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Friday, February 29, 2008

Gerke, 08 Schedule, WAC, WitP, BRS

Stephen Tsai talks to new UH assistant coach Alex Gerke.
"I tell you what, you can't beat this place," said Gerke, who joins the Hawai'i football team as an assistant coach in charge of running backs and offensive linemen. "It's so surreal just to be here. I've always felt this was the Shangri-La of coaching. This is a great place to be a coach. The people here are all outstanding; very friendly, very humble. The community is excellent. The program has great players, and a great tradition. Why am I fortunate to be here? All of the above."
Cindy Luis writes about Gerke.
"He loves coming to Hawaii," McMackin said, "and we're happy we can make it a little more permanent. He's exactly what I'm looking for in a coach. Besides his experience, he really cares about players. He's going to really complement our staff and be a great addition."
The article also lists the 2008 schedules for all the WAC teams.

Ferd Lewis writes about ESPN's influence on this year's scheduling, and perhaps who they see as contenders for the WAC title.
The defending Western Athletic Conference champion University of Hawai'i football team has been cast in a spoiler role for 2008.

The release of the WAC schedule yesterday sets the stage for what ESPN and the conference apparently hope will be a Nov. 28 championship showdown between Boise State and Fresno State on the blue carpet in Boise.
They just don't know the big monster that awaits!

KGMB's Liz Chun has a rundown of the schedule.

CFN's Pete Fiutak has a 2008 WAC spring preview. Here's an excerpt on UH.
Spring attitude... Enjoy being the underdog again. After a year of being in the spotlight and in the weekly national consciousness, Hawaii will be under the radar compared to Fresno State and Boise State. Opening the season at Florida isn't going to help matters, and following up a date with Weber State with a trip to Oregon State could make for a rough start. Whatever. The team has to focus on getting better for the WAC season and being a contender again for a conference title. Able to use the no one respects us line, the motivation will be there.
Thanks to Mario, who sends this mention of Colt Brennan in an NFL "draft risers" article from The Red Zone Report.
After a disastrous Sugar Bowl was followed up by a weight-draining stomach virus and another disastrous performance at the Senior Bowl last month, Brennan’s stock was in serious nosedive mode.

The only place Brennan had to go was up at the combine, and that’s exactly what he did, with a performance in the throwing drills that showcased his accuracy - and renewed confidence. Whether or not that (and the 20 pounds he put on) catapulted him back into the first day remains to be seen, but he’s certainly pushed himself back in that direction.
In some Warriors in the Pros news, Travis LaBoy is now a free agent, and will be meeting with the Browns and the Saints today. And here's a quote from 49ers GM Scot McCloughan, who talks about Isaac Sopoaga.
Q: After re-signing Isaac Sopoaga, where do you plan to play him?
A: Ice can play a couple of positions for us. He played mainly nose last year, but he also has the ability to play end. With Bryant Young retiring and Marques hitting the market, he could play more end for us next year. A lot will depend on free agency and the draft and the numbers we end up with. He played his most consistent football this year and I think his best football is still in front of him as a nose and an end. He fits the left end more than a right end in terms of what we do, but he could play either.
And finally, Dave Reardon writes about UH offering a scholarship to Billy Ray Stutzmann.
If you like tall, fast receivers, you like Billy Ray Stutzmann.

Greg McMackin and Ron Lee do. UH offered the Saint Louis School junior a scholarship today, according to Stutzmann’s dad, Bill.

It was the second offer of the day for Billy Ray, who also got one from Washington State.

“Coach McMackin was really cool about it,” said Bill Stutzmann, the father. “He said he didn’t want an answer right away. He told Billy Ray to go home and think about it, talk it over with the family.”

Thursday, February 28, 2008

2008 Schedule, Super Games, Smith, AD (w/UPDATES)

UPDATE: Here's the official press release and schedule from UH.
"This is a very challenging schedule, probably one of the most difficult schedules here at the school in some time," head coach Greg McMackin said. "We open with two BCS conference teams on the road in the first three weeks. It won't be easy but I feel with the returnees we have on defense and our excellent recruiting class, we'll be very competitive this season."
Looking at the schedule, looks like the Boise game will be a Friday ESPN game.

...from earlier today, here's an article confirming that, from Dave Reardon.
Hawaii will have a short week to prepare for perhaps the biggest game of its conference football season this fall.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson said today that defending champion UH will play at Boise State on Oct. 17, a Friday. That means the Warriors will have one less day to get ready than normal, after their Oct. 11 home game against Louisiana Tech.

Warriors coach Greg McMackin said his team will deal with it.

"We have a challenging schedule, but I have confidence in our coaches and players," McMackin said today.

The Boise game is on Friday for TV purposes. Benson said that game, as well as at least one of UH's season-ending non-conference games against Cincinnati and Washington State will be shown on ESPN.
UPDATE 2: Here's a press release from the WAC with all the WAC games on ESPN or ESPN2 this coming season.
2008 WAC ESPN/ABC Television Schedule
Date-Game, Time, Network
Saturday, Aug. 30-Mississippi State at Louisiana Tech, TBA, TBA
Saturday, Sept. 6-Texas Tech at Nevada, TBA, TBA
Saturday, Sept. 13-Wisconsin at Fresno State, TBA, TBA
Wednesday, Oct. 1-Louisiana Tech at Boise State, 6:00 MT, ESPN
Friday, Oct. 17-Hawai‘i at Boise State, 6:00 MT, ESPN
Friday, Oct. 24-Boise State at San Jose State, 6:00 PT, ESPN2
Friday, Nov. 7-Nevada at Fresno State, 6:00 PT, ESPN2
Friday, Nov. 21-Fresno State at San Jose State, 6:30 PT, ESPN2
Friday, Nov. 28-Fresno State at Boise State, 4:00 MT, ESPN2
Saturday, Nov. 29-Washington State at Hawai‘i, TBA, TBA
Saturday, Dec. 6-Cincinnati at Hawai‘i, TBA, TBA

The Warriors' 2008 schedule will be officially released later today, but the Advertiser already has it.
The University of Hawaii football team will play Boise State and Fresno State on the road in October and will follow that up with back-to-back road games in November, according to a 2008 schedule to be released today.

The 13-game schedule also will have two open dates, Sept. 20 and Nov. 15.
The article has the schedule, and I'll post it in the right sidebar later today. Ferd Lewis writes that there could be many UH games on national TV this season.
ESPN has expressed an interest in UH's game at Boise State in October and either — or both — of the Nov. 29 Washington State and Dec. 6 Cincinnati games at Aloha Stadium. In addition, ESPN is reserving a decision on UH's Oct. 4 game at Fresno State in case the Warriors are doing well. Last year ESPN picked up the UH-Fresno State game 10 days before its Nov. 10 kickoff.

Either or both of the Fresno and Boise games could be moved to Friday nights under terms of the conference's contract with ESPN.
UH opens at Florida on August 30th. Here's an early quote about the game from Gator coach Urban Meyer.
“To be honest, Hawaii scares me to death with a new coach and new coordinator.”
All I know is that they just might have to prepare for the mythical Big Boned Wishbone. I'm just throwing that out there.


Leila Wai has video from this week's Super Games competition, water polo!


Daniel Smith is suing UH and former coach Jeff Reinebold.
A high school football player is suing the University of Hawai'i for allegedly revoking his scholarship offer after coach June Jones' resignation.

Daniel Smith, 17, of Boise, Idaho, also names UH's former defensive line coach, Jeff Reinebold, in the suit.

He says Reinebold told him not to speak to any other school when he offered the full scholarship last April, an offer that Smith says was reaffirmed over the next several months.

Dave Reardon reports that the UH athletic director search committee interviewed Bob Wagner.
Wagner joins Carl Clapp (interim AD), Jim Donovan, Rockne Freitas and Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano as applicants who have been interviewed.
Reardon's article also has bios of all five known interviewees. Dick Tomey is not a candidate.

Ferd Lewis writes that the AD will most likely have ties to the local community, and that's a good thing.
For someone who was dogged by the perception that he was reluctant to hire locally, Herman Frazier will practically assure that whoever succeeds him as the University of Hawai'i's athletic director does come from the 808 area code.

As the search committee meets with finalists this week, it is looking more and more that the next AD will come with local knowledge and sensitivity, not to mention a familiar zip code. And that's a good, long overdue, sign.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Warriors in the Pros

Isaac Sopoaga just signed a big contract with the 49ers.
The team Tuesday agreed to terms on a five-year deal with Isaac Sopoaga, the powerful Samoan who can play nose tackle and defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. Sopoaga, 26, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at 9 p.m. Thursday.
Zuckerman declined to divulge terms of the deal. However, it likely is similar to the five-year, $20.5 million deal Dallas gave nose tackle Jay Ratliff last season. Ratliff also got $8 million to sign.
Travis Laboy may test the free agent market.
"The difference in what the Titans are offering and what the market is dictating, it is a lot different,'' said C.J. LaBoy, who represents his brother.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the Titans don't have either of them back next year.''

Travis LaBoy, who had six sacks last season, is looking for more money and more playing time.

"And the way it is being portrayed to us, I'm not sure Tennessee sees him that way,'' C.J. LaBoy said.
Samson Satele impressed in 2007 and it looks like the Dolphins are rebuilding the offensive line around him.
It is believed Parcells likes Satele's potential, as he provides a strong nucleus to build around.

Houck said he was very impressed with Satele's progress last season, and he expects the player to get even better next season.

''He can be a tremendous player,'' Houck said. ``He could be a good player at center or guard, either one. I think they did a good job of drafting that guy. He's got a great attitude. We put him in a very tough situation. Playing center as a rookie is a hard job.

``He made a lot of strides this year, but I think he'll really make even more next year.''

Revenue, AD Search, Life in the NFL, Etc.

