UH Football Fan Blog (where's my banner?)


This fan blog is unaffiliated in any way with the University of Hawaii or the Warriors football team.

Privacy Policy

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Draft News, Honorees, UH Fans, Etc

Here's a compilation of more post-draft news from Chawan. KGMB has a report about Karl Noa trying out for the Jets, KFVE has a story about Colt Brennan going to Washington, KHON's John Veneri has a report about Colt's decision to stay last year and Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins' decision to leave early.

Colt Brennan and softball player Kate Robinson were honored by UH last night.
University of Hawai`i softball player Kate Robinson and football player Colt Brennan were the recipients of the 2008 Jack Bonham Award winners in recognition of their outstanding performances on and off the playing field. The announcement was made Tuesday night at the annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Dave Reardon writes about the honorees, and has this about Colt:
Brennan, who set or tied 31 NCAA records, returned to UH for his senior year and led the Warriors to a 12-0 regular season record and unprecedented appearance in a BCS bowl game. He also graduated with a 3.12 grade point average last December -- despite increasing time-consuming celebrity, statewide and nationally.
Ann Miller writes about the event, has a list of the other 160 student-athletes who were also honored for maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA, and has a few quotes from Greg McMackin, who accepted the award for Colt.
McMackin, who worked with Washington head coach Jim Zorn at Seattle, has no fear about the future of his former quarterback. Brennan graduated in December — an accomplishment McMackin emphasized was "a big deal to him" — after "lighting the fire" to lift the Warriors to a perfect regular season and into the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Ferd Lewis writes that the Sugar Bowl and Fox were pleased with what Hawaii and all the UH fans brought to New Orleans.
Paul J. Hoolahan, Sugar Bowl chief executive officer, said, "we were absolutely delighted with the turnout." Hoolahan said it has been difficult to tab the number of Hawai'i fans — both those from the Islands and Mainland — who attended the game but said estimates of 15,000 to 20,000 "are about right."

There had been fears entering the game that Hawai'i would have scant representation, so much that UH took 4,000 tickets less than the full 17,500 initial allotment.

Hoolahan told the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame representative who attend the meetings that the economic impact of the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl and BCS Championship game that followed it were worth approximately $400 million to the city. It was expected the Sugar Bowl would produce about $175 million of that.
Also from that article, yet another bowl game may start up -- the Rocky Mountain Bowl in Salt Lake City, which would match up teams from the MWC and the WAC.

Kevin Klott of the Anchorage Daily News profiles former UH player George Noga, who along with fellow UH-alum Leuma Pua'auli, play for the Alaska Wild of the IFL.
"It's hard work," Noga said, pulling a full-time job and playing pro football. "But for us to be a second year franchise, it's a good feeling to be 4-2."
Erika Engle writes about the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, which will honor June Jones and Aloha Airlines tomorrow in San Francisco.
The chamber had long planned to honor Jones this year, and "the fact that he didn't renew his contract (at UH) didn't change our minds," said President Eric Tao, a Hilo-born real estate developer living in San Francisco.
For more info, visit HCCNC.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NFL Minicamp Schedules

NFL.com has released a list of the minicamp schedules for each NFL team.

Hercules Satele, Ryan Grice-Mullen, Davone Bess, Colt Brennan, Jason Rivers and Karl Noa will be attending their respective camps, and below is a list of their schedules.

Arizona Cardinals (H. Satele) -- May 2-4

Houston Texans (RGM) -- May 9-11

Miami Dolphins (Bess) -- May 2-4 (rookies); May 23-25 (voluntary); June 6-8

New York Jets (Noa) -- May 2-4 (rookies); June 5-7

Tennessee Titans (Rivers) -- May 2-3 (rookies)

Washington Redskins (Brennan) -- May 2-4

And don't forget about the veterans. Guys like Travis LaBoy, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Tala Esera, Isaac Sopoaga etc. will be in camp as well. The news, it never stops!

Draft Recap, Cuts

Here's a CC compilation of last night's news from KHON, KGMB, KFVE and KITV recapping the draft. Robert Kekaula has an interview with Jason Rivers in there.

Stephen Tsai talks to Coach McMackin about having to make cuts this week.
"It's a tough thing," McMackin acknowledged. "You're dealing with people's dreams."

The NCAA limits Division I-A teams to 105 players during training camp, which opens in August. The active roster may expand on the first day of instruction. UH's fall semester begins Aug. 25.

But the Warriors probably would be able to add only 13 more players because of limited locker-room space.

McMackin said cut players not added to the roster nor transferring will be allowed to try out for the Warriors next year.

"They need to find out what they need to work on to make the team," McMackin said. Being cut does not have "to be a forever thing."

Daniel Libre was once one of the players cut after spring practice. Libre worked his way back, and now he is listed as the co-No. 1 running back.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Karl Noa to the Jets?, The Money, Colt, 3 Deep

Dave Reardon has a bunch of items today, including news that Karl Noa will be trying out with the New York Jets.
He’ll get his chance at the minicamp starting Friday.

Noa said it’s potentially a good fit for him, because at 6-4 and 250 he’s the prototype size for outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, which the Jets use.
And then there's this:
There may have been an email from Herman Frazier to June Jones or Leigh Steinberg regarding the $400,000 Jones contends Frazier said he wouldn’t have to pay back to UH if he left early. If that’s the case, Jones may be off the hook.
Stephen Tsai calculates what Colt Brennan might have sacrificed by coming back for his senior year.
Colt Brennan’s 2007 season was memorable. His team had an unbeaten regular season. He finished third in the 2007 Heisman voting. He earned a bachelor’s degree.
It also was costly.
Brennan’s decision to remain at UH will cost him a total of about $1,383,500 over a three-year period.
And then there's this:
Another reader reports that the previous AD guaranteed that Big East officials would be brought in to work the UH-Cincinnati game.
Where’s the trust?
Here's audio of Colt Brennan's interview with Leahey and Leahey. Thanks to Felipe Da Filipino for posting it.

