inked a four-year deal with the team.

Mauia, a 6-foot, 270-pound fullback from the University of Hawaii, is the fifth rookie signed by Miami this week.

More Things to Watch / More WAC / Tuioti-Mariner

ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach, who already did a list of things they're looking forward to in the WAC, now do one for college football in general. Here's Schlabach's #2:
2. Can another WAC team crash the BCS party? Boise State did it last season, and with tailback Ian Johnson returning, the Broncos again are favorites to win the league for a sixth consecutive time. Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan returned to the island for a shot at a big bowl, but the Warriors' weak schedule -- which might include two Division I-AA opponents and only 13 games -- might keep him in Hawaii for the holidays and out of the Heisman Trophy race.
That, along with Pete Fiutak's article in the previous post, and the preseason hype is starting to go the Warriors' way, with a few understandable reservations about SOS.


Speaking of Fiutak, he writes a New Mexico State preview. I think NMSU will be the surprise of the WAC this season. And here's a Louisiana Tech preview from last week, from the insanely prolific Fiutak once again.


And finally, Stephen Tsai writes about the Tuioti-Mariner brothers, UH center Lafu and brother Maxwell, a HS O-lineman who is being recruited by a bunch of BCS teams, as well as UH.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

BCS Hopes

Pete Fiutak of CFN has some Ridiculously Early 2008 BCS Projections. Here's his projection for the Sugar Bowl:
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1 / 8:30 p.m. New Orleans, La. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (SEC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Michigan vs. Hawaii
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) LSU, 2) Florida, 3) Georgia, 4) Louisville, 5) Tennessee

This is the toughest part of the puzzle to put together. Work with us here. If the Sugar Bowl loses LSU to the national title, as predicted, it'll get the second choice of available at-large teams if USC is number one from pillar to post. While a slew of SEC teams might be tempting, the opportunity to take Michigan would be too juicy to pass up (unless Florida is available, which we're predicting won't be an option). The Fiesta, the dumping ground for disrespected mid-major teams who earn a BCS slot, might appear to be more of a natural tie-in for an unbeaten Hawaii (check out the schedule and you'll see why this isn't so crazy), but it'll come up with a high-octane matchup of its own. Feel free to flip-flop Hawaii and Louisville.
It is ridiculously early, but that's pretty cool.

You know what's cooler? Ice Cucumber Pepsi.

It'll be sold in Japan for a limited time, starting June 12th. It actually sounds pretty good. If I ever get my hands on one I'd pour some chili pepper water inside to make myself a refreshing Cucumber Kim Chee Pepsi, awww yeah.

Takai Chat / Highlight Videos / Fish

Here's the thread for the K. Mark Takai live chat on The Warrior Beat.

And I'm posting mini-Youtube videos of UH football highlights at the bottom of the right sidebar. You can play them at that size or view the full size versions by clicking through. I'll only keep 3 to 6 up at a time, and switch them out whenever.

In other news, be careful that your monkfish is not actually pufferfish!
A frozen product labeled monkfish distributed in Hawai'i and two other states is being recalled because two people became ill after eating it, the importer said Thursday.
Hong Chang Corp. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., said it is recalling the product labeled as monkfish because it may contain tetrodotoxin, a potent toxin.

While the frozen fish, imported from China, was labeled monkfish, the company said it is concerned that it may be pufferfish. The suspect toxin usually is associated with certain types of pufferfish.
Holy crap.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tiger-Cat / Takai Chat

Ken Peters of The Hamilton Spectator profiles Timmy Chang, the newest Hamilton Tiger-Cat "pivot".
When the Tiger-Cats acquired the 6-foot-2, 194-pound thrower's rights from Edmonton last February, in exchange for defensive back Jason Goss, all the buzz at the league meetings in Montreal was about Chang's pigskin promise. Glimpsing at his collegiate stats, it's not hard to see why.


Chang was expected to arrive in Steeltown last night for the upcoming season. It's his first experience in Canada and he hopes to make it a fruitful one when he arrives at McMaster to compete with pivots Jason Maas, Rocky Butler and Richie Williams.
Here's the Tiger-Cats season schedule, which starts in June. Good luck to Timmy!


And Stephen Tsai's Warrior Beat will be hosting a live chat with Pearl City Rep. K. Mark Takai as the guest. Maybe Herman will show up and try to turn the tables, eh? Be there!

Schedules / Colt on KHNL

In Ferd Lewis' article regarding Colorado being on future schedules, there's also an update on this year's schedule.
Meanwhile, Oregon State and Washington State, two Pac-10 schools UH had approached about filling the vacant Oct. 20, 2007 slot, said they are no longer considering the offer.

"UH contacted us, but we just can't do it," said Steve Fenk, OSU sports information director. "I think given different circumstances — like the end of the season or maybe earlier in the year — we'd really be interested."

The Beavers closed their 2006 season Dec. 2 game at Aloha Stadium.

Fenk said, "Oct. 20 is our only midseason (open date) and we already have one of the toughest road schedules in the nation."

WSU spokesman Rod Commons said the Cougars, "do not want to (give up) our bye weekend in the middle of the season. Our staff feels strongly we need that midseason break."
Sigh. Nine more days until the "drop-dead" date.

And here's a report by KHNL's Reid Shimizu, which has both text and video. He talks to Colt Brennan, who says he never meant for all this heat to be brought down upon Herman Frazier, and also notes the improvements that have taken place since he spoke out. Rep. Mark Takai is also interviewed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

ESPN Stories / June / Rolo / Smelly Bag

Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com has a post-spring WAC breakdown. Here's an excerpt on UH.
Spring answers: 1. Plenty of targets for Colt: Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan might not have soap for the showers in the team's locker room, but he has plenty of targets in the pass-happy offense. Leading receivers Davone Bess, Jason Rivers and Ryan Grice-Mullen each return, after the trio combined for more than 200 receptions, 3,100 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2006. Cornerback C.J. Hawthorne, the fastest player on the team, moved to receiver in the spring, and youngsters Aaron Bain, Antwan Mahaley, Greg Salas and Michael Washington look promising. Converted tackle Cameron Allen-Jones is now a big target at tight end.
Schlabach and Ivan Maisel list the three things they're looking forward to in the WAC. Here's Maisel's #1:
1. Tailback Ian Johnson of Boise State and quarterback Colt Brennan of Hawaii had the time of their young lives a year ago. They are being promoted as the WAC's Heisman candidates this season. It's one thing to learn how to negotiate defenses. It's quite another to deal with heightened expectations and the demands on their time. Let's see how they handle being watched.

Here's a post-spring audio interview that Rivals.com did with Coach Jones.