Ferd Lewis writes that ticket revenue for UH football increased significantly in 2007.
UH took in $930,106 more in ticket revenue in 2007 than it did the previous year despite playing one fewer home game.

In 2006, when UH finished 11-3, ticket sales (season and individual) totaled $4.9 million for eight home dates. In 2007, sales reached $5.8 million for seven games.
Dave Reardon writes that Jim Donovan and Rockne Freitas were interviewed by the AD search committee yesterday. Marilyn Moniz-Kaho‘ohanohano is scheduled to be interviewed today, and Carl Clapp is also a finalist. Stephen Tsai writers that Keith Amemiya is not a finalist.

Reardon writes about TV and radio rights negotiations for UH sports.
UH has received a proposal from KKEA, but none yet from KHNL/KFVE, McNamara said.

"We'll be meeting with (KHNL/KFVE) this week to get an idea where they're at in the process and what their thoughts are," McNamara said.
KHNL's Stephen Florino interviews former UH players Leonard Peters and Samson Satele about adjusting to life in the NFL.

And KGMB's Liz Chun has a report on the details of Greg McMackin's contract.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nasti, Gerke, Space Kim Chee

I can't play the video for some reason, but here's a story from KHNL about June Jones and Greg McMackin.
That includes trying to set up games between the new teams for these two new head coaches. And who'd win?

"We're gonna kick their ass," said McMackin. "You know that."

"UH, UH," Jones laughed. "It's hard to come over here and win, I know that."
Nate Ilaoa, who recently signed with the Columbia Destroyers of the Arena Football League, has been placed on the injured reserve list. The article doesn't have any details.
The team designated three players to the injured reserve list; linebacker Peter Lazare-Saunders (6-2, 300, CW Post), offensive lineman Eric Graham (6-6, 325, East Carolina) and fullback Nate Ilaoa (5-9, 245, Hawaii).
Sheraton will remain the sponsor of the Hawaii Bowl for the next two years.

Looks like Alex Gerke will be named the next UH assistant coach sometime soon.
Gerke, who was known for wearing shorts and a tank top while barking out orders at practice, is leaving the Weber State football team. He has accepted an assistant coaching job at the University of Hawaii.
Thanks to Mario, who sent a great evaluation of Colt Brennan from a scout or journalist or someone connected (maybe). It was posted on an ESPN message board, but I found a discussion of it on a Sportshawaii thread, so I'll link to that.

This combine wrap-up by ESPN.com's John Clayton has a great picture of Colt.

Here's a Colt profile page and scouting reports from Fantasy Football Jungle.

From a post by Albert Breer on a Dallas Morning News Cowboys blog, some quotes from Colt.
"I'm just ready for whatever comes my way," Brennan said. "At 24, I'm ready to go and play right now. I feel like I'm mentally ready. And the last couple of months have been about getting physically ready. I just know that a lot of kids that are physically ready have trouble getting mentally ready, but I know I'm fine mentally.

"If I need to sit, though, then that will make me that much better. If that's the case, then that's the case and I'm ready to do it."
And finally, if I ever go into outer space, I won't be without my kim chee.
"If a Korean goes to space, kimchi must go there, too," said Kim Sung Soo, a Korea Food Research Institute scientist. "Without kimchi, Koreans feel flabby. Kimchi first came to our mind when we began discussing what Korean food should go into space."
After millions of dollars and years of research, South Korean scientists successfully engineered kimchi and nine other Korean recipes fit for space travel.
Ordinary kimchi is teeming with microbes, like lactic acid bacteria, which help fermentation. On Earth they are harmless, but scientists fear they could turn dangerous in space if cosmic rays cause them to mutate. Another problem is that kimchi has a short shelf life, especially when temperatures fluctuate rapidly, as they do in space.

"Imagine if a bag of kimchi starts fermenting and bubbling out of control and bursts all over the sensitive equipment of the spaceship," Lee said.
Lee's team found a way to kill the bacteria with radiation while retaining 90 percent of the original taste.
A feeling of pride wells up inside me. Or maybe it's just gas. Either way, the kim chee is responsible, awww yeah.

UA Deal, Mack's Contract, Rausch

Dave Reardon has a wrap-up of the Under Armour deal announcement, along with some quotes from Greg McMackin and Rocky Savaiigaea.
So far, players are ecstatic.

"This is the trendy thing," McMackin said. "I just talked to (linebacker) Blaze (Soares). He's as excited as heck."

Defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea was among players who saw a preview of the products.

"It looks great. Nike's a big-time thing, but Under Armour, that's no joke there," Savaiigaea said. "They're giving us a bunch of things. It's not just one shirt, one shorts. The jerseys are nice, they're giving us a bunch of travel gear.
And an interesting comment from Derek Inouchi:
The uniform designs are still being finalized.

"I've seen the mock-ups, and it's a lot different look," UH media relations director Derek Inouchi said.
Ferd Lewis writes about the deal and has more interesting quotes.
Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson said, "my understanding is this appears to be the richest apparel agreement of any of the WAC schools. I'm sure that last season's football success led to this type of a deal."
And this kinda contradicts what Inouchi said:
UH officials said there will be some changes from the recent uniforms but they wouldn't be "radical."
It's all smokescreens! Gonna have aloha print jerseys, you wait.
McMackin said the new UH uniforms, to be worn for the Aug. 30 season opener at Florida, could include some green. He also said he was intrigued with the possibility of sometime unveiling "throwback" uniforms. "The thing about these guys we're working with is they give you a lot of options."
Here's video coverage of the deal from KGMB's Liz Chun. Can't wait to see the new unis.

Ferd Lewis has details of Greg McMackin's contract. I like these quotes from Mack:
The 58-year-old McMackin said he wanted a contract that bound both he and the school for the term. "I think what is different between the last contract and my contract is that I wanted to make sure I'm committed to being here and they were committed to me," McMackin said. "I'm bringing my whole family (to Hawai'i) and I wanted them (UH) to commit to me and I think they have."

McMackin's daughter and two grandchildren are due to join him and his wife here.

McMackin said yesterday's announcement of a landmark eight-year apparel and marketing deal with Under Armour is a reflection of his commitment. "I mean, that's why it is eight years, because I told them (Under Armour) that's about what I'm thinking — 8 to 10 years."
And finally, Britten Gerrard of "The Chapparal," College of the Deserts student paper, profiles UH QB recruit Brent Rausch.
"I couldn't even believe it," Rausch said. "To get the opportunity to live in a climate that has 85-degree weather year-round and play football is like a dream come true."

In the meantime, Rausch knows he has some work to do before he leaves for paradise.

"The Hawaii coaches want me to bulk up," Rausch said. "Right now I'm at about 190 pounds and I'm pushing for 210 by the time I head over there. I just need to keep pushing it in the weight room and keep on drinking those protein shakes."

A proven winner, Rausch led his high school squad (Desert Chapel) to two championships during his junior and senior seasons before leading the Roadrunners to a 9-2 record in 2007, their best season in decades.

Monday, February 25, 2008

More Under Armour, More Combine, JJ

The Advertiser has more details on UH's deal with Under Armour.
The University of Hawaii athletic department announced a breakthrough eight-year, $4.1 million apparel contract with Under Armour during a press conference at the Stan Sheriff Center today.

According to the announcement, UH is to receive $2.4 million in products for athletes, coaches and staff, $1.68 million in cash, including $1.14 million in rights fees and a minimum of $540,000 in marketing support.

In the first year UH is to receive goods and cash valued at $440,000 — $125,000 in rights fees, $225,000 in product allowances, $20,000 in coaches' apparel, $10,000 in staff apparel, $10,000 in camp apparel and $50,000 in marketing support.

People involved have described the eight-year deal as "incredible" for UH, which has never before had as comprehensive a deal.
Leila Wai also has some video from today's press conference.

The Star-Bulletin has a quote from Greg McMackin.
"We already have former players lining up to be in the commercials," Warriors coach Greg McMackin said.
Can't wait to see what comes of that. Anyways, sounds like a great deal for UH. Oh, and lookie here, Chawan Cut made an animation to celebrate the deal.


Ed Thompson of Scout.com was one of the few reporters (along with ST) who actually got to watch yesterday's QB and wide receiver workouts at the NFL Combine. He writes this about Colt and Bess:
Hawaii's Colt Brennan was smooth and accurate, especially on the short and medium routes, including a nice throw on an out route to Indiana's James Hardy. After a Senior Bowl week that raised some questions about his ability to succeed at the pro level, he bounced back with a consistent performance at the Combine.
Hawaii wide receiver Devonne Bess did some outstanding work during the gauntlet drill, showing his quick reaction time, good acceleration and strong concentration skills. But he also impressed with his cutting skills while running his routes and for his ability to locate the ball and make over-the-shoulder catches in stride.
KGMB's Mike Cherry also had a short wrap-up last night.


June Jones was at a Na Koa fundraiser last night with Greg McMackin. KHNL has video and an accompanying article.
Admittingly, Jones says it feels a little weird being back to help his old team. This probably couldn't and wouldn't happen anywhere else.

"Well Hawaii, as we've always known, is a little different than everywhere else," said Jones. "I'm just happy I can help. Happy I can raise some money for team."
That's cool. Maybe he can send some of that SMU money over to UH. They can afford it! Speaking of JJ, even though he left UH, J. David Miller's Hawaii Warrior Football book apparently is still selling well. Warriorshaka.com has info about a Tennessee radio show JJ and Miller will be guests on to promote the book.

Combine Wrap-Up / UH and Under Armour

Stephen Tsai talks to Colt Brennan about his showing at the NFL Combine.
In UH's four-wide offense, Brennan was mostly in the shotgun, aligned 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. Yesterday, he had to simulate taking snaps from the center, then retreating in three-, five- and seven-step dropbacks.