And NelsonO, who attends a lot of practices, posts what he thinks is the three deep coming out of spring.

Draft Wrap-Up

Stephen Tsai talks to Colt Brennan about being drafted by Washington.
"It really is a great situation," Brennan said. "I really like the coach they have, and they're bringing in the West Coast system. I definitely have experience with that offense. I'm really excited about that."
Dave Reardon has a draft wrap-up and talks to Colt as well.
All nine players are expected to attend minicamps this week.

Brennan's participation will be limited due to hip surgery three weeks ago from which he is still recovering.

"One thing the doctors stressed is don't push too fast, give it time to heal. I'm feeling great. In a couple of weeks I'll be 100 percent," Brennan said. "But I'm excited. Everyone's telling me (Washington is) a great place, and I've heard the fans are great."
Tsai interviews the players, Davone Bess, Ryan Grice-Mullins, Jason Rivers and Hercules Satele, who signed (or will sign soon) free-agent contracts yesterday.
"I'm good," said Bess, who said financial considerations did not factor in his decision to apply for the draft. "No regrets at all. One year wouldn't have made a difference."

Grice-Mullins also insisted he had "no regrets. I made the right decision. You never know with the draft. It's all over, and now I'm ready to go on the field and do what I do."
Tsai writes that offers may be coming for C.J. Hawthorne, Larry Sauafea, Michael Lafaele and Amani Purcell.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coverage of the Draft and Warrior Bowl

Here's some Chawan Cut Compilations of tonight's news covering the NFL draft and last night's Warrior Bowl.

Part 1 (KHON and KITV)

Part 2 (KGMB -- includes phone interviews with Colt, Bess, RGM and Rivers)

Colt Brennan Drafted by Washington, Bess to Miami, Rivers to Tenn., RGM to Houston, Satele to Arizona

The Redskins just drafted Colt Brennan in the 6th round. More news to follow...

UPDATE: Here are breaking news articles from the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin, which will probably be updated with more info later on.

I think now's a good time to revisit this great highlight video of Colt's career so far...

UPDATE 2: From the updated Advertiser article, here's a quote from Colt:
"Then all of a sudden I got a strange area code (on caller ID) and picked it up," he said. "Sure enough, it was: 'Hold on, Colt, would you move to the Washington D.C. area?' I was like, 'Yeah.' He said: 'Hold on, we're going to punch you through to coach (Jim) Zorn and the GM. It was an awesome feeling, a really good feeling."
The Advertiser has another article, with some quotes from the Redskins.

And here's a link to an audio file (WMA) of Colt talking to the Washington media. Thanks to hawaiiroller for finding it.

UPDATE 3: Here's a press release from the UH Athletics Department about Colt getting drafted.

No other Warriors were drafted, which is pretty amazing considering last year's draft and some of the grades this year's players had received. I'm sure several of them will hook up with teams as free agents. Hopefully some good news to link to soon.

UPDATE 4: Here's video of the ESPN analysts discussing Colt Brennan's NFL potential after he got drafted by Washington. Ron Jaworski bashes Colt so much that even Mel Kiper starts defending him. They also interview Vinny Cerrato of the Redskins.

Part 1:

Part 2 (Jaws can't let it go)

I've heard they call him "Jaws" because he can't stop chomping on that foot in his mouth. Just sayin!

UPDATE 5: Davone Bess signed a free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with Samson Satele and Reagan Mauia.

UPDATE 6: Jason Rivers signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans.

UPDATE 7: Ryan Grice-Mullen signed a deal with the Houston Texans, while Hercules Satele will sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

UPDATE 8: Here's an article from Paul Woody of the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the Redskins drafting Colt.
Brennan had surgery to repair his hip and is on the mend. Still, he said he’s six weeks away from being able to practice or play.

Redskins coach Jim Zorn wasn’t bothered by that.

"It’s a little bit of a concern, but not enough for me to pass on him," Zorn said. "He can hit what he’s throwing at. When you complete 70-plus percent of your passes, there’s some accuracy there.

"He’s not a strong-armed, fireball [passer]. The ball is going to come out quick and accurate. I wasn’t as concerned about that as I was about accuracy. He’s got a bit of a sidearm release, and we’ll try to bring that up a little bit. He’s got the ability to move around. His lateral movement, his ability to get himself in position to throw after a play breaks down is tremendous."
And here's WMA audio of Jim Zorn talking about Brennan.

Warrior Bowl Wrap-Ups

Stephen Tsai has a Warrior Bowl wrap-up.
When a steak dinner is the prize, there is one thing left to say to the victors.

Well done.

"Yes, steak was on our menu," said quarterback Inoke Funaki, who threw two scoring passes to lift the Black team to a 24-20 victory over the Green team in last night's Warrior Bowl at Aloha Stadium. "It was nice to come up with a win."
Dave Reardon highlights the re-match between Inoke Funaki and Cal Lee.
In 2000, Funaki quarterbacked Kahuku past Saint Louis 26-20 in a landmark game that ended the Crusaders' stranglehold on Hawaii high school football's championship hardware.

The opposing coach?

Current UH defensive coordinator Cal Lee, who coached the Green team last night.

"I always remember him in that game," Lee said. "How can I not remember? He killed me."

"Good memories for me," Funaki said.
Michael Tsai writes about Jameel Dowling's strong performance in the spring.
At 6-foot-3 and 205 spring-loaded pounds, Dowling has the sort of length and athleticism UH has rarely seen at the cornerback position.