If you click on the top video link of this story, you can watch highlights of Nick Rolovich leadings his Las Vegas Gladiators AFL team to victory, as well as some halftime motocycle stunts.

The Gladiators next game is June 3rd against the Arizona Rattlers.


And this is disgusting.
A Cincinnati-area family got a smelly surprise when they opened a punching bag they purchased earlier this year.

Joe Heckel said he and his son were moving a TKO brand heavy punching bag from their garage to the basement when they decided to see what was inside in case the bag later leaked. But Heckel said that instead of sand or plastic pellets, he found the bag full of men's and women's underwear, some of it used.

"(There were) bras, thongs and bathing suits. We could not believe there were clothes inside instead of sand," he said.

Heckel said the smell was "bad, real bad."
And here's a slideshow showing the contents of the bag. Mercifully, no pictures of skidmarks. Enjoy.


In 2010, when the world is but a desolate post-apocalyptic hellscape, Hawaii will begin a series of games with the Colorado Buffaloes. From the Star-Bulletin:
Hawaii will play a four-game series with Colorado in football starting with a road game in 2010.

"We're not completely set on the date, but it looks like Sept. 18," UH athletic director Herman Frazier said.

The Warriors will also open the season with a home game against the Buffaloes in 2011. That game is set for Sept. 3 at Aloha Stadium.

The dates and years for the other two games are to be determined, Frazier said.

"For 2011, we're completely done with our (nonconference) football scheduling," he said.
It sounds like a great series of games. And it's good to know our 2011 schedule is done!

...adding, I just have Colorado, Washington State, @UNLV and Charleston Southern down for 2011. Wonder who the other team is?

Informational Briefing: The Day After

I guess "informational briefing" turned out to be an oxymoron, as Dave Reardon writes:
Some of the hundred-plus people who were there will remember it only as 4 hours of their lives they'll never have back.
Nonetheless both sides saw value in the meeting:
"I think the whole discussion about facilities leaves a lot to be desired," Takai said. "On the one hand everybody questions why the facilities are in such deplorable conditions and they ask the Legislature why you don't step up. On the other hand one of our frustrations is we don't have the ability to step up if we don't know what is actually needed. I think that discussion on facilities will be continuing and hopefully we can get to the bottom of some of those concerns as well."
Ferd Lewis and Stephen Tsai summarize the status of the 2007 schedule.
Frazier has been the target of enduring public criticism for a 2007 football schedule that remains unfinished despite several self-imposed deadlines. He accepted "full responsibility" for the incomplete schedule and said he now is working "hand in hand" with the WAC and ESPN in attempts to land a 13th opponent for a game at Aloha Stadium. If no opponent is found, the 2007 schedule will feature two Division I-AA opponents, Northern Colorado and Charleston Southern.

Frazier said he was willing to pay up to $750,000 to secure a Division I-A opponent for either the vacant Oct. 20 or Nov. 3 dates. Two Pac-10 schools are among the prospective candidates.
Frazier stated that the drop-dead date for adding a 13th game is the end of this month. Otherwise, UH will only play 12 games this year. Hopefully a lot can happen in ten days.

The Advertiser's Leila Wai has about 10 minutes of Herman Frazier video excerpts, mostly about the schedule.

Ferd Lewis laments that UH didn't really ask for help in regard to the facilities.
There were revelations of mold that has largely shut down the mauka training room and how bedraggled Cooke Field is "a lawsuit waiting to happen."

Lawmakers made clear a willingness to listen and to help. Time and again Takai and others asked, "How do we help you?" As Rep. Jerry Chang, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, put it, "we're here because we care."

Here, in one room were two of the most powerful committees publicly reaching out, if not beseeching UH, to make a wish with the state watching. It was tantamount to a fat pitch down the middle with the base loaded. Somebody, anybody, should have stepped up and hit it out of the park. Instead, nobody even bothered to take a whack at it.
Hopefully all this is being discussed in their private conversations.

Well, a lot of info came from these meetings. Read the articles for the nitty gritty regarding budgets, travel, etc. And hopefully for the UH athletic department, a lot of good will come from this.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Meeting Wrap-Up

The AP has a wrap-up of today's informational briefing. This is from ESPN's college football front page. Here are couple of excerpts.
State lawmakers questioned University of Hawaii athletics director Herman Frazier for three and a half hours Monday over everything from his fiscal management to the incomplete Warriors' football schedule.

"We've got an image problem at UH athletics that needs special care immediately. If we don't do it, I think we're going to be in big trouble," Rep. K. Mark Takai said.


Frazier was also grilled on a wide-ranging group of subjects including his fundraising abilities, travel, handling of the budget, communication with the media, parking woes, Hawaii's "image" problem and the lack of a 13th opponent on the 2007 football schedule.

Frazier said the scheduling problems all started when Michigan State pulled out, paying Hawaii a $250,000 cancellation fee. He said if no opponent is selected by the end of the month, the school will only play 12 games.

The Warriors already have two Division I-AA opponents on the schedule, which has drawn criticism from fans.
UPDATE: And here's a story by Steve Uyehara of KGMB.
Frazier pointed to the positives, like increased academic standards. And most important, he noted that his department has gone from a $2.5 million deficit to a $7,500 surplus. But lawmakers say Frazier changed auditing procedures to make the bottom line look better.

There were also accusations he dipped into a special revolving fund.

"You're floating at least $2 million and based on my analysis, it suggests that there are a number of different sources that you're utilizing that are considered restricted sources, in other words, sources that you put on your books, but you can't even spend to balance the books," Takai said.

Lawmakers said there was nothing illegal or wrong with Frazier's financial practices, but it definitely made the numbers seem a lot nicer.
More stories and analysis tomorrow.

Today's Meeting / Mauia

The Advertiser writes that June Jones and WAC commissioner Karl Benson should be on hand at today's informational briefing.
Football coach June Jones and Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson are among the notables the University of Hawai'i has asked to appear at today's 2 p.m. Informational meeting at the capitol.
Rep. Jerry Chang, chairman of the state House Higher Education Committee, will chair the joint meeting of house and senate committees that have asked UH athletic director Herman Frazier to appear and discuss the "state" of UH athletics.
You can watch the briefing live on ʻOlelo channel 54, or maybe online at the ʻOlelo website if you click on the VIEWS - Channel 54 link on the right side of that page. Right now though, the video it links to looks like an archive rather than an actual stream. Maybe that's just my computer. Anyway, it starts in a few minutes.

UPDATE: It looks like Stephen Tsai will be liveblogging it. Woo hoo!


And Reagan Mauia is profiled in the Miami Herald by Joseph Goodman.
Mauia, who says he ''dinked around in high school'' before dedicating himself to football, wasn't even recruited by Hawaii. While playing junior college football in California, he fell in love with Hawaii's program after watching a video entitled Polynesian Power, a documentary narrated by ''The Rock'' about football in the islands. After watching the film, Mauia, born in American Samoa but raised in Stockton, Calif., was inspired to reconnect with his Polynesian culture.