"To use the old cliche," said Brennan, who took snaps from under the center in high school, prep school and the University of Colorado, "it was like riding a bicycle again. It wasn't that difficult."
Tsai also talks to one of Colt's critics:
Even a relentless critic, football analyst Mike Mayock, softened his stance.

"Coming out of the Senior Bowl, I wasn't impressed," said Mayock, who acknowledged that Brennan reported to the combine in better shape. "He gained 15, 18 pounds, and that was helpful. He's kind of sneaky athletic, and he makes some plays. I want to get the tapes of this and watch them."
Dave Reardon talks to Colt as well as a couple of scouts.
Two veteran NFL scouts who were present told the Star-Bulletin yesterday that Brennan helped himself with the most impressive display of passing accuracy at this year's combine.
Said the scout quoted above: "The people who doubted his arm strength probably don't now."

Another scout said he would be surprised if any of the four former UH players at the combine -- Brennan, Bess, Grice-Mullins and receiver Jason Rivers -- were not drafted in April.

"If I was a betting man I would say yes. I say they all get drafted," the scout said. "Ryan helped himself the most. He worked out pretty dang good. Colt helped himself from the Senior Bowl."
Tsai writes about the performances of Rivers, Bess and RGM.
(RGM) ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.16 seconds, fourth-best among the wideouts. On Saturday, he bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times.

He was particularly sharp in the field drills yesterday, catching seven of the eight passes thrown in his direction.
Bess said: "My 40 killed me. I've never been the type who can just run and go. I'll have to work on it some more."

Wideout Jason Rivers said he "wasn't happy" with his time in the 40-yard dash. He ran his first sprint in 4.55 seconds; the second attempt was slower.

"I felt slow for some reason," Rivers said.

And it looks like the Warriors will be wearing Under Armour apparel starting this year.
The University of Hawaii and Under Armour, Inc. today announced a multi- faceted eight-year partnership that designates Under Armour as the performance apparel and footwear outfitter for the University of Hawaii Warrior football team. In addition to providing technologically advanced performance apparel and footwear, the partnership includes Under Armour marketing rights.

The partnership, slated to begin in July 2008, deepens Under Armour's on- field presence in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). In addition to the Warriors, the brand has official outfitter relationships in The Atlantic Coast Conference, The Big 12, and The Southeastern Conference, including agreements with The University of South Carolina and Auburn University.

"We're thrilled to add Hawaii to the very select list of football programs we're outfitting," said Kevin Plank, Under Armour Chairman and CEO. "We identified UH as a team we wanted to outfit with our state-of-the-art performance apparel, uniforms and footwear, and we look forward to giving their student-athletes an advantage on field while also using the relationship to showcase our latest innovations in footwear, uniform designs, fabrics and textiles."
Some quotes from the press release:
"Under Armour offers a quality line of football products and our players will be thrilled to wear its apparel," Greg McMackin, head coach, said. "Additionally, they have successfully positioned themselves as the aggressive new brand in this field, so we will benefit from having them as an apparel and footwear supplier as well as a marketing partner."
"This is certainly a landmark deal for UH Athletics," said Carl Clapp, interim athletic director. "It will provide our football student-athletes with quality game and practice products, while also providing UH with an outstanding marketing partner. The revenue that Under Armour has committed will enhance our financial situation and we are thrilled to be aligned with such an exciting and progressive company."
I wanna see Vili in an Under Armour commercial.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Combine News: Impressive (w/UPDATES)

Awww yeah. Stephen Tsai writes that Colt Brennan was very impressive in passing drills today (excerpts updated).
In an astonishing display of accuracy, Colt Brennan was credited with completing 100 percent of his passes during drills today at the NFL Scouting Combine in the RCA Dome.
Of his 21 passes, 20 were caught. A chest-high pass was dropped, but it was so accurate Brennan was credited with a completion.
"This is one big hurdle I cleared," said Brennan, who endured criticism because of his weight and perceived lack of arm strength.
The report on his drills showed 19 of Brennan's passes were perfect. Two were slightly off the mark, but were caught, anyway.
"I was really happy," Brennan said. "There are so many misconceptions, so many untruths out there, about what I am as a quarterback and what I can do. It's mostly those Internet sites. Their perception is heard, and it's like 'telephone.' People around the country hear these things and assume them."
Great news for Colt. Check that link for more updates from Tsai throughout the day.

UPDATE: Tsai has today's 40 times for the three Warrior receivers. Rivers ran 4.55, Bess ran 4.62 and RGM ran 4.46.

UPDATE 2: Some footage and analysis of Colt's day in this NFL.com video (starting at 2:33)

UPDATE 3: Russ Lande of the Sporting News writes this about Colt's performance today:
After looking tiny and getting killed by the media at the Senior Bowl, Hawaii QB Colt Brennan has done well so far at the Combine. As mentioned yesterday, he helped himself by weighing in at more than 200 pounds (207), and even more important, he was very sharp in pass drops, got rid of the ball quickly and got better zip on his throws than expected.
UPDATE 4: Here's an article on Colt's Sunday performance from Jim Corbett of USA Today.
Brennan showed good accuracy, velocity and footwork as he re-inflated his stock that seemed to be plummeting coming off a 41-10 loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

He helped dispel doubts about his ability to transition from former Hawaii coach June Jones' spread, shotgun offense. And the 6-2 quarterback is up to 207 pounds after dropping to 185 at the Senior Bowl following a bout with the stomach flu.
UPDATE 5: Dave Reardon gets some feedback from a trusted NFL scout.
I wasn’t there, but I’ll take the word of a veteran NFL scout who has never steered me wrong that Brennan was awesome. And this guy doesn’t drink Kool-Aid.

“It was very good. By far the most accurate. He showed very good timing,” said the scout, who has worked at more than 10 NFL combines. “It was one of the best performances I’ve seen in that.”
UPDATE 6: Davone Bess gets an overall great review from USA Today's Rob Rang.
Appalachian State's Dexter Jackson and Hawaii's Davone Bess were every bit as dynamic as DeSean Jackson during wide receiver drills
Scouts were disappointed to see Bess time in the 4.7s — a number so high even the most ardent of supporters is concerned, but his burst out of his breaks and super-soft hands made him one of the more impressive receivers of the day in drills. During the "gauntlet" drills in which receivers are asked to run horizontally across the field at full speed while six quarterbacks (three on either side) pepper them with passes, Bess was one of the few receivers to easily contort his body and snare each pass. In drills where others struggled, Bess consistently made the difficult appear easy.
Right on. Colt gets mentioned in this combine report from Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, who had a miserable Senior Bowl last month, didn't do any running because he recently packed on more than 20 pounds after getting sick in Mobile, Ala., but he was eager to show off his arm to erase the belief that the pass-happy Western Athletic Conference padded his statistics.

"I think if I can go out and throw really well, some of these negatives are going to bounce back as positives," said Brennan, who impressed the onlookers.

Two other threads you can also check throughout the day include props for Davone Bess from Alabama's Simeon Castille. From Scout.com's Sunday liveblog:
Castille hopes to run a 4.45-second 40 or better and credited Hawaii’s Davone Bess as being the toughest receiver he faced because of his quickness and speed, also citing Donnie Avery as being a tough assignment.
This Sunday scoop thread from Rivals.com has more:
Alabama cornerback Simeon Castille also was asked about the toughest receiver in college. After pondering the question for a while, Castille surprisingly mentioned two receivers from outside the Southeastern Conference.

"When we played Hawaii (in 2006), Davone Bess was pretty quick and fast," Castille said. "They would put him in the slot, and I was playing the nickel, so I had to try and cover him a lot. Man, he's pretty good. I'd probably say him, or (Houston's) Donnie Avery was pretty good, too."
You can also check this other Rivals.com thread for workout updates. You can also check the many NFL Combine news links on the right sidebar for more.

...there are also two articles from Tsai today: Scouts quiz UH prospects and Brennan gets shot to impress.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bess and RGM

Colt, Bess, RGM and Rivers will have their big day tomorrow working out at the combine. Here's a photo of Bess from an NFL.com photo gallery, as pointed out by a commenter.

Here's a brief section on Bess from the Dayton Daily News' combine notes.
The Bengals interviewed Hawaii's Davone Bess not just because of his slot-receiver skills. They're in desperate need of an explosive kick-returner.

"I'm here. I'm ready. I'm what you want," said Bess, who calls Steve Smith and Chad Johnson his heroes.

What about Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El?

"I was going to mention them next," he said.

Bess, a 5-10, 195-pounder, led the Warriors with 96 receptions for 1,220 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2007.
And Ryan Grice-Mullen has a few quotes in an article from Patriots.com.
“New England and the Colts throw the ball 50 times a game, just like we do [at Hawaii],” he observed. “They got a slot receiver, Wes Welker, who caught 100 balls this year. You see a lot of teams going that way.

“But I don’t consider myself just a slot receiver,” he added. “I can do both [play slot and flanker].”

He also has a great deal of confidence in his ability to read complex defenses, something he’d certainly have to do in New England’s offense.

“I’d say 9 out of 10, or 10 out of 10. That’s how much confidence I have in myself to read defenses. From day one in this [Hawaii] offense, you don’t see the field unless you know how to read defenses and know your plays. All of our routes are based off of reads. You could have five routes on one play.”
Best of luck to all four of them tomorrow.

Watson, Reynolds, Kepoʻo / Combine News

Dave Reardon has some news in his blog post about Keala Watson, Korey Reynolds and Kiran Kepo’o. Here's an excerpt:
Keala Watson is working toward changing his position title from defensive tackle to defensive lineman.

The senior from Nanakuli and Kauai wants to get down to 290 pounds for his final season. Watson played last season at right around 300. He will likely start at defensive tackle, in a rotation with Fale Laeli, Rocky Savaiigaea, Josh Leonard and possibly others.