Playing for the Green Team, Dowling finished with a game-high 3.5 tackles, including two solo tackles and a tackle assist in the first quarter.
"He's earned a starting spot," McMackin said. "He plays low. He does what he's been taught. I think he's a player, and I'm really proud of him."
Brian McInnis' Sports Notebook has a few words from Kenny Estes, Dan Kelly, Malcolm Lane and Troy Lauduski.

Paul Arnett writes about his impressions of the game.

Ferd Lewis notes how QBs Inoke Funaki and Tyler Graunke are running neck and neck.
Over the course of the month-long spring session the junior-to-be from Kahuku closed what had been a significant gap with fifth-year senior Tyler Graunke, the heir apparent to Colt Brennan.

So much so that they will likely open fall practice even, awaiting the arrival of two junior college transfers.

"He definitely did (close the gap)," said offensive coordinator Ron Lee. "He moved around, showed some athleticism and made some plays."

"They are tight ... pretty tight," quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said.
And here's video coverage of the Ohana Fest from Leila Wai.

UPDATE: Scott from Sportshawaii.com edited together video highlights from the game.

Media from the Warrior Bowl

here's multimedia from the game for you...
***oops, sorry, i had the same video posted twice. now it should be correct***
the news:

pre game ha'a vs haka

postgame team ha'a

some photos (more to come later when they get uploaded to SH). and yes, i'm making tombo jealous... something for everyone. band, cheerleaders, dancers, oh yeah, a football game.

first off, i want to say that i was impressed with the turnout. filled the sidelines and the south end zone had a good amount as well.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Warrior Bowl News

I won't have any live updates, but Dave Reardon has a post titled Warrior Bowl play by play, so be sure to check there for some livebloggery.

And check the comments of this Warrior Beat post for updates by the Tsaikos from inside the stadium.

...here's a picture Chawan Cut sent from the stadium. Looks like a pretty good turnout. Wish I was there!

...and here's another.

UPDATE: Black beats Green 24-20. Here's a game summary from the UH Athletics Department.

And here's an article with some QB stats from the Star-Bulletin (article may be updated later).
Funaki completed 12 of 18 passes for 145 yards and rushed twice for 45.

Tyler Graunke, quarterbacking the Green completed 10 of 14 for 108 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown to Mike Washington and an interception by Kenny Estes.

Ohana Fest, Draft, Chad Owens

Stephen Tsai previews the Warrior Bowl, profiling the opposing head coaches Ron and Cal Lee, and providing breakdowns of both teams' offense, defense and special teams.

Dave Reardon previews the game and takes a look at the competition at quarterback.
As spring practice concludes, Inoke Funaki and Tyler Graunke remain locked in a tight battle. Rolovich, the first-year quarterbacks coach, charts every pass.

"They're very close," Rolovich said. "Both could probably use a little of each other. Tyler's the gunslinger, a little reckless sometimes. Inoke's conservative on his reads."
For more Ohana Fest / Warrior Bowl info, check the UH press release.


Stephen Tsai talks to Colt Brennan about this weekend's NFL Draft and highlights some really good things Brennan has done that a lot of "draft experts" tend to overlook.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, he was the only quarterback credited with a perfect score — 21 of 21 — in the passing drills. Three of his completions were for more than 40 yards.

In his three-year UH career, in fact, Brennan completed better than 50 percent of his deep passes (that traveled more than 20 yards in the air from the line of scrimmage). Because he took at least a three-step drop out of the shotgun, his deep passes traveled at least 27 yards. The UH goal is to complete a third of those passes.
Here's an excellent draft analysis of Colt from PaT Gesuale on the Bleacher Report.

With widely varying opinion and draft predictions, Colt is taking it all in stride.
"We're preparing for the worst," a relaxed Brennan said. "Even if I don't get picked, and same with my receivers, we're still going to be in NFL uniforms this summer, with the opportunity to live out what we've been dreaming about our whole lives."
Ferd Lewis writes that Brennan's success in the NFL could do a lot to raise UH's profile.
With more than 40 players drafted by the NFL, the Warriors have made a name as a proving ground for linemen, linebackers, defensive backs and, yes, even a Pro Bowl kicker and punter. But when it comes to putting a QB on football's grandest stage in the modern era, UH is still waiting and critics are still pointing. How many times have snipers at Brennan used Chang's inability to crack an NFL roster as ammunition?

A program that has been at or near the top in passing statistics for nearly a decade shouldn't require that kind of validation. But it does. UH needs a living, breathing symbol of its passing game in the NFL. It needs one people can see front and center on Sundays. Somebody, who, when they do those Monday Night Football lineups, can say, "quarterback ... the University of Hawai'i."

And the Colorado Crush of the AFL may have lost Friday night, but ex-UH receiver Chad Owens had a great game.
Chad Owens started in place of leading Crush receiver Ben Nelson, who was involved in only one offensive play in the game.
Owens, a rookie from Hawaii, had 12 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

...and here's a CCC of last night's news about the spring game, the draft, and UH basketball recruit Roderick Flemings.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ohana Fest, NFL Draft

Tomorrow is the first day of the NFL Draft as well as the Ohana Fest/Warrior Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Dave Reardon has some revised rules for the spring game:
- Game will start at approximately 7:00 p.m.
- Four (4) 15-minute quarters.
- Running clock the entire game (Stoppages only between quarters to change sides).
- No coin toss. Black team will start with the ball on the 30-yard line.
- Two (2) timeouts per team per half.
- 10-minute halftime.
- No contact allowed on quarterbacks. Referee will stop the play.
- No kickoffs. Ball will be placed on offense’s own 30-yard line.
- No rushing the kicker on all field goal/extra point/punt attempts.
- No punt returns. Returner must fair catch.
- New 40-second play clock will be in use for referee/game clock timer experience only. Teams will not be penalized.
It's also been amended to the press release. Both parking and admission are free. Fan activities start around 5pm and the Warrior Bowl starts at 7pm. Be there!