''I just built up the nerve to call Coach [June] Jones,'' Mauia said. ``I took it upon myself to walk onto the team. I told [Jones] not to give me a scholarship if I didn't earn it. I wanted to earn it.''
Right on. The article is actually more about Mauia and his Polynesian teammates, and the bond and culture they bring to the Dolphins. Good article.

Meeting / Miah / LaBoy / Wahine

From a Sunday column, Ferd Lewis opines about the AD's openness and accessibility.
You wonder if Frazier had been this visible and outgoing over the course of the past year if there would have even been the need for an informational meeting with the combined state House Higher Education Committee and Senate Education Committee tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Capitol. Probably not.
The best place to check for any updates or news from today's meeting will probably be The Warrior Beat. Be there!


Paul Honda writes that incoming grayshirting slotback Miah Ostrowski received a great honor.
Two Punahou teammates and a trio of big-time Big Islanders are among the Class of 2007 announced yesterday by the Hawaii High School Hall of Honor.

Miah Ostrowski, the Star-Bulletin's football offensive player of the year and three-time All-State basketball selection, was one of three unanimous selections.

Travis LaBoy talks about the state of his Titans defensive line.
Still, Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn believes that with good health and a little creativity, there is enough already on board to piece together a solid defensive line.

Defensive tackle Rien Long missed the entire season with a torn Achilles tendon, while two separate knee injuries limited Antwan Odom to four games.

“Losing Antwan last year was huge, for the whole rotation and everything. And losing Rien too was huge as a pass rusher inside. You lose two guys that are really in the starting rotation you can’t find anybody off the street in the middle of the season to cover that loss,” defensive end Travis LaBoy said.
Good luck to LaBoy as he recovers from knee surgery.


And finally, congratulations to the Wahine softball team for winning the LA Regionals. On to Tennessee!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jason Ferguson / Monday

Stephen Tsai writes that after multiple surgeries, along with many months (if not years) of attempted rehab and recovery, Hawaii receiver Jason Ferguson has decided to retire from football.
"It wasn't just the two major reconstructions, it was four surgeries overall," Ferguson said. "If I were to get hurt again, I might not be able to walk. The best decision was for me to hang 'em up. I was really sad, but I knew that's what I had to do."
Jones was willing to keep Ferguson on football scholarship. But with a medical retirement, Ferguson will remain on scholarship, although that scholarship will not count against the Warriors' 84-scholarship limit.
Ferguson is on track to earn a bachelor's degree during the 2007-'08 academic year.
"Growing up, my dream wasn't the NFL," Ferguson said. "It was to get a free college education. I'm getting that. I'm very grateful for the opportunity coach Jones gave me."
Ferguson said he will be involved in helping the team this season.
Best of luck to Jason. It's sad that he couldn't resume his football career, but it's great he'll get to complete his degree and still help out the football team.


And Kalani Simpson is giddy over the dramatic possibilities of Herman Frazier's informational briefing.
Now this has potential.

I'm expecting a ridiculous amount of grandstanding, from everyone involved. Tough grilling. Dramatic gasps and rumbles from the audience. I'm envisioning an extravaganza worthy of its own Jon Stewart synopsis or "Saturday Night Live" sketch.

Well, maybe not. But we can always hope.

Yes, it will probably go smoothly, and diffuse tension, and Frazier will explain everything, and the politicians will run out of questions, and say, "Um, well, OK then," and promise to send more money to UH. That's probably how it will go.

Then again, there will be television cameras. And these are politicians, and Herman Frazier is Herman Frazier. And there's starting to be this crazy vibe in the air.
Stephen Tsai says Leila Wai will be shooting video of the meeting. So any fireworks that happen to go off will be documented.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Rolo Leads Team to Victory

Right on for Nick Rolovich, in his first start of the season.
SALT LAKE CITY - The Las Vegas Gladiators ended their nine game losing streak, in a 54-53 victory over the Blaze. The victory came when Gladiators kicker Steve Azar nailed a 22-yard field goal with 9/10 seconds left in the game in front of 14,305 at EnergySolutions Arena in Utah.


The Gladiators offense never missed a beat after the first quarter, led by QB Nick Rolovich who finished the game with 28 completions for 329 yards and seven touchdowns, in his first start of the season.
Excellent news. Here's an article from last week, profiling Rolo when things weren't looking so good. And yet he kept his head up and remained positive. Let's hope this is the start of something special for him.

Rolo Update

From the Las Vegas Review Journal, via 702WarriorNation, looks like Nick Rolovich may get the start for his AFL team tonight.
Gladiators coach Danton Barto said the chances were good Rolovich would start over Brian Jones.

Jones started the past five games, but he has thrown eight interceptions, including four in Saturday's 61-34 loss at San Jose. Rolovich entered late in the third quarter and completed 8 of 15 passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

"We'll probably give him a shot and see what he can do in live game action," Barto said. "That's nothing against Brian. ... I think he was just pressing hard trying to win and make plays."
Good luck to Rolo!

Mail Bag

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline answers some mail from UH football fans who wrote him regarding his May 10th article about Colt and the facilities situation. Here's an excerpt:
From: Bosh

The UHAD and Herman Frazier has a credibility problem in Hawaii, maybe you should look into the situation a little bit more before writing a rush-to-judgment article.

If you took the time to visit the Honolulu Advertiser's Stephen Tsai's blog you would understand that Hermie is not trusted or well liked in Hawaii.

Colt spoke the truth! Mr. Frazier chose to take the low road and spin the whole situation. You got used. Mr. Dodd, you made Colt out to be a whiner, you are dead wrong.

Bosh Basher:

My question is, why did it take the quarterback to speak out? Where have all the other players, fans and administrators been?
There's more. That's probably the tamest one. No wonder Herman has been talking to the media a lot lately.

Leahey and Leahey

Chasethedragon, ie WarriorMojo, has posted two clips from an episode of Leahey & Leahey from early April. The topics are still very relevant. The first clip is Kanoa and Jim Leahey talking about the then-rumoured Northern Colorado game and its effect on the schedule. Great timing.

The second clip has Jim, Kanoa and Robert Kekaula discussing the whole scheduling fiasco, as well as the athletic department's relationship with the fans.

These are two must-watch clips. They're all hitting many nails on their respective heads. Big props to WarriorMojo for posting these. Thanks.