He said he wants to lighten up a little bit so he can increase his quickness and versatility.
Stephen Tsai has updated today's post with some combine results from Saturday.
Grice-Mullins and Bess also took part in the weight-lifting sessions.
Grice-Mullins bench-pressed 225 pounds 17 times.
"I'm kind of disappointed with that," Grice-Mullins said. "I think I could have done more."
Davone Bess had 14 repetitions at that weight, but said one of the lifts was discounted.
"Put it down at 14," Bess said.
Bess said he never had more than nine repetitions until he started training in Arizona last month.
"I'm stronger," he said, "and more confident."
Rivers and Brennan did not lift. Rivers will lift at the April 1 Pro Day in Carson, Calif.
Scout.com had a short blurb on Davone Bess in their Saturday blog.
3:32 p.m. - Hawaii WR Davone Bess sat down with media this afternoon and said that he will workout this weekend and is looking forward to running the 40. Bess measured in at 5-11 ½ and 193 pounds.
And Rivals' Steve Megargee gets a quote from Bess, who talks about being a "system" receiver.
While much has been made about Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan having to fight the reputation that he's a product of June Jones' pass-happy system, the Warriors' receivers have a similar battle on their hands. Hawaii wide receiver Davone Bess just addressed that issue.

"When we go out and play on Saturdays, and hopefully Sundays, we can't really buy into that," Bess said. "We've just got to continue to work hard and do what we've been doing since we were younger and (do) what got us here. Staying focused, staying humble and most importantly working hard, and big plays will come."

NFL Combine News Sites

Here's a list of websites with up-to-date NFL Combine News. Comment below if I'm missing any. Thanks.

AOL Fanhouse
NFL Draft Countdown
Sports Illustrated
NFL Draft Scout
The Warrior Beat
UH Sports Extra

...I also posted these links on the top right sidebar for future reference.

ST Back, Combine Reports

Stephen Tsai is back to blogging, and he has a story about taking WAC champ rings to the players at the combine, along with some notes about the atmosphere in the RCA Dome.
Every 15 minutes, an NFL head coach or personnel director would speak at one of the two podiums. After that, they do group interviews in the lobby. Tom Coughlin is actually pretty nice, in an intense way, sort of like a Method actor.
Herm Edwards was very gracious. He noticed my "Honolulu" affiliation and asked me to pose some questions.
It's kind of amusing to see the "financial" advisers trying to hand business cards to players. One of the advisers thanked me for introducing him to "Lavon Best."
He also writes that Colt Brennan will be taking the Wonderlic test today.

Tsai's byline is back too, and he has an article about Colt Brennan meeting the press, Davone Bess meeting the snow, and Jason Rivers meeting the doctors.
At the request of the NFL, former UH wideout Jason Rivers will undergo an MRI on his lower back.

"They're going to do it at one of the hospitals here," Rivers said.

Rivers was held out of UH's game against Idaho Sept. 29 because of lower-back tightness. Rivers said the injury did not cause further problems, and that he feels he is healthy.

"They want me to take the MRI as a follow-up," Rivers said.

Yesterday, Rivers was measured at 6 feet 1. He weighed 200 pounds.

"It's exactly where I want to be," Rivers said.
The Star-Bulletin has some staff and wire reports from the combine as well.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Combine News

Colt Brennan was interviewed by the media this afternoon at the NFL Combine. Here's a transcript (along with a bunch of other info) from NFL Draft Scout. Here's coverage of the interview from NFL.com.
"My whole life it seems like everyone said I wasn't going to be able to do it," said Brennan, sitting comfortably at a table surrounded by media at the Indiana Convention Center on Friday. "When I went to Mater Dei High School in Irvine, Calif., they said I'd be too small. ... I tried to get into a college, couldn't find one. I went to a prep school, walked on at Colorado, bounced back to a junior college, walked on at Hawaii -- never could get a break.

"Everyone kept saying, 'too small, not good enough,' and I had a good career at Hawaii. So you hear the criticism now, it almost puts me at ease, like I'm going to have great success in the next league. So I'm just excited to get to a team and prove that I can do it."
Here's an article from Sean Callahan of Rivals.com discussing what Brennan hopes to prove at the combine. Colt's former teammates back him up:
Three of Brennan's former Hawaii wide receivers are in Indianapolis also preparing to work out Sunday. When Ryan Grice-Mullen was asked about his former quarterback, he had nothing but confidence that Brennan will get it done at the next level.

"The guy is just a gamer and you see that every day," he said. "A guy like him might not get drafted that high, but you see guys like him always making plays in the Super Bowl and nobody knows where they came from. He's just a playmaker."

Fellow Warriors wide receiver Jason Rivers echoed Grice-Mullen's assessment.

"Colt has all the tools to make it," Rivers said. "He has the attitude and the drive. Whatever problems people say about him, they are easy fixings. The one thing you can't teach at this next level is being super-accurate and he's one of the most accurate quarterbacks coming out this year.

"He just has that 'it' factor. He's a gamer."
Cory J. Bonini of KFFL seemed impressed with Brennan's interview, while SI's Don Banks was not.

Colt's weight gain is highlighted in this ProFootballWeekly.com Friday notebook.

And finally, Jason Rivers talked about adjusting to cold weather.
As Rivers prepares for the NFL Draft, he knows there is a chance he could get picked by a team in a cold-weather city. While playing in the cold no doubt will be an adjustment, Rivers said he's already working on getting used to it.

"I was in Denver for the past month, and it took me about a week or two to get used to the cold," Rivers said. "The second I got there, I went to Sports Authority and bought me a pair of warm gloves.

"I only wore them for a about a week and a half, and after that I took them off. I got used to it."

Colt at 207 lbs, RGM at the Combine

From Scout.com's live combine blog for Friday:
12:16 p.m. - After a controversial week in Mobile where he weighed in at just 185 pounds, Hawaii QB Colt Brennan measured in at an impressive 6-foot-2, 207 pounds today in Indianapolis. He was on a strict weight-gain program and has been working hard taking snaps under center and his five and seven step drop back. Brennan was open and honest with the media regarding his past and stated, “I have nothing to hide.”
Right on Colt. From the same blog, RGM discusses his abilities:
11:44 a.m. - Hawaii wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen said that one of his selling points to NFL teams is the fact that he's been playing since he was a freshman, so he has plenty of game experience. When it comes to rating himself on a scale of 1 to 10 at reading defenses, he said he thinks he's a 9 or a 10. He said at Hawaii, there could be five different routes out of one play, so he had to be able to make the right decisions based on what he saw from the defense.
Be sure to check the Scout.com link throughout the day, as it'll probably be updated continuously. You can also visit NFL.com's Combine page, AOL's Fanhouse Combine page, and numerous others for more news.

Speaking of which, Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse has an entry on Ryan Grice-Mull(en)ins.
But what Grice-Mullen lacks in size, he makes up for in intelligence. He talked about the way the offense run by former Hawaii coach June Jones prepared him for the NFL because it has such a great emphasis on the receivers' ability to read defenses.

"From Day 1 in this offense, you don't see the field unless you can read defenses," Grice-Mullen said.
RGM also talks about the criticism of Colt:
"He's been criticized since he got to Hawaii," Grice-Mullen said of Brennan, "I definitely think he will succeed because of his heart and his love for the game."
UPDATE: The Advertiser has an article about Colt Brennan's day at the combine.
After undergoing the physical examinations, Brennan met with reporters in the Indianapolis Convention Center. He sat in front of a round table, wearing a gray NFL-issued sweatshirt.

He answered questions about his legal problems when he was a Colorado freshman, defended his label as a "system" quarterback, and spoke of his preparation for Sunday's passing drills. He said he will not participate in the running drills or weight-lifting sessions.

Asked why he was so candid, Brennan said, "I've got nothing to hide. ... I want to tell my story."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Colt at the Combine

Here's a short interview with Colt Brennan, from NFL.com.

Da Bess, Combine, Warrior Ball

Dave Reardon talks to Davone Bess, who is in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
Many prospects pick and choose whether they will run or lift for the scouts and league decision-makers. Bess, a relative unknown coming out for the draft as a junior, doesn't have that luxury.

It's against his nature, anyway.

"I have to let my work ethic speak for itself," said Bess, who arrived in Indianapolis yesterday from his training facility in Arizona. "I'm not into the predraft hype, I've always been under the radar. I'm just going to do my best."
An Advertiser reporter talks to Colt and RGM about getting ready for the combine.
Grice-Mullins, who has been training in Costa Mesa, Calif., also believes he needs to produce a fast 40-yard time.

He said he has sprinted well in workouts, but "those are just workouts." Hundreds of NFL officials, including general manager, scouts and coaches, will watch the combine drills.

"I know how fast I can run," Grice-Mullins said. "I'm not going to say anything. I'm going to wait, and let everybody see for themselves."

Bess has been praised for his first-step quickness and sure hands.

But, he conceded, "I have to run a good 40. That's the only knock right now. I have to run a good 40, and put it in God's hands after that."
And finally, an Advertiser videographer has video of yesterday's Warrior Ball competition.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ohana Festival, Bess, Relay for Life, Warrior Ball

Earlier today, the UH Athletics Department released details of the 2008 Ohana Festival.
The University of Hawai`i Athletics Department, in partnership with Aloha Stadium, will host the "Football `Ohana Festival" prior to the football team's final spring practice Saturday, Apr. 26, from 5:00-8:30 p.m. at the stadium.