In anticipation of the draft, The Warrior Beat hosted a chat with sports editor and NFL draft guru Curtis Murayama, who gave his thoughts about where he thinks the Warriors will go.

Crazed Warrior fan and NFL draft junkie Jeff T sends along this compilation of Warrior info from draft magazines he's been reading. Here it is in full:
Sporting News Draft Magazine- usually my favorite, but it seems about a month out-of-date even though it came out 4/11.
(No one was included in their 3 round mock draft, but Brennan was in one article, a small feature piece, and some other small stuff)
Brennan- rated 4th QB, 119th overall, 4th round pick
Rivers- rated 35th WR, 184th overall, 5th round pick
Bess- rated 38th WR, 220th overall, 5th round pick
Grice-Mullen- rated 40th WR, 243 overall, 6th round pick

Pro Football Draft Guide Magazine- decent on ratings, a little off though. LOTS of stats on guys.
(2 players included in 7 round mock draft- Brennan in 3rd to Carolina, Grice-Mullen in 6th to Miami)
Brennan- 4th rated QB
Grice-Mullen- 21st rated WR
Bess- 25th rated WR
Rivers- 33rd rated WR

Pro Football Weekly Draft Paper- fairly recent, players are pretty much where they should be.
(No one was included in their 1 round mock draft)
Brennan- 15th rated QB
Bess- 31st rated WR
Grice-Mullen- 41st rated WR
Rivers- 45th rated WR
Satele- 26th rated OG
Purcell- 45th rated DE
Lafaele- 29th rated DT
Patek- 31st rated SS

USA Today NFL Draft Preview Paper- nothing special
(No one was included in their 2 round mock draft)
Brennan- 9th rated QB, 137th overall, 4-5th round pick
Rivers- 33rd rated WR, in the 201+ overall range
Grice-Mullen- 35th rated WR, in the 201+ overall range
Bess- 37th rated WR, in the 201+ overall range
Satele- 27th rated OG, in the 201+ overall range

I've also heard on ESPN that Mel Kiper Jr thinks Brennan is a late (6-7th round) pick or maybe a free agent.
Nice work. Can use that to compare with what actually happens this weekend. Should be fun!


Warrior Bowl Tomorrow, Haʻa, Royce Pollard

The Warrior Bowl is tomorrow. Dave Reardon writes about one of the Black team's keys to the game.
That would be Inoke Funaki. He's the starting quarterback for the Black in tomorrow's Hawaii spring game at Aloha Stadium. But he's also the holder for both teams.

Black coach Ron Lee confirmed Funaki is under orders to botch a potentially decisive Green kick.

Call it Operation Tony Romo.

"My hands might get really slippery and the ball might slip out of my hands. Possibly," Funaki said.
Stephen Tsai writes about the haʻa, and how the band, cheerleaders and crowd might get involved in that, or something similar.
"We're working to get the band and cheerleaders involved," said McMackin, UH's first-year head coach. "We want to get a chant for the fans to do. We want to get as many people involved."
Could be awesome, could be cheesy. Also from that article, details about a QB competition involving trash cans.

Brian McInnis profiles receiver Royce Pollard.
"I think Royce is competing for a starting spot," Lee said. "Guys like Royce had a great spring. You tell him something once, he gets it done, makes the corrections. Expect him to come back (in the fall) and compete. Last year, he hardly got any reps. He's really stepped up."
Reardon and McInnis' Sports Notebook has news about the 2009 Navy game being moved to November 21st, Tyler Graunke's adjustment to the new offense, players available for autographs at tomorrow's Ohana fest, and Keala Watson teaching new players the haʻa.

Ferd Lewis has a column called Warriors must quell stage fright. Here's an excerpt:
The Warriors, with new or inexperienced players at several positions, want an indication of who can perform under the lights and in front of a crowd well before they step into The Swamp, 88,548-seat Ben Hill Griffith Stadium, in four months. And this is it.

Producing on the lower campus practice field in front of a couple dozen scattered onlookers in drills is one thing. Proving a worthiness for game-type conditions can be another. "Receivers, for example, can catch it when they know they're not going to get hit, but you want to see who can catch it in a game like this where they know they are gonna get blasted," McMackin said.
And tomorrow is the first day of the NFL draft. Best of luck to the Warriors!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Warrior Bowl Rosters, Hisatake, Avery, Kajiyama (w/UPDATES)

Today is the last practice (Day 14) before the Warrior Bowl spring game on Saturday. Check the usual suspects for updates, news and notes.

UPDATE: Dave Reardon writes that the Warriors are holding a mock game at practice today.

Stephen Tsai writes that former Leilehua QB Bryant Moniz was observing, and will be walking on in the fall.

UPDATE 2: Reardon reports that the 2009 game with Navy has been moved from September 5th to November 21st. AD Jim Donovan also says the last game of the 2009 schedule is being worked on.
UH is working on one more game to fill the 2009 schedule. It will be booked for Sept. 5 or Dec. 5.

"The good thing is the first and last games of the season are the easiest to book," Donovan said. "But we are getting to the 11th hour to fill the 2009 schedule."
UPDATE 3: Here's a video of Colt Brennan being interviewed on the NFL Network about the upcoming draft.

UPDATE 4: Leila Wai has a video of the haʻa vs the haka. Looks like the Black team's gonna win on Saturday, awww damn.