Behind the Scenes

Saw this on SportsHawaii.com. Below is a behind-the-scenes look at the UH football team, as put together by Joe Macdonald, Colt Brennan, and Nic Paulic. I'm guessing, but I think it's from a video production class mentioned in a Colt profile on The June Jones Show last year. In any case, among those interviewed on-camera are Nate Ilaoa, Dane Uperesa, Mel Purcell and Colt.

Pisa Tinoisamoa Update / Herman Herman Herman

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an update on former UH linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa as he rehabs and recovers from the multiple injuries he suffered in 2006.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Tinoisamoa was a second-round draft choice in 2003 from Hawaii who earned a starting spot as a rookie in training camp and led the team in tackles each of his first three seasons. A former teammate once marveled at Tinoisamoa's ability to "get to the ball with a bad attitude."

Tinoisamoa didn't miss a game during than span, but his luck ran out last year. It started with a dislocated elbow in Week 2 at San Francisco that sidelined him for two outings. Subsequently, he injured his shoulder and broke both hands.


Adversity's part of my life, something that I've always had to deal with," he said. "So this is just one of those things I've got to face head-on and defeat. ... I'm slowly integrating different drills and regimens. Hopefully, it keeps getting better and better. It feels good."

Although the Rams won their last three games with Dexter Coakley filling in on the weak side, coach Scott Linehan said Tinoisamoa's absence was felt.

"When Pisa was in there ... things seemed to be running much more smoothly," Linehan said. "Once he was out of there, I wouldn't say we were scrambling, but we were having to try different lineups."
Let's hope 5-0 fully recovers and gets back layin some hat!


And lots of Herman Frazier related articles. He's talking more and more to the press, as he puts on the full court... press. Dave Reardon talks to Frazier about the upcoming Monday briefing.
Chang, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, said he's received "20 and still coming in" complaints about Frazier since announcing the briefing last week, and some cite travel issues.

"I'm hearing a lot about how dissatisfied people are," Chang said.

Yesterday afternoon Frazier said he had not yet been asked by Chang to bring the travel records.

"I'm not sure what travel information you mean, because I haven't talked to Rep. Chang about that. But all the travel I do on behalf of the university is paid for by the university. All the jobs I do for other (organizations) is paid by them. Whatever anyone wants to ask us about that, we'll make that available," Frazier said.

Frazier said many of the meetings he attends on the mainland are mandatory, and it is common practice for athletic directors to spend as much as half of their working time on the road.

"Every athletic director in America travels extensively as part of their job," said Frazier, who also spent a lot of time away from Hawaii with work related to the 2004 Olympics. "But I haven't been to an Olympic meeting since '04. I'm not sure where the travel issue comes from.
Good points by Herman. As long as the records back it up.

Stephen Tsai writes that Herman is still looking for a 13th game.
"We're on the phone every day on that 13th," Frazier said. "When we have exhausted every avenue then we will announce that we've exhausted our avenues. But we're not there yet."

Despite an incomplete schedule, UH began selling season-ticket renewals and accepting down payments for season tickets in March. Those packages were based on a seven-game home schedule.

Frazier said he would like the 13th game to be played at Aloha Stadium. If he were to secure that eighth home game, season-ticket holders would be charged for seven games.

The potential eighth home game would be "a bonus for our season-ticket holders, those people who stepped up to help us," Frazier said.
I don't want to get my hopes up regarding the schedule because we've been shot down too many times, but here's "hoping" for the best.

And Ferd Lewis laments the two D-1AA teams on the schedule, with the confirmation of Northern Colorado yesterday.
It isn't just that UNC is a I-AA member along with Charleston Southern, UH's Sept. 22 foe in Halawa. It is that the Bears are by far the weaker of the two. They were 1-10 last year and overwhelmed in stepping up from Division II. And they lose their 1,000-yard rusher.

The UNC game carries impact beyond just the opener. It means UH will not play a I-A opponent at home in the first five weeks of the season until Utah State comes to town Oct. 6. Moreover, unless a quality opponent is secured for one of the two remaining open dates, Oct. 20 or Nov. 3, the Warriors might not play a team with a winning record in Aloha Stadium until well into November.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Heroes / Samson / Herman / New Look

Bob Hogue writes about his heroes in Midweek.
Colt Brennan is my hero three times over. First, for the way he played quarterback this past season in setting all kinds of passing records for the Warriors. Second, when he announced that he was coming back to the University of Hawaii instead of turning pro. And third, when he took on the powers-that-be and voiced his opinions about the declining state of the UH athletic facilities.
Hogue also admires Ikaika Alama-Francis and Samson Satele.

Speaking of Samson, he gets a mention in an AFC East rundown of Foxsports.com.
Hawaii center Samson Satele in the second round was an excellent pick, giving the Dolphins a guy who can play either center or guard; unfortunately, they could use both, which is why there's talk of acquiring disgruntled Jets guard Pete Kendall. It would be a smart move, with the Dolphins currently penciling in the untested Dan Stevenson as their starting right guard.
KGMB's Steve Uyehara talks to Herman Frazier regarding his upcoming informational briefing.
"Every dean, director from every college in this university will tell you they need more money," Frazier said. "I would tell you that people from K-12 in the elementary schools in here need more money. There's so many things from a facility standpoint in this state that need to be addressed."

Frazier admits Monday's special hearing was probably sparked by Colt's comments and the incomplete football schedule.

"Because of the exposure that you guys give us, we're on the front page and we're leading off your news stories, people want to pick on us to lead the story," he said. "But that's okay. We'll carry the flag and we'll be there prepared to go."

Frazier says he plans to give the committee any and all the information that they want.
And finally, I'm trying out a somewhat different look to the blog. I made it three columns so I can have more space to put stuff in the future, like more links, categories, rosters, etc. Except now... I think it looks more cluttered. Oh well, I've put in too much work to turn back now. Maybe I just gotta mess with the font or something. If there's any design people out there, any tips would be appreciated!

Legislative Briefing

Hey, something's being done.
The state Legislature will hold an informational briefing on what it terms, "the state of the University of Hawai'i (Manoa) athletics department" Monday at the state Capitol, it was announced yesterday.

"If we don't know what the athletics department's problems and concerns are, we are not able to address them," Rep. Jerry Chang, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, said in a press release.


The statement said athletic director Herman Frazier, "UH-Manoa administrators and coaches in their respective sports" would be involved.
I just hope they get actual answers and solutions, not just assurances and PR-speak. Chang is one of the legislators who spoke to KHON on May 4th, the day the article came out.

UPDATE: KHON's Gina Mangieri did a story about the upcoming briefing last night. Watching the segment, sounds like Jerry Chang will be asking the tough questions.

UPDATE 2: Here's a link Ferd Lewis' column about public testimony not being permitted at the briefing.