"This is an opportunity for the entire community to come together and celebrate Warrior football." Greg McMackin, UH head coach, said. "We want to show our appreciation to our fans by treating them to a fun-filled evening at Aloha Stadium."
2008 "Football `Ohana Festival" Schedule
4:00 p.m. Parking Lot Gate Opens (main gate on Salt Lake Blvd. only)
5:00 p.m. Stadium Gate Opens (gate 4 only)
5:00-7:00 p.m. Contests & Activities (south concourse)
5:30-6:30 p.m. Autograph & Photo Session with Players (south concourse)
7:00-8:30 p.m. Practice & Scrimmage (fan seating on Makai side)
Dave Reardon has a few bits of info on Davone Bess.
The former Warriors slotback just arrived in Indianapolis for the combine. Said he thinks his medical stuff will be done today, then interviews tomorrow.

“I’m hearing second, third round,” Bess said in a phone interview from Indy. “But you never know.”
Maybe a full article tomorrow? Also, Dave points out Dan Kelly's Relay for Life page, where you can donate money to the American Cancer Society. And I also gotta mention Jason of the Tsaikos Relay for Life page as well -- he's a cool guy and has almost reached his goal. Donate to both!

And finally, Dave writes about this week's Super Games competition, Warrior Ball, which is...
… Hawaiian style football played with a volleyball.

For those unfamiliar with Hawaiian style football, you basically can throw the ball in any direction you want, to any teammate. Anyone growing up here played it at the beach, in the park and at recess.

In today’s format, it was touch, no blocking, and four downs (no first down markers) on a 50-yard field.
More details in that post. Getting competitive!

Funaki / Colt

"Someone" profiles Inoke Funaki.
Funaki, who will be a junior in the fall, was the No. 3 quarterback behind starter Colt Brennan and Tyler Graunke last season. Brennan completed his NCAA eligibility at the end of the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl, and Graunke is suspended from team activities after breaking team-oriented rules.

Funaki, who will turn 25 next month, is on track to enter the March 31 start of spring practice as the No. 1 quarterback.
Without a doubt, he said, "I definitely want the job. Nobody wants something handed to them. You want to have the spot because the coaches have trust in you, and they know you can do the job. That's why I'm working very hard."

Funaki, who is 5 feet 11, said he weighs between 200 and 205 pounds — his range during last season. But he said he is in better shape.

"I'm putting in that little extra when I work out," he said. "When I run, I try to do a little bit more. Everybody looks to the quarterback. Even if he doesn't want to be the leader, he's the guy the team looks to. I want to set an example."
Gotta love Funaki. And with Graunke hopefully coming back soon, it's gonna be a crazy spring at the QB position, and a crazier fall when the JC QBs Brent Rausch and Greg Alexander come in.

Dave Reardon talks to Colt Brennan as he prepares and gains weight for the NFL Combine.
Colt Brennan says it's nothing new.

"Whenever I get criticized, I always seem to prove them wrong in the end," said Brennan, who was third in the Heisman Trophy voting after leading Hawaii to an undefeated 2007 regular season.

Questions abound as the former UH quarterback heads to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. This time they are about weight, arm strength and adaptability from the run-and-shoot to a traditional NFL system. The questions are amplified after sub-par performances in the Sugar Bowl and Senior Bowl.

Some of his plusses are accuracy and scrambling ability. And Brennan has often used an underdog attitude to his advantage.
Speaking of criticism, Adam Schein of FoxSports.com has a compendium of Colt criticism.
The issues for Brennan range from the physical to the mental to the schematic.

A consistent, major concern for these NFL executives was the fact that Brennan played in the shotgun formation.

One general manager told me, "His offensive scheme is a big issue, playing in the shotgun. 1-2-3 and out. It's totally different getting under center. He is going to have to adjust to the pro-style attack. He won a lot of games and you have to respect that, but he didn't have to read defenses. That's a problem."

He then added, "Arm strength is a big time question mark. His release point needs to be fixed."

And that was before the ultimate exclamation point.

"He's not a sure-fire make-the-team-guy."
The fools! All the best to Colt, and let's hope he has a great combine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From the Blogs: Beat Goes Down (temporarily)

Stephen Tsai will not be blogging for the next few days.
In support of the six unions that compose The Honolulu Advertiser, the Warrior Beat will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 20 through Friday, Feb. 22.
It will resume Saturday.
He will continue to write for the paper, but anything he writes in the next few days will not have his byline. In the meantime, he loaded today's post with a bunch of news and notes, including:
Colt Brennan now weighs 200 pounds, a 15-pound gain from last month, when he reported to the Senior Bowl at 185.
With Tyler Graunke still suspended from team activities, Inoke Funaki is regarded as the Warriors' No. 1 quarterback.
"It's good pressure," Funaki said after this morning's running drills. "It definitely has me on my horse, working a lot harder than I ever have worked before. It's been good. It's been keeping me on my toes to make sure I'm as best prepared as can be."
Lots more in that post.

And Dave Reardon has an update on Colt.
Colt Brennan tells us he will do the passing drills at the NFL Combine this week, but he’ll pass on the 40, timed agility runs and the bench press.

He will run a 40 at the UH Pro Day on April 1 in Carson, Calif. He won’t do the bench.

Jason Rivers, NFL Combine Profiles

Dave Reardon profiles Jason Rivers, who's preparing for the NFL Combine, which starts this week.
Jason Rivers has the size, hands, physical toughness and the statistical body of work to get drafted by an NFL team.

But to move up at this week's combine in Indianapolis, Rivers needs to time well in the 40-yard sprint.

If the four-year starter at wide receiver for Hawaii can break 4.4 seconds, he climbs into near-elite status. But he will probably still be a notch below the top five or six draftable receivers, including Malcolm Kelly of Oklahoma, DeSean Jackson of California, Limas Sweed of Texas, Early Doucet of LSU and Mario Manningham of Michigan.

Still, it would separate Rivers from the rest of the pack. It would signify breakaway speed and perhaps allow him to shed the label of possession receiver.

"If he breaks into the 4.3s, that changes things," said Rivers' agent, Leo Goeas. "He's right at the brink, in the low 4.4s."
NFL.com also has profile pages of the four Warriors taking part in the combine. They have overviews, analysis and all except Rivers' page has a Q&A section (though that may change soon). Here are the links with some excerpts:

Colt Brennan
Has a tall, lanky frame, with good upper-body structure, tapered thighs and room to carry additional bulk -- at least 20 pounds -- with no loss in quickness...Runs with a normal stride, showing the valid speed and balance to force defenses to account for him when running with the ball...Very mobile in the pocket, which causes problems for a slower defense to cover him on roll-outs...Slides and adjusts to pocket pressure with ease, showing the body control to easily throw on the move...Has good acceleration driving back from center to his throwing point...
Davone Bess
Short, but has a thick frame, especially in his lower body, to withstand the punishment of the NFL. ... Soft hands to pluck the ball. ... Good body control to adjust and make the difficult reception. ... Good quickness as a route-runner, but is even better after the catch, where he can make defenders miss in the open field.
Ryan Grice-Mullen-Mullins
Good initial quickness off the snap. ... Flashes burst out of his breaks. ... Generally reliable hands and shows the body control to adjust and make the difficult reception. ... Good lateral quickness to make defenders miss in the open field.
Jason Rivers
Good size for the position. ... Good initial quickness. ... Understands what the defense is trying to do and can find the open hole in the zone. ... Works his way back to the quarterback when he senses pressure. ... Catches the ball cleanly and shows the body control to adjust to poorly thrown passes. ... Uses his size to compete for jump balls and was a favorite target here in the red zone. ...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hercules / Lookahead / Lewis Walker / RGM

Dave Reardon reports on a Herculean performance by Hercules Satele today.
According to trainer Fudge Fajardo, Hercules Satele was incredible today. In his last set (benching reps of 225 pounds) of the session …

… “We were just kind of messing around, and told him to go for 40. He put up 65 reps, and the last one, he locked it,” Fajardo said. “It’s hard for me to be stunned, because I’ve been around a lot of lifters, but I was stunned. I grabbed it at 50, but he was fine so I let it go. I said, ‘Let’s do 65,’ because that’s his jersey number. He did it, no problem.”

A performance like that at Pro Day on April 1 could clinch Satele a spot in the draft.
That's unreal. Whillikers!

Also from that post is news that the St. Louis Rams have a high interest in Jason Rivers.

Reardon also writes about Colt Brennan winning some awards from the Honolulu Quarterback Club.

CFN's Pete Fiutak has a 2008 WAC lookahead.

And incoming freshman cornerback Lewis Walker is profiled in this article about Utah athletes who have signed with colleges.
“Hawaii is so far away, I wondered how they found me,” said Lewis. “But they have always been exposed to Judge Memorial, and, it is Hawaii, so I think every kid would like to play football over there.”

Walker broke his leg while playing at a football camp at Idaho State his junior year. He was playing quarter back, and started running outside to pass. He was hit by two defenders. One defender hit him high, and the other hit him low, which resulted in a fractured tibia. This put him out all summer and the whole season of his junior year except for the last two playoff games.

“This experience helped me become more mature, and I learned how to be a better teammate,” said Lewis.

“His injury was negative in his playing experience, but in his personal life, it was a huge factor in his maturity and development,” said James Cordova, Judge Memorial head football coach. “He had to learn to be a leader from the sidelines. He brought a lot to our program, not just athletically, but also as a leader and a communicator. Lewis would champion the team’s cause and he would champion his own cause.

“Last year, while he was injured, he would run around practice with a clipboard, asking questions,” said Cordova. “He is definitely a student of the game, and likes to be involved and connected. He has always asked questions about what we do and why we do it trying to get the deeper meaning out of the different strategies.”
Sounds like UH got a great player.