UPDATE 5: Here's a Chawan Cut Compilation of tonight's news -- KFVE's Jason Tang got some trash talk between coaches Cal Lee and Ron Lee about Saturday's Warrior Bowl, Tang also talks to sports editor Curtis Murayama about this weekend's NFL draft, KHON's Kanoa Leahey previews the Warrior Bowl, KGMB's Liz Chun has a story about UH gameplanning for the first three games of the season during the spring, while KITV's Robert Kekaula has a report about the improvement of the offensive line this spring.


Dave Reardon has detailed Warrior Bowl rosters of both Green and Black teams.

Leila Wai talks to members of the Green team in this video. Members Dylan Linkner, Adam Leonard, Josh Leonard, Greg Salas and Leon Wright-Jackson discuss why they're the much better team.

Reardon has a great story on graduate assistant Brian Kajiyama, who's been coaching Jake Ingram and Dan Kelly.
Ingram said Kajiyama -- who loves football but has never been able to play the game -- has done his homework about the technical aspects of kicking and snapping.

"He knows what a good get-off time is, what a good snap time is. He's legit," Ingram said. "His recording of the times and locations of the snaps really reassures me that they're there. Sometimes when the punter gets the ball, they don't even remember. So with Brian watching I can just look at the paper after and know what I need to work on."

Both players have NFL potential, and Kajiyama said he wants to help them get there.
Michael Tsai profiles Ray Hisatake, who's competing and learning at the left tackle position.
Despite not playing football in high school — he was a three-time league champion in the shot put — Hisatake proved an intriguing collegiate prospect coming out of the College of San Mateo in California, where he earned second team all-conference honors.

After biding his time as a redshirt last season, Hisatake quickly made his imposing 6-foot-3, 315-pound presence felt on the UH practice field.

Hisatake, who has shown the greatest improvement on his front-side sets, says he'll spend the summer refining the position and use of his head and hands coming off the line.
Aaron Kia is also featured in the article.

Billy Hull and Dave Reardon profile redshirt freshman receiver Joe Avery.
Avery spent last year on the scout team and received very few reps once the season began. His workload has increased 10-fold this spring.

"Every day I try to find things that I was at flaw at last practice or during the fall," Avery said. "I'm just trying to find ways to (make things perfect)."
They also write that Michael Washington was back to practice, while Korey Reynolds will be out the rest of the week due to a strained ligament in his right shoulder.

...didn't see this article earlier -- Ferd Lewis writes about Adam Leonard's decision to come back to UH instead of applying for the NFL Draft.
But Leonard, who has always played the game at a full-speed-ahead pace, couldn't find enough reason to tear himself away, just yet.

Not when he thought about what the Warriors might be capable with a fully-loaded defense. Not when he considered what he might finally be able to do on two healthy knees and a rebuilt right thumb. And not when it appeared last year's defensive coordinator, Greg McMackin, could wind up as the head coach.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Uniforms Unveiled (w/UPDATES)

The UH website has a press release with pictures of the new UH football uniforms. Here's a pic from that release.

The home and away version of the uniforms were on display for the first time publically. Some of the highlights of the new uniforms include, use of the UH green predominantly in both sets; the fabric on the jersey shoulders and sleeves has a tapa design; the "Hawai'i" brand is used on the front of the jersey; the "H" logo is featured on the pants and above the player's name on the back of the jersey; the distinctive UH tapa numbers are used on both uniforms.

"The Under Armour representatives did a great job developing a uniform that both keeps the tradition of the true Hawai'i green and will help our team perform at a higher level," head coach Greg McMackin said. "Our players and coaches are excited about the new designs and thrilled to be able to wear a quality brand of products."
I definitely like the home uniform better than the road uniform is all I can say right now. Hmmmm...

UPDATE: The Advertiser has an article with pics and a video by Leila Wai. The video has close-ups of the uniforms and the tapa on the shoulders, and it includes interviews with Greg McMackin, Keith AhSoon and David Veikune.

UPDATE 2 (4/24/08): Here's a Chawan Cut Compilation of the news. KHON, KGMB, KITV and KFVE have stories on the new uniforms -- got some great quotes from Coach Mack. There's also a profile of Keith AhSoon and his family from Jason Tang.

Dave Reardon has a story about the new uniforms, and has a quote from Under Armour senior VP Kevin Haley about why they got involved with UH:
"There's a select few programs we have a relationship with. With Hawaii, I think it's a perfect fit. It's a program with a rich heritage, but also with a lot of youth and passion and appeal to the next generation," said Haley, who was present at yesterday's unveiling. "We didn't find out Hawaii was available until late January. It was not our plan. We didn't think it was available. It was not in our plans or our budget, but it was a once in a lifetime. We reached out from a number of different angles."
Stephen Tsai has more quotes from Haley, who discusses a little of how the uniforms are put together, along with an excellent quote from Greg McMackin:
"If we want changes, like putting tapa (bands) on the (pants) leg, they're willing to do it," McMackin said. "They're going out of their way to help us."
Awww yeah. I'm liking the unis a lot more after seeing the videos. Putting the tapa bands back on would make them 20x more awesome, woot woot!

Colt on Outside the Lines

Colt Brennan was interviewed on Outside the Lines about his recovery from surgery and the craziness leading up to this weekend's NFL Draft.

Spring Day 13, Dowling, $400K, Etc., Update: News from yest

Today is Day 13 of spring practice. The Warrior Beat and UH Sports Extra should have updates, news and notes.

UPDATE 1: Some notes from Reardon's blog, including news that Mike Washington is back at practice, and Keala Watson led a post-practice haʻa.

UPDATE 2: Stephen Tsai praises administrative assistants, and writes that the new UH football jerseys will be unveiled at a 2pm news conference today, with photos and videos to be posted soon after.