UPDATE 3: Stephen Tsai's Warrior Beat is devoting a post to public testimony regarding the AD situation. Also from that post, Northern Colorado is OFFICIALLY on the schedule. Gaaahhh!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Patton and Ferd Look to the Future

Kenny Patton remains optimistic after being waived by the Raiders, as he tells the Star-Bulletin:
"My agent's working on it, but it's hard at this point because teams are downsizing," Patton said last night. "Hopefully, I'll end up somewhere. I'll play anywhere, but after my experience with the Raiders, I know I can play at the NFL level. They told me it's just a numbers thing."
And the Advertiser:
But by signing a free-agent contract with the Raiders last week, he is eligible to play in NFL Europa.

"I'm going to train, train, train, and see what happens," Patton said. "There's no use getting down. 'Positivity' is the key."
Great attitude. Let's hope for the best for Kenny.

And Ferd Lewis speculates about the Warriors' opponent in this year's Hawaii Bowl.
With the schedule it is looking more and more like UH will end up with — Northern Colorado, Charleston Southern, etc. — the BCS is a decided long shot. More likely, even with a record along the lines of 11-1 or 12-0, the Warriors will stay home and play in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.


For, as it stands now, the Hawai'i Bowl would get no higher than the third pick of the bowl-eligible options in the 12-team C-USA and, possibly as low as fifth. The game has never had higher than a co-second-place finisher.

Should UH make a run for the ages this season, few things would be sadder than a Warrior team going 12-0 or 11-1 and, for their grand finale, being paired with a 7-5 team in the postseason.
Great column, bringing up all these possibilities, which is always fun... If UH goes undefeated, even with the crap schedule, I think a BCS game is very likely, especially if UH gets enough preseason votes and hype to build off of. And as long as the Warriors keep winning, they'll get more and more positive press from the national media, which will be looking for another Cinderella (Boise) story, leading up to three straight regular season games on ESPN and/or ESPN2. This season is built for momentum. Sure, all throughout the pundits will talk about the horrible strength of schedule, but they'll also talk about the team (MSU) that wussed out of their contract and the other teams that refused to play us this year. And that might make the underdog/Cinderella story even more dramatic, with Hawaii going to a BCS bowl needing to once and for all prove themselves against "the big boys." So maybe this whole AD schedule fiasco is a good thing! Haha..

But first thing's first, the schedule might actually be tougher than it looks right now -- SJSU will continue to improve, UNLV will be better, Fresno will be much better, NMSU will be scary, Nevada will be on the road, Boise is Boise, etc. Can't wait for the season to start. GO WARRIORS!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Patton Waived / Nate / Ikaika / Punter

Stephen Tsai with the bad news:
The Oakland Raiders today waived former University of Hawai'i cornerback Kenny Patton.

"Now I have to play the waiting game," said Patton, who was one of nine cornerbacks in camp.
Hopefully Kenny will get picked up by another team. Good luck.


Andy Schwartz of Comcast Sports writes about the Eagles running back situation, and talks to Nate Ilaoa about his plans to lose weight.
“I’m way heavier than Westbrook,” Ilaoa said. “That’s one thing I have to try to cut down. That’s what I plan on doing. The things that he does are due to the fact that he’s in shape and he’s able to stay in there 100 percent of the time, and that’s how effective he is. He is able to wear defenses out. That’s what you have to do at this level.”

Ilaoa played at 245 pounds at Hawaii but feels he needs to be lighter to make it in the NFL. The combination of injuries – he had surgery on his knee and shoulder – and college food made it difficult for him to stay in shape.

“I was able to play with it last year. The thing is, on this level, everything is up another level,” he said. “I’ve got to do something to get to that level. Losing weight and getting in tip-top shape is going to help me do that. … I’m just trying to get body fat down.”

How far down do the Eagles want him to get?

“I don’t know where they want me to be,” Ilaoa said. “I know it’s real low though.”

Detroit is holding a mandatory mini-camp, but it looks like Ikaika Alama-Francis is being restricted or held out completely due to his pectoral injury.


And Stephen Tsai writes that punter Troy Muenzer of Wilson High School in Long Beach will become a Warrior in the fall. Congrats to Troy!

Scholarships / Colt for Governor / Hawaii Bowl / Nasti

Dave Reardon writes a pair of articles, one focusing on June Jones' efforts to set up scholarship endowments.
Hawaii football coach June Jones said UH is expanding efforts to secure monetary donations that go directly toward football scholarships, especially from former players who have advanced to the NFL.

"Some of the players are putting that in their contracts," UH coach June Jones said. "We're in the process of setting up a fund like USC and a lot of the other major schools do, scholarship endowments."
Gotta love what Brennan says about it:
"Obviously I'm far away from that and I've got to worry about my senior year and I don't have any money yet. But if I get in that position I would be thrilled to do it," Brennan said. "I plan on giving back to Hawaii financially, and I'm excited about something where I know the money would be going where I want it."
How awesome is that? Colt also spoke about the reaction to his comments regarding the facilities.
"It was never about me. I wanted to speak up for people who can't speak up. I don't have a complaint about Hawaii. The school and everybody there has been great to me. But I know I have a political presence and I thought I could help the situation, especially for my teammates and future players. Hawaii's treated me like a prince, a son," he said. "The community reaction has been great, the best you could expect. I'm just happy that people are willing to make a difference, making donations. I wanted to bring some light to what is holding Hawaii back."
That's even awesomer. Colt for Governor! Or maybe it should be June for Governor! Colt for Mayor! Anyway, I excerpted a lot from those articles, but there's more to read, including words of support for Colt from JJ.

UPDATE: Here's video from the Advertiser of June speaking at the QB Club.


Ferd Lewis writes about the plans underway to get another PAC-10 team lined up for the 2008 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.
The Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas and San Francisco bowl games are contracted to get the first five picks of Pac-10 teams through 2009. After that the conference hopes to renegotiate all its deals. The least lucrative of those pay a minimum of $800,000 per team, well above the Hawai'i Bowl payout.

Muldoon said ASU gave the bowl experience high marks but the Pac-10 lost money on the game. Jim Donovan, executive director of the Hawai'i Bowl, said bowl officials met with Pac-10 officials earlier this month in Phoenix and developed a proposal. He did not disclose the terms.
I have total confidence that Jim Donovan can pull it off. Jim for AD! Speaking of Jim, Stephen Tsai has a Warrior Beat video podcast interview with him, it's about 14 minutes long. Be there!


And finally, here's a Morning Call column by Gordie Jones, profiling Nate Ilaoa.
Speed is an issue; his 40 times topped out in the 4.7 range in the months leading up to the draft, something that might improve if he follows through on his plan to shed a few pounds.