... and just saw Tsai has a new post today. He talks to Ryan Grice-Mullins about preparing for the NFL Combine.
Ryan Grice-Mullins said he weighs 187 pounds, which is barely enough needed to gain entry into our cattle calls.
But considering he weighed 176 at the end of last season, Grice-Mullins believes he is on the right track heading into this week's NFL combine in Indianapolis.
"I'm feeling good," Grice-Mullins said.
Tsai also has an injury update on offensive lineman Travis Campbell.
He has been bothered by pain for the last couple of months and the trainers sent him for an MRI. The results show tear to his labrum front and back.
Travis is disappointed that he will miss participating in spring ball but knows this is the best time to have the surgery and be ready for next season.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

NOLA Videos, Pics / Gym, Wags, Ma'a, Colt

It seems so long ago, but it's only been about a month and a half -- in any case, Chawan Cut has finally uploaded video and pics from the trip to New Orleans. Below is a video of Willie K performing Hawai'i Aloha at the Sugar Mill on New Year's Eve. The song gets interrupted to ring in the new year, and then starts right up again. One of those flags getting waved is Chawan's, and I think you can hear me screaming at one point.

And here's a portion of Willie K leading the UH fans in a rendition of Hawai'i Pono'i in the middle of Bourbon Street.

You can check out a lot more videos from New Orleans on Chawan Cut's Youtube page.

Scott from Sportshawaii also posted links to a lot of New Orleans pics on this thread. Chawan posts his pics towards the bottom of that thread.


In news from this weekend, Dave Reardon writes about the ex-UH football players training at Fudge's Gym in Mililani.
Fajardo's current project is trying to help three players who just finished at UH get into the NFL. Mike Lafaele, Amani Purcell and Hercules Satele were all starters for the 12-1 Warriors last fall. But they did not get selected for this week's NFL Combine. Their big chance comes April 1 at Carson, Calif., when pro scouts will check out UH alums.

So now they work out three or four days a week at Fudge's Gym, specifically on the bench press. The goal is to break the record for bench press repetitions (225 pounds) for all pro days, which Fajardo said is 50.
Cindy Luis spoke to former UH football coach Bob Wagner and defensive lineman Ma'a Tanuvasa about being inducted into the UH Circle of Honor.
"I got feedback from people who thought I shouldn't accept this," he said after yesterday's luncheon at sponsoring Bank of Hawaii. "But from my standpoint as head coach, you're representing a lot of other people -- players, support staff, other coaches. It's more than about you.

"And coming in with Ma'a is just great. To see a young man like Ma'a become the great player he became, the great person and role model in the community as a University of Hawaii graduate and football player touches my heart."
Dave Reardon wrote that the UH Board of Regents approved bonuses for the UH football assistant coaches and increases in pay ranges for coaches.

And Stephen Tsai talks to Colt Brennan about his weight.
"I'm not giving you a number now, because I don't want to jinx anything," said Colt Brennan, who is scheduled to arrive Wednesday in Indianapolis for the NFL combine. "I hope it's going to be impressive. I hope it blows people away."
The "number" is his weight, which fell to 185 for last month's Senior Bowl.
He traced that low weight to the difficulty in cleaning up and moving out of his Honolulu apartment — he actually had to postpone his flight a day — and the stomach flu.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Spring Schedule, AD Stuff

Stephen Tsai has posted a spring football schedule, which includes dates of Super Games, spring practices, etc., and which I will eventually rip off for my own spring practice calendar. First day of spring practice is March 31st.

Dave Reardon writes that Jim Donovan, Bob Wagner and Keith Amemiya have applied for the UH AD position.

And Ferd Lewis writes about Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw's involvement in the AD selection process.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cox, Rings, AD, Dodgeball, Etc

Sorry so late today, celestial billy goats spirited me away. They wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. Anyway...

Dave Reardon writes that Mario Cox is back on the team.
Running back Mario Cox told me yesterday he’s been reinstated to the team, and coach Greg McMackin confirmed it today.

“Yes, he’s going to come out for spring ball,” McMackin said. “He’ll be competing with everybody else at running back. He’s competing for a position (on the team).”

Cox was suspended for the 2006 season for not meeting team academic expectations, and then was dismissed from the team last season by former head coach June Jones.
He shall break out in '08, I know it!

From the UH website, here's an up-close photo of the WAC Champ rings the players got.


The Advertiser has video taken by "Countess" Christina Failma from the the ring ceremony. That's not her real nickname or anything. At least not yet!

Here's an Advertiser article about the rings.
McMackin designed the rings, which has "Hawai'i," palm trees, Diamond Head, the sun, the beach and "12-0" on one side. On the other is the wearer's name, a helmet with an "H" on it, "Warrior 'Ohana," and the owner's jersey number. On the face, "WAC Championship" is on the top and "Sugar Bowl" is on the bottom.

"And," McMackin said of the middle, "a little bling for the fellas."
Dave Reardon writes that Rick Blangiardi will not apply for the UH AD position, while a couple other notables do plan to apply.
Keith Amemiya, head of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, said he intended to hand in an application today.

Bob Wagner, a former UH football coach and now the athletic director at Kamehameha-Hawaii, said yesterday he also would try for the job.

"I plan to apply," Wagner said.
Speaking of which, UH has released the names of the people on the AD selection committee.
University of Hawai'i-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw will chair a nine-member search committee to recommend a new athletic director, the school announced today.

The previous AD, Herman Frazier, was dismissed last month.

In addition to Hinshaw, the other members are: Debra Ishii, assistant to the chancellor; Mitchell Kaaialii, assistant vice president, First Hawaiian Bank; Dee Jay Mailer, CEO Kamehameha Schools; Don Murphy, owner Murphy's Bar & Grill; Peter Nicholson, English professor and UH faculty representative; Dave Shoji, women's volleyball coach; Christina Stidman, president, Associated Students of UH-Manoa; and John Tsui, chair of Towne Realty Development.
Reardon also has coverage from yesterday's dodgeball segment of the Super Games.
In the championship game, the Hammers took the early lead, but the Section 8 players were especially adept at bailing their fallen teammates out of "jail" and came from behind to win.

"It's teamwork," Leonard gloated afterward. "Just communicate, and be athletic. We've got an athletic team, they can do different facets of just being an athlete. That's what it takes, and that's what I wanted when I picked my team.

"You have to have coordination. There's chaos and you have to be able to focus. Kind of like a football game."
If you haven't already, check out Chawan's compilation of last night's news. Adam Leonard is my hero.

And finally, in some interesting news, Laurie Miller of Warriorshaka.com writes that current SMU head coach June Jones will be signing copies of J. David Miller's "Hawaii Warrior Football: A Story of Faith, Hope and Redemption" at the SMU Barnes & Noble on March 1st.
Newly appointed SMU head coach June Jones will be signing copies of Hawaii Warrior Football: A Story of Faith, Hope and Redemption on March 1, from noon to one p.m., in the midst of “Grad Day” at the university.

It will be Jones’ first public book signing in Dallas, after resigning as head coach at the University of Hawaii several weeks ago.
Laurie goes on to explain:
The book has been mentioned frequently in the Dallas media. Fans of the 1-11 Mustangs are enthralled with Jones’ formula for taking teams from “worst-to-first,” the details of which are outlined in the book.
I'll definitely be following their progress this season. Hope UH can schedule them sometime in the near future.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Video: WAC rings awarded, Super Games: Dodgeball fun

I miss the days of getting slammed in the face playing dodgeball and shambattle. Although I wouldn't want to play against these guys, as my head would probably go with the ball.

And check out that bling! My eyes hurt just looking at those rings...

Congrats guys! and keep having fun!


The Advertiser's Princess Leila has video from today's Super Games competition -- Dodgeball. Looks like fun times. Below is a still from the video, which links to the actual video.

Dave Reardon writes about the winners.
Adam Leonard’s “Section 8″ team outlasted Solomon Elimimian’s “Hammers” in the dodgeball championship match this morning at the Super Games.

Section 8 has two wins in two weeks now, counting R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane’s victory in the wall sit last week.

Scheduling, AD Search, Rings

Greg McMackin talks to Ferd Lewis about future scheduling possibilities.
"We'd like to get something going with SMU," McMackin said. "It would be a natural. I'd love for us to compete against one another as two great programs. June and I have talked about that. We'd both love to do that."
McMackin said Texas Tech and Utah are among the schools he is interested in trying to work into the schedule soon. He has coached at both.
"We've begun to talk about scheduling and look at the next few years and what's out there and what the options are," Clapp said. "I've let coach Mack know that as long as I continue in this role, I'd like to collaborate with him. I want his thoughts and will be expecting him to share them as he sees fit."

Clapp said the 2012 schedule, for which UH is still seeking four games, would likely be the first real chance for McMackin to put his mark on. "I told him I would leave '12 for him."
Nice. Let's hope that whoever the next AD is (if it isn't Clapp) will let McMackin have this much input and freedom with future schedules.

Speaking of the next AD, Dave Reardon writes about some potential candidates who may or may not have applied. And Ferd Lewis hopes that UH won't repeat the same mistakes that happened during the last AD search.
It isn't only UH staffers and media onlookers who felt the process wasn't all it could — or should — have been. Some of the people who served on the so-called selection committee in 2002 will tell you they felt misled and kept in the dark by the way it played out. So much so that when the announcement was made they claimed to be as surprised as anyone.

They talk about having been window dressing and of votes that were cast but totals never added up or announced in their presence.
And Stephen Tsai writes that the Warriors will receive their 2007 WAC Championship rings tonight, but the ceremony may not be covered.
But the compliance guy has ruled that, under the current format, the event can't be covered.
UH officials are working on a solution.
At this time, what would be better publicity than television stations showing the players receiving their rings? And the ceremony is at the same time as the 6:20 p.m. sportscasts, meaning TV stations could show it live.
Let's hope things can work out.
UPDATE: From Tsai's blog:
The Warriors will receive their WAC championship rings this evening from 6 to 6:30 p.m., and the media, after first being denied, received clearance to attend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

AD, Alexander, Spring, Etc

An AD search update from Ferd Lewis.
The University of Hawai'i expects to "soon" announce a search committee to aid in the process of picking a new athletics director, according to a spokesman for the Manoa chancellor's office.
Stephen Tsai writes that safety Kirk Alexander has retired from football.
Safety Kirk Alexander has retired from football because of personal reasons, coach Greg McMackin confirmed.
As a member of one of the great UCLA football families, it was hoped Alexander would have a prosperous career at UH. And while he showed promise, he never managed to ascend high on the depth chart.
Best of luck to him.