Brian McInnis profiles senior cornerback Jameel Dowling, who's currently battling it out with Calvin Roberts and JoPierre Davis at the right corner position.
"Oh yeah, he's gotta play somewhere," McMackin said. "He's too good to have on the bench.

"He's so coachable, and it impresses me that he plays so low, being so tall," he added. "The thing is, too, his height takes so much away from people -- they can't get the ball over him. Plus, he's got the speed to run with them (4.4- to 4.5-second 40-yard dash)."
Ferd Lewis writes about the $400k that UH says June Jones owes for breaking his contract, while JJ and Leigh Steinberg say they had a verbal agreement (not in the contract) with former AD Herman Frazier that he doesn't owe anything. It's headed to arbitration, apparently.

Lewis takes a look at what caused this mess.
But because it isn't in the file copy, UH wants the money it says it is has been due since March 7. Steinberg maintains there was an agreement and that such "handshake" deals are common practice in sports.

A dodge to avoid coughing up the moolah? Could be. But given the previous administration's track record on seeing things through — football scheduling, contracts etc. — there is a resounding ring of plausibility.

Indeed, we're told that at least one UH coach has vehemently maintained he had an agreement with Frazier on a contract extension but that no paper work has turned up.
Lewis also has an article about how the successful 2007 UH football season may have spiked interest and donations to UH.
At the University of Hawai'i, the Colt Brennan-led magical 2007 march to the Sugar Bowl is already showing signs of resulting in something of a Brennan Boom, officials say.

Fall semester applications are up eight percent, UH Alumni Association memberships have risen 21 percent and football season ticket sales, which are on-going, have climbed steadily, according to the school.
Colt Brennan talks to Stephen Tsai about this weekend's NFL Draft, and what he expects.
"You really don't know," said Brennan, noting several teams have shown strong interest. He said his close friend, Matt Leinart, never interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals, who selected the former USC quarterback in the first round. Another friend, Trent Edwards, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills without receiving a personal workout.

Predictions range from Brennan being selected in the second round to not at all.

Chawan Cut has a news compilation from last night. Talks with RGM, and a snippet from ESPN about who'll replace Colt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ohana Fest Info

UH has a couple press releases out about this Saturday's Ohana Festival, which includes contests, activities, autograph and photo sessions and the Warrior Bowl scrimmage. Here's the schedule:
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 (south concourse)
7:00 p.m. - "Warrior Bowl" (fan seating on Makai side)
There will also be free bus service to and from Aloha Stadium for UH students.
Buses will depart the student residence hall area near Gateway House (Dole Street at East-West Road intersection) at 4:30 p.m. The buses will leave Aloha Stadium 30 minutes after the intrasquad game and return to the UH Manoa campus.

To reserve a seat, students should send an e-mail with their name and phone number to uhmarket@hawaii.edu by Friday, April 25, at noon. Students registering for bus transportation and attending the event will qualify for a drawing for two student season tickets to the 2008 football season.


Here's an excerpt from a pre-draft Q&A with Ryan Grice-Mullen (Mullins), from ProFootballWeekly.com.
PFW: It has to be nice to be done with all of the pre-draft preparation.

Grice-Mullen: Man, you nailed it right on the dot. It’s been a long, stressful process the last three months. It is good to know that, ‘OK, I’ve done all I can do.’

PFW: Wanted to ask you about your health. I had read you missed part of your pro-day workout because of cramping.

Grice-Mullen: I tweaked my (right) hamstring a little bit. It is more like a strain. I was running a lot of routes back-to-back. … I am good to go now. I am just thankful it is minor. I’m glad I was able to run my 40. (Editor’s note: Grice-Mullin was reportedly clocked in the 4.33 range at the pro day.)

Day 12 Wrap-Ups: Warrior Bowl, Nasca, AhSoon, Salas

Dave Reardon has some details about this Saturday's "Warrior Bowl."
McMackin said Funaki and Graunke, who are battling for No. 1 status, will both play extensively Saturday.

"The quarterbacks aren't going to be live (targets for tackling), but they're going to play (a lot)," McMackin said. "And the good receivers are gonna play. We want to get a lot of looks at (Funaki and Graunke). They've been battling, they've been real close all spring. There'll be live bullets out there because the secondary will be going full speed."
Reardon profiles walk-on receiver Nate Nasca.
Nasca's speed did the killing yesterday at spring practice. He slipped behind the safeties two plays in a row during the team period for big gains. The second catch was a tough one where he held on despite hard contact with the ground.

"Some guys, when you put them on the football field, they slow down," receivers assistant Craig Stutzmann said. "This guy doesn't. He works hard and he's quick as a cat out there. He's very coachable."
Dayton Morinaga talks to offensive lineman Keith AhSoon, who's making the switch from tackle to guard while recovering from a calf injury.
AhSoon said he injured his left calf during the first week of spring practices. Sophomore Bryson "Bulla" Ginlack replaced AhSoon as the first-team left guard over the past two weeks of drills.

"I was actually happy for him when he was filling in for me," AhSoon said. "I think Bulla is the most improved guy on the whole O-line."

Yesterday, AhSoon reclaimed his spot with the starting unit.
The article also has some Warrior Bowl details, a section on Nate Nasca, and Ryan Mouton talking about becoming a triple threat.
"I think I can catch passes," he said. "I really would like to talk to the coaches about playing offense, too. Some receiver, I don't see why not?"
Yeah, why not?