Listed at 180 when he committed to Hawaii -- and also listed, curiously, at 5-10 -- he routinely played at 245 there, and was very productive in the Warriors' run-and-shoot offense. He accumulated 1,827 all-purpose yards last year (990 on the ground and 837 on 67 receptions), and finished his career with 3,383 yards from scrimmage.

But now, he said, ''Everything's up another level. I've got to do something to get onto that level, and I think losing weight and getting into tip-top shape is going to help me to do that.''
And although it's still early, the article highlights Nate's somewhat precarious position on the running back depth chart, so every little thing he does will help. Good luck to Nate!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Colt in '08 / Miami / LP / Nate / WAC

The Sporting News looks ahead to the draft class in 2008. They have Colt Brennan in their Top 10.
Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii. Brennan almost entered the '07 draft and likely would have been the second quarterback drafted. Despite his physical skills and production, skeptics wonder whether Brennan can play in a traditional NFL offense. We won't know the answer to that issue until the Senior Bowl.
Well, that last sentence bothers me, but we must not tarry as there's so much other news to link to...


The Miami press loves the Samoan rookies from Hawaii (and Utah). Here's another article about that subject, this one from Carl Kotala of Florida Today via the Advertiser. Lots of good quotes.
"We represent the whole Samoan culture," Satele said. "Now, we've got to represent the whole state of Hawaii. I'm proud to be from Hawaii. I'll represent it as (best) as I can."

The four rookies are certainly a colorful lot.

Satele, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound center/guard has not gotten a haircut since he enrolled at the University of Hawaii in 2002. There have been times when opponents have tried to use his long locks to their advantage. But given the big man's size and natural strength, that might not be such a good idea.

"I got pulled on a couple of times last year and I got (ticked) off," Satele said. "They call me Samson, but I'm like the Hulk. They pull my hair, I get angry."

Here's an AP article on LP. It uses a lot of the Leonard Peters quotes that have been printed from other sources the past couple days. Nonetheless, another great profile.

And here's another one, this one by Tom Rock of Newsday.com. Same deal with the quotes you've probably already read. Right on Leonard.


The Eagles backfield is kinda crowded and up in the air right now. Let's hope Nasti Nate will find his niche and be there when the season starts.

Here's something positive from the Eagles website.
The general consensus among the coaching staff was that the rookies got off to a collective good start. Tight end Brent Cesak stood out after reviewing the film, and quarterback Kevin Kolb was tremendous. Running backs Tony Hunt and Nate Ilaoa digested and processed the information and went and made some mistakes and also did a lot of good things.

CFN has 2007 previews of Utah State, Idaho and San Jose State. SJSU is definitely gonna be a team to watch out for this year. CFN should have previews of Hawaii and the rest of the WAC soon, though there's no rhyme or reason as to the order they're releasing them. I'll link to the UH preview whenever it's published.

Ilaoa News w/UPDATES

Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News mentions Nate Ilaoa in his article of the big backs in Eagles mini-camp.
Then, 2 weeks ago, the Eagles invested two of their eight draft picks on something Eagles fans long have clamored for: big, bruising power backs - 6-1, 233-pound Tony Hunt of Penn State in the third round and 5-9, 245-pound bowling ball Nate Ilaoa of Hawaii in the seventh round.

"These two guys, they're both a little bit different [than what we already have],'' Mornhinweg said during a break at the Eagles' 3-day minicamp, which concludes today. "They're both bigger type backs, physical backs. Both have excellent feet. And both are extremely good in the pass game as well.''
And Reuben Frank of Burlington County Times has more.
“(Ilaoa has) very good feet. He's highly productive, both in the pass and the run game.”

Both seem to be better fits in this offense than Ryan Moats, who is fast but not a good blocker or receiver, and the departed Reno Mahe, who made the team as a punt returner and rarely played on offense.

“I told the younger guys, it's their job now, so they have to get in the (play book) no matter what - if they're tired, in between meetings, in between practices, they have to get in the book and study, because it's not natural for a lot of these things they're asking them to do,” Westbrook said.
Sounds like there's a good chance there's room for Nate in the Eagles backfield. Right on.

UPDATE: Stephen Tsai talks to Nate.
"There's a lot of stuff to learn," said Ilaoa, who completed the Eagles' mini camp yesterday. "But it's cool. It's all coming together."
Ilaoa said the veteran teammates, particularly running back Brian Westbrook, have been helpful.
"There's no rookie hazing," Ilaoa said. "Everybody is helping each other out. Everybody is cool. This is a classy franchise."
UPDATE 2: Nate talks about getting adjusted to the speed of the NFL.
A seventh-round pick, running back Nate Ilaoa isn't having too much trouble understanding the playbook. At Hawaii, Ilaoa played in a high-octane offense led by long-time NFL assistant June Jones. However, at nearly 250 pounds, Ilaoa isn't able to juke defenders like he used to do.

"The tempo of how practices are run, I was able to adjust to that quickly, but as far as the players go, they're coming fast," Ilaoa said. "In college you're able to get away with only a couple players being real fast, out here everyone's fast. Even the coaches are kind of fast running these drills."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

LP News, Other News from Camp

Leonard Peters gives another interview, this one from the second day of mini-camp. Thanks to Garret from UH Warrior Quotes for the link. Here's an excerpt:
On not being drafted …
I heard everything about the draft, but to me it wouldn’t matter where I went. I am just grateful that I am here now and that I got the opportunity to come out here and run around with some of the top guys in the nation.

On what he can do now to ensure a roster spot …
If we’re here, they’ve done enough research on us to know what we can do. Being here, we have to try to learn the plays and formations and stuff like that. The thing we can do is try to show how bad we want it and give effort.

On the possibility he could be released …
You can get let go any time, any day. They don’t have to have a reason. I’m going by the hour. I’m enjoying everything. I look at my name on the locker and on our helmets and stuff like that. I am just enjoying the whole situation.
Although it sounds like his 2nd day at mini-camp wasn't as good as his first, he does get some praise from his head coach in this article from The Star-Ledger of New Jersey.
"Leonard, when I was watching tape of Hawaii, there was a lot of big hits and he's involved with them," coach Eric Mangini said. "The most impressive thing about him was in sitting down with the other players, how they constantly reference back to him, his qualities and what he meant to that team. That was probably what moved me most in terms of him as a person is how many other people were talking about him."
That's has to be encouraging for LP.

As for Nate Ilaoa, not too much news on him from his 2nd day in Eagles camp. Maybe tomorrow. Here's a brief mention from the Eagles website:
You see Tony Hunt and Nate Ilaoa struggle learning the X's and O's, as all young running backs do. They need to show they can pick up the blitz sufficiently before they play.
In other former UH player news, Travis Laboy is recovering from two knee scopes and hopes to rejoin the Titans at the end of the month, while Ashley Lelie's strained quad will probably keep him out of 49ers activities in June.