Dave Reardon follows up on his blog post from yesterday about spring practice.
The finale of Hawaii's spring football practice will be much more like an actual game this year.

"We're going to let them go," new head coach Greg McMackin said. "We probably won't hit the quarterbacks and we don't know the exact format yet."
And Rich Miano talks about the walk-ons trying out.
Close to 20 new walk-ons will be trying to make the Warriors roster this spring.

"Three to seven of them may make it to fall camp," associate head coach Rich Miano said. "They have to keep up their grades, make it through our eight-week conditioning program and do well in the spring. It's always hard with the numbers. We have 130 right now and are going to have to cut some guys."
Ferd Lewis writes about three people being inducted into UH's Circle of Honor this week.
Charlie Bessette, Ma'a Tanuvasa and Bob Wagner, three prominent figures spanning nearly 45 years of University of Hawai'i bowl game history, will be inducted into the school's Circle of Honor this week.
Cindy Luis has an article about them as well.

Back to work!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tuesday Vids

Sorry for the lack of news lately. Been working like crazy, and there really hasn't been much news to post anyways, other than the June Jones Foundation getting ready to pay bonuses to the 2007 UH coaching staff. Also, Dave Reardon has a few notes about the upcoming spring practice.
Tentative starting date for spring practice: March 31.

Tentative date for finale: April 26, at Aloha Stadium. We hear this will be similar to last year, when it included lots of fan interaction. No word yet on whether there will be an actual spring game or glorified practice, as in recent years.

We do know there will be more hitting in practice under Greg McMackin than there was under June Jones.
Cool. Anyway, here are some vids.

Chawan Cut compiles tonight's news -- which includes a report by Kanoa Leahey about some UH AD possibilities, a KITV interview with Jeff Garcia, who talks about Colt Brennan's NFL potential, a report by the lovely Liz Chun about new UH coaches Brian Smith, Nick Rolovich and Dave Aranda speaking at the Honolulu Quarterback Club, and a report by Li'l Timmy about June Jones coaching at SMU.

And KapoleiCoug has a new video -- Colt Brennan's 2007 highlights.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Videos

UHBows has uploaded an "Outside the Lines" report about the changes the UH football program has undergone since the start of the new year. It includes interviews with Greg McMackin, Solomon Elimimian, K. Mark Takai, Adam Leonard, Tyler Graunke and June Jones.

And CC has uploaded a KHON report about the possibility of "Hawaii 5-0" making a comeback as the entrance music for the UH football team. Afterwards, Kanoa Leahey and an excited Joe Moore talk about it.

2008 Class / Graunke, UPDATE: Recruit highlight vids from UH site

Jason Kaneshiro covers Coach Greg McMackin's press conference discussing the new recruits.
Speed was a theme Greg McMackin hit on repeatedly during the close to 40 minutes he spent discussing his first recruiting class as Hawaii football coach.

There was both the on-field quickness that McMackin covets in recruits and the type shown by the Warriors coaching staff in identifying and putting together a group of 22 signees in a three-week span.

"It was a fast three weeks, but it was a fun three weeks," McMackin said during a press conference in which he addressed the attributes of this year's group of newcomers.

The group was split evenly between offense and defense, and between high schoolers and junior college players who he feels will make an instant impact, particularly at wide receiver and cornerback.

"Speed is a big deal to us," he said, "and these players, all of them, have speed."
Kaneshiro goes on to break down how the players in this class could impact each position.

Stephen Tsai has a detailed list of the new Warriors, with stats, info, quotes from McMackin (some different than what was in the UH press release), and credit for the coach who recruited each player. The article also has a link to the Princess' video from McMackin's press conference.

And Tsai has more details about Tyler Graunke's suspension.
Graunke, who will be a fifth-year senior in the fall, said he needs to change his major.

"I have to get the proposal approved," he said. "I'm going through the process. ... It's not going to have an effect on spring ball or my eligibility. There are things I need to take care of."

McMackin and Graunke met Wednesday afternoon.

Right before the first Super Games competition Wednesday, the team was told that Graunke would not be a participant in the off-season program. There are 10 teams in the Super Games composed of UH players, with each team earning — or losing — points based on academic and workout performances.
"I'm disappointed," Graunke said. "I see the team working out together. I'm still working out."

He added: "I remain committed to football. I have to take care of that other stuff. It's not going to be a problem."

UPDATE: UH Athletics website has highlight videos of the new crop of recruits. 2 separate videos, one for the local boys and one for the mainlanders... can't wait till they all become Warriors. (there's no audio, so its not just you).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Video of Coach Mack talkin about the recruits, Tyler's temporary suspension

Giving video to Tombo's posts.... Two parter.

Graunke Suspended (?)

Stephen Tsai talks to Tyler Graunke about his suspension from football-related activities.
While suspended, Graunke will not be allowed to participate in the Warriors' off-season conditioning program. He has been told he needs to meet certain conditions to be reinstated in time for the start of spring practice in late March.
Graunke acknowledged the suspension, but insisted the matter can be resolved by the end of next week.

"When I heard 'suspended' it sounds a little extreme," Graunke said. "I have some things I have to take care of as far as school. There are a lot of academic issues."

McMackin and Graunke met Wednesday afternoon.

According to Graunke, McMackin "told me to take a break from football, take care of what I need to do, and I'll be back. It's not a punishment. It's not a law-and-order problem. It's something I have to deal with."

Graunke said he hopes "to be back" Monday. "It'll be a week at the most," he said.
The Graunke shall rise.

Mack Talks About the Recruits

Earlier today, Coach Greg McMackin held a press conference and talked about the Shiny New Warriors, bling! The UH Athletics department has info on all the players along with a few words from Mack about each of them. Below is an "excerpt" of that entire section:

Greg Alexander (QB, 6-5, 240, Jr., Santa Rosa College [Calif.])
Completed 63 percent of his passes (284-448) for 3,487 yards, 40 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2007...had a passer rating of 155.6...ranked second in the state in passing (348.7)...led the NorCal conference in passing and total offense (369.7)... passed for 71 touchdowns in his two-year junior college career, a national record...two-time first team all-NorCal conference selection... completed 40-of-57 for 610 yards and six touchdowns against Feather River...had seven TD passes against Diablo Valley and six against San Joaquin Delta...had nine 300-yard passing games...led team to a conference championship as a freshman in 2006...was the nation's top-rated quarterback by JCFootball.com among 152 junior colleges.
McMackin on Alexander: "Greg's an exciting, big time passer who has size, speed and can make all of the throws. He's a winner and one of the top-rated junior college quarterbacks in the country. We're very fortunate to have him with us."

Craig Bell (WR, 6-1, 185, Jr., Cerritos College [Calif.])
Returned midseason from a knee injury and caught 21 passes for 275 yards in 2007...runs a 4.36, 40-yard dash...redshirted his first year at Cerritos and played in four games as a freshman before suffering knee injury...attended Gardena High School, where he was named the co-offensive player of the year his junior and senior seasons....earned first-team all-Marine League as a junior, while also being named the team's Receiver of the Year and Most Improved Player.
McMackin on Bell: "A fast receiver who has excellent hands. He's a highly-recruited athlete who played hurt all season. He's going to be a great addition to our team. He has good size and speed and makes the tough catches."

Chris Black (DB, 5-10, 170, Jr., College of the Canyons [Calif.])
Named second-team all-Western State Conference Mountain Division...ranked third in the conference with 16 passes defended...ranked second on the team with four interceptions, which tied for 10th in the conference...had 28 tackles and 12 pass breakups...originally from Plantation, Fla.
McMackin on Black: "Chris is one of two corners that we've recruited to replace the starting corners we lost. He's a player who goes to the football. He's a good hitter with great instincts and speed."

Dustin Blount (WR, 5-9, 165, Jr., Compton Community College)
Named second team JC Gridwire All-American...first-team all-Western State Conference Pacific Division and all-state...named co-conference player of the year...led the conference with 74 catches for 1,103 yards for an average of 14.9 yards per catch...added seven touchdowns in 10 games...ranked third in the state in receptions per game (7.4)...also a kick returner, who had seven returns for 162 yards and added four two-point conversions...averaged 131.8 all-purpose yards per game...broke Steve Smith's and Chad Johnson's national junior college record for single game receptions (16) and yards (284) against Allan Hancock...had three TD receptions against Ventura...runs a 10.5, 100-meter dash.
McMackin on Blount: "Dustin is one of the quickest players in the country. He's an instant impact player who jumped off the screen on film. He has excellent speed and is a threat as a kick returner as well as receiver."

Jeramy Bryant (DB, 5-9, 177, Jr., Los Angeles Harbor College)
Named to the first-team all-Western State Conference Mountain Division squad...ranked second in the conference with 17 passes defended...led team with 13 pass break ups...intercepted four passes and had 36 tackles...tied for 10th in the conference in interceptions...named team's defensive back of the year...runs a 4.5, 40-yard dash...also recruited by Washington State and Akron.
McMackin on Bryant: "In our opinion, Jeramy is one of the best corners in the country. He has quickness, great instincts and is a physical player with good speed."