Ferd Lewis has a column about receiver Greg Salas, who is poised to step into the limelight after waiting in the wings.
For when somebody has learned Salas is on the University of Hawai'i football team, their response to him invariably has been: " 'You play football?' "

Well, yes, although, "I don't look like a football player, especially if you see me in street clothes," the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Salas sheepishly admits.
"He's known that as soon as Jason Rivers left he was going to be the guy (at left wideout)," quarterback Tyler Graunke said. "And, he's made himself a really good receiver. He's worked hard to make himself one. You'll see. He's worked on what he needs to — strength and speed — and doesn't make the same mistake twice. "
In their Sports Notebook, Brian McInnis and Dave Reardon write about Keith AhSoon and David Farmer practicing again as they recover from injuries. They also have injury updates on Camron Carmona, Rocky Savaiigaea, Korey Reynolds, Alonzo Chopp and Ben Noy, who may be out for a while with a likely torn ACL.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Day 12, Previews, Update: Sat scrimmage photos (w/MORE UPDATES)

Check for spring practice Day 12 notes at the UH Sports Extra and the Warrior Beat.

Scrimmage pics from Saturday here: (chawan_cut & ubercow's pics from SH)

Panorama of the coaches from the clinic on the sideline:

UPDATE 2: Here's Dave Reardon's notes from practice, which includes play-by-play by Brian McInnis. An excerpt:
Some spring game format details: First half regular clock, second half running time. First play will be at 8 p.m. Starting QBs (Funaki, Graunke) expected to play most of the game. Some key defensive players will participate in just a few plays if any. Snapper Jake Ingram will join kicker Dan Kelly in playing for both teams.

“We’re calling it the Warrior Bowl,” coach Greg McMackin said today.
UPDATE 3: FlyinManatee reminds us that tonight is Call the Coach with Greg McMackin at the Willows. Be there! Or listen to it on 1420AM or get the live streaming audio at ESPN1420am.com. Show starts at 6:30pm HST.

UPDATE 4: The Advertiser has a video about the walk-ons, and the importance of spring practice and the newly-dubbed Warrior Bowl this Saturday. Greg McMackin, Richard Torres, Nathaniel Nasca, Bryce Kalauokaaea and Les Soloai are interviewed. Mack talks about how tough it is to cut players from the team.

UPDATE 5: Here's a CCC of tonight's news. Some stuff about the progress of the offense in the spring, Saturday's scrimmage, and Colt and the upcoming NFL draft.

UPDATE 6: So I was listening to Greg McMackin on Call the Coach and for once I was taking notes. I see now that I wasted my time -- lots of Call the Coach notes from Reardon.


Dave Reardon previews the final week of spring practice as well as Saturday's Ohana Fest scrimmage.
The team will be split in two for Thursday's practice, McMackin said, but probably not by offense and defense as usual. Offensive coordinator Ron Lee and defensive coordinator Cal Lee have already drafted their teams for the spring encounter, which will be in a regular-game format rather than offense against defense. McMackin is considering using the practice to let the teams prepare for Saturday.

And David Fox of Rivals.com takes a look at the upcoming 2008 UH football season, with all the changes that have taken place since the end of 2007.
"I look around and see it's not the same program, but we can be a better program than it was last year," said linebacker Adam Leonard, a Rivals.com first-team All-WAC selection last season. "In college, personnel changes all the time. We're going through what every college goes through."

Turnover is routine in college football, but not always this drastic. Jones made Hawaii nationally relevant, with its first trip to a major bowl. Brennan went to New York as the school's first Heisman finalist. But in less than four months since the loss in the Sugar Bowl, Hawaii has had to replace its coach, the star quarterback, three 1,000-yard receivers and its athletic director.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 11 + Scrimmage Wrap-Ups, Meatoga, Thomas

Dave Reardon writes about the offense struggling a little in yesterday's scrimmage.
Part of it had to do with veteran offensive linemen John Estes (center) and Keoni Steinhoff (right tackle) being held out of the scrimmage.

"It shows fast," offensive line coach Brian Smith said. "Communication. There were some holes here and there. But the good thing is the kids were competing and fighting. We exchange scripts, so we know what's coming. We struggled a little bit today. I think we took a step back."

Still, head coach Greg McMackin lauded Smith's work with the offensive line's technique, and said it may be the team's most improved unit.
Stephen Tsai talks to McMackin about the offense getting better.
"It's a matter of getting more and more reps," McMackin added. " I can see in the last week we made a giant leap on offense. Defensively, we've continued to improve. We're making plays on both sides of the ball."
In that article, Tsai also writes about Elliott Purcell, who considered quitting the team due to family problems last year, but is now dedicated and has ascended to No. 2 right defensive end.

Tsai writes that Greg McMackin met a lot of people at yesterday's coaches clinic.
There were more than 400 high school and youth-league coaches who attended yesterday’s clinic. It appeared as if McMackin introduced himself to each one.
As offensive coordinator Ron Lee said: Mack “shakes more hands than Obama.”
Jason Kaneshiro and Dave Reardon's Sports Notebook features Erik Pedersen, who is back at linebacker after five position changes in his UH career. They also write about the improvement of Kealoha Pilares at slot, Calvin Roberts' ascension to No. 1 right corner, and some coaches talking about yesterday's clinic.

Kaneshiro profiles defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, who talks about the recent death of his mother, as well as his progress on the field.
Meatoga, a redshirt freshman, didn't make the trip to the bowl game at New Year's, instead staying home on Kauai to be with his family. He is back on the field this spring looking to make a push for playing time at defensive tackle when the fall rolls around.

He's been playing with the second unit on the Warriors' defensive front lately and his progress, on and off the field, is evident even to those who haven't known him all that long.
Reardon profiles sophomore offensive lineman Adrian Thomas. Here's a quote from O-line coach Brian Smith:
"Adrian's had a real good spring so far. He's big, strong and fairly athletic. So I think he's still a little bit away. But if he keeps improving, keeps getting better he's going to push some of these guys.