Happy Mother's Day

Kalani Simpson responds to some fan mail.

Ferd Lewis writes that others are writing that UH might possibly make a BCS bowl.

Nate Ilaoa is profiled by Andy Jasner for the the Advertiser.
"I have a lot of things to learn. I'm ready to go. I want to soak as much information up as possible."

Some of the veteran players have already been helpful to Ilaoa. A player's first mini-camp can be a daunting experience without some assistance.

"I remember my first and I was like, 'Whew, this is more work than college,' " said Eagles wide receiver Reggie Brown. "I told Nate that you can't do everything in one day. Do your work, study your playbook and be prepared. Preparation at this level is very important. He has a lot talent because the Eagles drafted him. Now it's up to him to do the work. I'll help him and the younger players out in any way."


In Philadelphia, Ilaoa wants to be known as a hard-working player. He understands how much passion the fans here have for the Eagles.

"They like guys to give everything they have and they should," Ilaoa said. "That's how I am. When I hit the football field, I'm all business. There's no fooling around there. It's time to work. I think the fans will see a player willing to do anything."
And Leonard Peters gets profiled on the Jets website.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Leonard Peters Interview

Leonard Peters gets interviewed, I think by the NY Jets as a press release. In any case, here's an excerpt:
On Polamalu being an inspiration to him…

He is a good friend of mine. I got to meet him when they came to Hawai’i for the Pro Bowl. Our football team actually helps out with the security the day before, so we get to meet them and get to know them and stuff like that. I actually walked around with him and his wife for two days straight and got to know him and pick his mind about things. He is a great guy and an inspiration.

On any advice Polamalu gave him…

He says to keep your feet on the ground, stay level headed, focus on the littlest things and try your best.

On the scars he has on his hands from dancing…

The fire dancing championship of the world is actually taking place in Hawai’i this week, it is at the Polynesian Culture Center. It does not matter how many times you spin the knife, the best dancers in the world get bruises and scratches from it. It is the nature of the business, just like football.
And it sounds like LP had a memorable hit in the first day of minicamp.
Peters, a free agent from Hawaii, has a Troy Polamalu-like ‘do, his curly locks pretty much covering most of his back. If he can play anything like Polamalu, the Steelers’ Pro Bowl safety, the Jets will be tickled. Peters had one eye-catching play, as he clotheslined DB Rayshaun Kizer (Walsh College) in a one-on-one tackling drill.
And here's another take on it.
Safety Leonard Peters, who has the Troy Palomalu hair hanging down his back, made a dramatic clothesline tackle on tryout Rayshaun Kizer during one-on-ones. Wait, not a tackle. Mangini reminded us all that this is a non-contact mini-camp. Maybe it was just a very aggressive hug for good luck.
Man, wish I could've seen that hit. Anyway, lots of Troy Polomalu comparisons, at least hair-wise. Let's hope LP continues to impress with TP-like hitting.

Purcell, Peters, Ilaoa

Garret over at the excellent UH Warrior Quotes blog finds this Melila Purcell profile from the Cleveland Browns web page. Here's an excerpt:
Now, the grassroots efforts of the area as well as Purcell's development at Hawaii have led him nearly 7,000 miles away from his homeland all the way to Cleveland, where he recently became a Brown.

But the move is not met without adversity. Purcell is far from his friends and family and in a new climate vastly different from what he's accustomed.

As of the team's rookie minicamp in early May, Purcell was still adjusting to the six-hour time difference. Waking up early in the morning felt like getting up in the middle of the night. Going to bed at a normal time felt like trying to sleep in the dead of the afternoon.

"It's hard to sleep at night because it's still seems like it's 4 o'clock," he said. "I'm having trouble staying up in meetings. I'm adjusting but it's adversity. You just have to go through it."

But that's temporary and secondary for a player whose journey has spanned thousands of miles. He's anxious to get going and be the next great Samoan player in the NFL.

"Whatever they need me to do I'll do it," he said. "I'm very happy to be here."

Leonard Peters gets a mention on the New York Jets website.
Peters collected 74 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass breakups last year. He has a reputation as a big hitter who can deliver the punishing blow.

Nate Ilaoa gets mentioned a couple times in the Eagles practice day blog, but nothing really of note. Sounds like everyone is working out the kinks on the first day of practice.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Nasti Arrives

From the Philadelphia Eagles website, here's an article about the rookies arriving for mini-camp. And here's an excerpt on Nate:

Ilaoa: Long Journey Here

Most Eagles rookies display a sense of wide-eyed excitement upon arriving for their first day of mini-camp. For Eagles' seventh-round pick Nate Ilaoa, the sentiment must have resembled relief more than anything.

The running back arrived at the NovaCare Complex after a 6,000 mile journey from Hawaii, where Ilaoa played in college. It was a journey that started at 9 o'clock Thursday night.

"It was pretty long," Ilaoa said. "I had a three-hour layover in L.A. I was the only one up in the plane on the way here."

On the field, Ilaoa specializes in the aerial game as well - excelling at receiving the ball out of backfield. Ilaoa came to Hawaii originally as a wideout before switching to the backfield, where he set Hawaii's all-time record for receptions by a running back with 151. Ilaoa's receiving ability should help him fit into Andy Reid's offensive scheme.

"I've seen a lot of Eagles games," Ilaoa said. "I've seen how they use (Brian) Westbrook, how he catches the ball out of the backfield a lot and that's the big thing they do in Hawaii. You got to be able to catch the ball in tight spaces."

The 5-feet-9, 245-pound Ilaoa's routes are usually far less circuitous than his journey to Philadelphia was. In Hawaii, Ilaoa used his big frame to overpower defenders when he ran with the football. Ilaoa's hands and power will help him stand out from a crowded running back field.

For now, Ilaoa will accept getting through the weekend without feeling any jet-lag.

"We'll find out tomorrow," said Ilaoa jokingly.

Jim Donovan Chat / Eagles and Jets Mini-Camp

UPDATE: Here's an excerpt from Donovan's chat:
Comment from: Jim Donovan [Member]
Comment from: Kapahulu [Visitor]
Hi Jim:
Alot of the Hawaii fans have a hard time getting excited about playing any team from conference USA (except maybe for Louisville this year). Is there any chance to get a permanent Hawaii Bowl matchup with the Pac-10?

Kahahulu: Honestly, I have heard others with your opinion, and I can appreciate where you are coming from... This year we will have a CUSA team vs. a WAC team. Suffice it to say that we are working very hard to have a continued relationship with the PAC-10, but there are many variables, and frankly several other bowls that are "bidding" against us. That's not to say I don't appreciate CUSA, I really do, as they have provided some VERY exciting bowl appearnces and have been GREAT partners, but yes I listen to the public, and I know most of you want a PAC-10 team in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, so we are working on that...
05/11/07 @ 11:59
Stephen Tsai also updates his post to say that Chad Mock has signed with the B.C. Lions of the CFL. Congrats to Chad!