Steven Christian (DB, 6-1, 175, Fr., John F. Kennedy High School [Calif.])
Was a Sacramento all-Metro first team player...had 91 tackles in only 10 games during his senior season...rushed for 350 yards and had 30 tackles during his junior year at Sacramento (Calif.) Christian Brothers...also recruited by San Jose State and Nevada.
McMackin on Christian: "Steve's a good, young player who was very productive in high school. He'll have a great future as a Warrior."

Haku Correa (DL, 6-1, 270, Fr., Damien Memorial School)
Named first-team Division II all-state by Honolulu Advertiser...a second-team Division II all-state pick by the Honolulu Star Bulletin...rated one of the top defensive line prospects in the state of Hawai`i...rated 61st best defensive tackle recruit in the nation...named second team all-ILH as a junior and honorable mention all-ILH as a sophomore...also member of basketball and track and field teams...honorable mention all-ILH in basketball...also recruited by San Diego State and UNLV.
McMackin on Correa: "Haku is a highly-recruited athlete who we felt was one of the top defensive linemen in the state, as well as in the country. He's very physical much like his brother La`anui, who I coached. Haku's going to end up having a great career here at UH."

Paipai Falemalu (LB, 6-3, 220, Fr., Kahuku High School)
Was a first-team Division I all-state by Honolulu Star-Bulletin...also named first-team all-state by the Honolulu Advertiser...rated the top-rated recruit in the state of Hawai`i...member of state championship team as a junior...also recruited by Washington, California, Oregon State, and Utah.
McMackin on Falemalu: "Paipai is one of the best linebackers in the country. He will fit into our program and will be one of the players we can lay a foundation for the future of Hawai`i high school recruits. He's a great player who has it all, speed, size, and attitude."

Geordon Hanohano (DL, 6-2, 270, Fr., Saint Louis School)
Named first team Division I all-state by Honolulu Advertiser...also selected to the first team all-state by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin...rated one of the best defensive line recruits in the state of Hawai`i...also rated 34th best defensive tackle recruit in the nation...member of two-time state runner-up team...also recruited by Arizona, UNLV, and San Diego State.
McMackin on Hanohano: "Geordon is another top Hawai'i high school recruit. He will have a great career at UH because he's big, physical and a talented football player."

Ryan Henry (WR, 5-10, 175, Jr., West Los Angeles Community College)
Ranked 14th in the state and fifth in the Western State Conference in receptions per game (5.7) in 2007...finished with 40 receptions for 530 yards in only seven games... led the team with 105.9 all-purpose yards per game...had 12 receptions for 184 yards against Los Angeles Harbor...a first-team all-conference selection during the 2006 season...had 54 receptions for 789 yards and nine touchdowns in 2006...also used on kickoffs and punt returns...runs a 4.4, 40-yard dash...prepped at Palisades High School.
McMackin on Henry: "Ryan's an excellent receiver with great speed and quickness. He returns kickoffs and punts, has excellent vision and makes tacklers miss."

Jake Heun (RB, 6-2, 250, Jr., City College of San Francisco)
Member of two-time conference and NorCal championship team...played outside linebacker and running back...team's second-leading tackler (52)...had 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and one forced fumble...in 2007, team captured the California community college title...prepped at Palmer High School in Anchorage, Alaska.
McMackin on Heun: "Jake's a big, physical player who his junior college coach says will be one of the toughest players on our team. He's a championship-caliber player who will fit well into our Warrior ohana."

Kainoa LaCount (OL, 6-7, 285, Jr., College of the Canyons)
A first-team all-Western State Conference Mountain Division...anchored offensive line that allowed only 24 sacks in 10 games...offense led the state in scoring (45.1) and ranked fifth in total offense (493.1)...prepped at Kailua High School...brother is former UH lineman Kahai LaCount...also recruited by Syracuse, Kansas State, and UTEP.
McMackin on LaCount: "Big physical, former Kailua High School athlete, who has long arms, is a great pass blocker and has grown into an excellent offensive lineman. He's strong, physical and an overall excellent athlete."

Art Laurel (LB, 6-1, 205, Fr., Leilehua High School)
A first-team Division I all-state by Honolulu Advertiser player...also named to the second team Division I all-state by Honolulu Star-Bulletin...member of state championship team as a senior...one of the top linebacker recruits in the state of Hawai`i...also played on high school basketball team...brother Clayton Laurel plays for UH.
McMackin on Laurel: "He's another top player from the state. A great athlete who also plays for his high school basketball team. Can run, jump, makes plays and we're really fortunate to have him."

Brent Rausch (QB, 6-4, 190, Jr., College of the Desert)
Named Foothill Conference player of the year...completed 176-291 for 2,365 yards and 26 touchdowns with just five interceptions in 2007...ranked 15th in the state with a passer rating of 152.7...led the conference in total offense (240.8) and ranked second in passing yards per game (236.5)...helped team to a 9-2 record and first place finish in the Foothill Conference after winning one game in 2006...passed for 412 yards and six touchdowns against Grossmont...completed 21-of-28 for 249 yards and four touchdowns versus Chaffey...redshirted in 2006 after playing eight-man football for Desert Chapel High School.
McMackin on Rausch: "We feel Brent could be the gem of this recruiting class. He's very mobile for his size, has a championship attitude and turned his team around. He makes all the throws, he's smart, intelligent and we have no problem learning our system. He's a very accurate thrower who could also run with the football."

Steve Stepter (DB, 5-10, 180, Fr., Crenshaw High School)
Named all-league and all-City Section...had nearly 70 tackles and three interceptions as a senior...member of City Section championship team.
McMackin on Stepter: "Steve's an excellent defensive back who has all the skills needed at that position. He has excellent speed, quickness and acceleration. He's got a motor."

Earvin Sione (WR/DB, 6-5, 190, Fr., McKinley High School)
A three-sport athlete...earned all-state honors in basketball...also on his high school volleyball team...played quarterback during his senior season...named to the all-tournament team of the Division II state basketball tournament....basketball team captured state Division II title as a junior.
McMackin on Sione: "He's an outstanding all-around athlete who gives us great height and size. He has tremendous upside here at UH no matter what position he plays."

Alema Tachibana (LB, 6-3, 200, Fr., Kahuku High School)
Rated one of the top linebacker recruits in the state of Hawai`i...member of state championship runner-up team...named to the all-OIA second team as a senior...also recruited by Utah.
McMackin on Tachibana: "He fits into our system as a defensive end pass rusher. He has excellent speed and motor. He's heavily recruited and we feel very fortunate that he wanted to come and be a part of our family."

Jovonte Taylor (WR, 5-9, 185, Jr., Los Angeles Southwest College)
Two-sport athlete...named the California State sprint champion...runs a 4.2, 40-yard dash... ranked eighth in the Western State Conference averaging 117.2 all-purpose yards per game...returned 21 kickoffs for 613 yards and two touchdowns (29.2 avg.), which ranked 11th in the state...had 89-yard and 87-yard kickoff returns for touchdown against San Bernardino Valley...had 33 receptions for 499 yards receiving and three touchdowns...also recruited by Oregon and UNLV.
McMackin on Taylor: "He's a big-time impact player. A big playmaker, who has the ability to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. He has a great attitude, a team leader who'll fit into our program."

Mike Tinoco (WR, 6-2, 200, Jr., Saddleback Community College)
A second-team all-Mission Conference National Division player...had 32 receptions for 500 yards and three touchdowns...had six receptions for 129 yards against Santa Ana...has a 40-inch vertical leap...runs a 4.4, 40-yard dash...also recruited by Boise State and Connecticut.
McMackin on Tinoco: "Has good size for a wide receiver. He's fast, athletic receiver who can make the big catch. He comes from a great program that is a consistent winner. He's the type of player that will make big plays for us."

Tuiatua Tuiasosopo (OL, 6-1, 290, Fr., Saint Louis School)
Named first-team Division I all-state by Honolulu Star-Bulletin...also selected to first-team all-state by Honolulu Advertiser...named first-team all-ILH as a junior and senior...second team all-state as a junior...named the MVP of the all-Poly football camp...benched 33 reps of 225 pounds...rated the top offensive line prospect in the state of Hawai`i...father Ana played for UH...also recruited by Washington, Arizona, and Stanford.
McMackin on Tuiasosopo: "He's one of the top players in the state at his position. He's an intelligent and special person. Very physical and strong. Very highly recruited and comes from a great family and I'm sure he'll carry on the family tradition."

Christian Vasconcellos (DB, 6-2, 190, Fr., Damien Memorial School)
Named first-team Division II all-state by the Honolulu Advertiser...also picked first team all-state by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin...a three-sport athlete...earned honorable mention all-ILH honors in basketball as a junior...placed sixth in the triple jump at the state high school championship track meet as a junior...also long jumped and was a member of the 4x100 relay team....returned interception for touchdown in HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl.
McMackin on Vasconcellos: "Christian has good size and is a fast athlete who made an impression on us during our summer camp. He has excellent hands, acceleration and speed."

Lewis Walker (DB, 5-11, 170, Fr., Judge Memorial High [Utah])
Rated as the fifth best recruit of the state of Utah...also rated the 41st best cornerback recruit in the nation...totaled 94 tackles for a 7.8 per game average...had 11 tackles each against Park City and Morgan...also played on offense...rushed 74 times for 780 yards and eight touchdowns...three 100-yard rushing games...had 19 receptions for 361 yards and four scores...all-around athlete who also returned punts and kickoffs...also recruited by Utah and Colorado State.
McMackin on Walker: "Another young top cornerback nationally. Has the ability to be a playmaker on defense and is a very physical player."

In addition, here's excerpts taken from last year's press release with info, stats and quotes from some SMU coach about the players who grayshirted this past season and will be coming into the 2008 season as freshmen:
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."
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."
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."
There may be more to add to this list, and of course some of last year's recruits redshirted, so lots of new players to get excited about. I believe Chawan Cut will be uploading tonight's news covering Mack's press conference whenever he gets back tonight.
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