The Warrior Beat will be holding a live chat session with K5 analyst and Sheraton Hawaii Bowl director Jim Donovan later today. Be there!

Also, here's an NFL minicamp schedule from ESPN.com. Nate Ilaoa and Leonard Peters will be attending rookie camps with their respective teams, the Eagles and Jets, this weekend. Hopefully there'll be some good news to report.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Odds and Ends

>> Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes about the Samoan culture in general and the four Samoan Dolphins in particular, with a bonus Reagan Mauia video interview next to the article.

>> Former UH quarterback Nick Rolovich is giving it one last shot in pro ball. It's a great article. Good luck Rolo!

>> UH athletic director Herman Frazier responds to Colt's comments regarding the facilities and parking situation... by laying the blame at the feet of the players. Way to support UH yourself, Herm. To the national media, no less.

>> Matt Hayes of the Sporting News ranks the Top 5 players in college football at each position. He ranks Colt as the #2 QB.


1. Pat White, West Virginia

2. Colt Brennan, Hawaii

3. John David Booty, USC

4. Brian Brohm, Louisville

5. Andre Woodson, Kentucky

The breakdown: You say White can't fling it, I say just watch. Besides, with his dual-threat ability, there is no bigger game-changer in the game today. I'd love to see Brennan play two or three big-time BCS teams, but the Hawaii schedule is putrid. I know everyone is gaga over Brohm, but I want to see him 1.) stay healthy, and 2.) carry his team in a big road game.

June Jones and the Magic Temple

June Jones and the Magic Temple, a benefit for Na Koa which had been scheduled for late April, but postponed, has now been rescheduled to June 15th, according to the Na Koa website. Here's a link to the PDF press release about the event, but more importantly, and holy moly, here's the Quicktime trailer for it.

I'm gonna watch it over and over and over again.

Nooooo!!! They updated the video. The original was much better, with some great acting by Dennis McKnight. Crap. Guess you gotta go see the show.

Le'Marcus Gibson

On the heels of Kenny Graham's sooner-than-expected arrival comes the news from Stephen Tsai that safety Le'Marcus Gibson will join the Warriors for fall camp instead of in 2008.
"That was great to hear," said Gibson, who is a 5-foot-11, 197-pound safety from Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Miss.
Gibson and his cousin, Harrison Central coach Nekemia Rich, were displaced when Hurricane Katrina ripped through Gulfport in August 2005.
Gibson recently completed his track season. He will graduate, with honors, in two weeks. After that, he will compete in the Mississippi state all-star game in July.
"He's getting prepared for Division I football," Rich said.
Congratulations and welcome to Le'Marcus!

Snipes a Warrior

Stephen Tsai writes that receiver Attrail Snipes of Bakersfield CC will join UH in 2008.
Last season, Snipes caught 21 passes for 399 yards and five touchdowns. Snipes, who is 6 feet 1 and 181 pounds, has been timed running 40 yards in 4.36 seconds.

"You should see his speed," Rainier Beach (Seattle) High athletic director Dan Jurdy said. "It's what he can do after he catches the ball. He can run a 5-yard out and break that thing for 70 yards."

As a Rainier Beach senior, Snipes was named to the Seattle Times' All-Area first team. He placed first in the 100 meters (10.71 seconds), 200 (21.98) and 400 (48.83) at the Washington state meet.

"How do you do that?" Jurdy said. "He's an amazing athlete. And he's an even better person."
Congratulations and welcome to Attrail!


And Olin Buchanan of Rivals.com has a rundown of some top college football stories coming out of spring, including this all–to-familiar ditty.
15. Out on an island

Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier admitted he miscalculated while compiling the Warriors' 2007 schedule and is still trying to add two more games.

The problems began for Hawaii, which can schedule 13 games, when Michigan State pulled out of a game.

Then discussions with Michigan and Southern California fell through. Frazier admitted he erred when failing to schedule road games against Texas A&M, North Carolina State, Texas Tech or Louisville, but he was hoping for another home game.

He also wanted to schedule an opponent from a BCS conference to enhance the Warriors chances to going to a prominent bowl game.

Instead, Hawaii has only added Division I-AA Charleston Southern.

Many high-profile teams have declined to face Hawaii citing difficult travel issues. You wonder if the prospect of facing quarterback Colt Brennan and one of the nation's best offenses is a factor, too.
That's a pretty good summary, however depressing it is to read again. But you know, let's not dwell on it or anything...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chattin' With McMackin

Greg McMackin will be Stephen Tsai's Warrior Beat live chat guest today. Here's an excerpt from yesterday's Jacob Patek chat, talking about today's guest.
Comment from: Jacob Patek [Member]
Comment from: warsapbow [Visitor]
Jacob, What do you see already and should we expect different this season with Greg McMackin running the D? Mahalo for your passion and highlights last season, keep the Texas connections coming.

A stronger secondary, of course, but we're still going to be known as the hardest hitting defense on the West Coast, if not the whole United States. Everybody still has the intensity and tenacity as we did with coach Glanville, but I think the 4-3 will work better with the personel we have.
05/08/07 @ 15:18
Think of some questions for Coach. Be there!

UPDATE: Coach McMackin was great, and gave some really well-thought out answers. Here's one of them:
Comment from: Greg McMackin [Member]
Comment from: Carl Watanabe [Visitor]
Please explain the basic differences between the old 3-4 and your 4-3 defense.

When we first came here with June, we based out of a 4-3 personnel wise, but we had 3-4 concepts also. The last two years they did a very good job with the 3-4, and when I came here I considered what would be the best for our personnel. Our personnel, to a man, on the defensive staff, convinced me we were better suited for a 4-3,
The reason is in our package, the 4-3, we need two big linemen inside. Everything is attacking in our defense, even the techniques within it. It starts with our tackles coming off the ball and controlling the line of scrimmage. We have 5-6 300 pound tackles that will do very well here. Our defensive ends are basically outside linebackers. Amani Purcell, Karl Noa, David Veikune, Francis Maka and Victor Clore, they are all guys who have good size but they can run. They give us two more guys who can run to the football with great speed. The linebackers are very talented, Adam Leonard, Solomon Elimimian, Brad Kalilimoku, Micah Lau and Blaze Soares give us a group that can run to the football. The difference is how you put your personnel, and our personnel really fits a 4-3. We use our 3-4 in passing situations, which we call our oky defense.
05/09/07 @ 13:33
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