"Football's pretty new to him. He's still learning the fundamentals, but he's a competitor, he's strong and he really wants to be good so he's working hard at it. He's got a real good future here."
Leila Wai has a video, which includes Blaze Soares interviewing coach Ikaika Malloe, while Inoke Funaki and Keala Watson talk about the performance of the offense and defense.

And Irse has posted a few pictures from yesterday's practice up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Clinic and Scrimmage Today, Junior Pro Day, Estes, Colt

Today is the UH coaches clinic. Then practice starts at 3:30pm HST and it includes a scrimmage. Stephen Tsai writes that a lot of people may be in attendance. Check out the Warrior Beat, UH Sports Extra, Sportshawaii.com or WSN for any updates.

UPDATE: Scott from Sportshawaii.com has live reports from the practice field.

Dave Reardon has some injury news, with probably more news to follow.

UPDATE 2: Here's some notes from the Warrior Beat.
Among the highlights:

• Leon Wright-Jackson broke free for a long gain off of Inoke Funaki’s shovel pass.

• UH is missing the yards-after-catch plays produced by Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins. But Kealoha Pilares and Jon Medeiros showed some moves, and Nate Nasca busted out for a long post-catch sprint.

Stephen Tsai writes about 22 seniors taking part in Hawaii's Junior Pro Day.
Two scouts representing 26 NFL teams gave the players the Wonderlic — 12-minute, 50-question IQ test — and recorded their weights, heights, reaches and hand spans. Because the Warriors are in spring training, head coach Greg McMackin requested that 40-yard dashes and bench presses not be administered.

That was fine with the scouts, who have attended two practices and watched hours of UH videos.

"There's a lot of talent here," said Dave Petett, the Pittsburgh Steelers' West Coast scouting coordinator. "It's nice to see them in person."
The article also includes a video.


Cindy Luis writes about John Estes, who was named to the Outland Trophy watch list yesterday.
Center John Estes' return to practice this week signaled a marked improvement for Hawaii's offensive line.

"We've had him out there the last two days and it's the best we've looked," Warriors head coach Greg McMackin said of Estes, who had missed several practices with a tight hamstring. "He really solidifies things with his leadership and his abilities."

And here's an interesting analysis of Colt Brennan's draft prospects, from Marty Z of the Bleacher Report.
Now we are only one week away from the NFL Draft, and Brennan is probably the biggest name question mark in the entire draft. He may go as high as the second round, but may also drop completely down to the sixth round as well - or maybe even undrafted according to some pundits.

After doing a little research, I found something absolutely amazing. Different mock drafts have every team picking Brennan somewhere in the third to sixth rounds.

it seems 20 of the 32 teams in the NFL has their team selecting Brennan in some round of mock draft, but nobody seems to say that they want to take him. Fans don't want him, scouts say they don't think he will pan out, yet all these teams are being speculated as teams of interest who have them in a draft mock up.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Estes on Outland Watch List

Dave Reardon writes that John Estes has been named to the Outland Trophy watch list. Here's a link to the official press release, which includes info about the award.
The Outland Trophy has been awarded to the best interior lineman in college football since 1946. With input from the entire FWAA membership, the winner is selected by the FWAA's All-America Committee, which selects the association's 25-man All-America team and picks the three Outland Trophy finalists and the winner.

Day 10 Wrap-Ups: Medeiros, Lane, Etc.

Here's a CCC (Chawan Cut Compilation) of last night's news. KHON's Kanoa Leahey profiles C.J. Allen-Jones, KITV's Robert Kekaula profiles Daniel Libre, and KGMB's Mike Cherry profiles Kealoha Pilares.

Dave Reardon writes that Greg McMackin is pleased with the progress made in spring practice.
"Our offensive line is getting better daily and lots of big plays are being made on offense and defense," the Hawaii coach said yesterday after the 10th of 15 practices. "The quarterbacks played very well and the defense continues to run to the ball and develop depth."
Stephen Tsai talks to Jon Medeiros, who practiced at first-team slotback yesterday, and gets up really early every morning.
Medeiros, who lives in Makakilo, awakens at 4:15 every morning. He then boards the 5 a.m. bus for the 35-mile, 90-minute ride to the Manoa campus. By 6:45, he is in uniform and on the grass practice field, ready for another spring-training session.

"It's tough, but it's definitely worth it," Medeiros said.
Tsai also interviews Mana Silva and Malcolm Lane, has some practice news and notes, as well as results from last week's HAIA combine.

Reardon talks to Lane about working his way back up the depth chart as he recovers from a sprained ankle.
Now Lane, who said yesterday the ankle is "99.5 percent," is on a mission to re-climb the ladder. In his mind, he's already there.

"I had a rough spot, but I'm still a starter," Lane said after yesterday's practice, which included an impressive touchdown catch in 7-on-7 drills. "I intend to keep working harder and getting better and I don't see anyone taking my position as long as I continue to work hard. Right now I'm working with the third string. I haven't been able to get a lot of plays because I haven't been able to go full-speed. I'm anxious to make plays, get out there and get better."
Jason Kaneshiro and Reardon have a Sports Notebook with a short profile of Medeiros, some details of coach Ikaika Malloe working with the team on punt protection, and details of a nice block made in yesterday's practice:
On the last play of practice, backup guard Joey Lipp crushed hard-charging starting defensive end John Fonoti with a textbook-perfect trap block. It sprung Jake Heun for a gain on what would've been a loss of yards (and a huge collision). The play symbolized how far the offense has come along in the last few days.

"That was done very well," said head coach Greg McMackin, after watching the block on tape.

And now for some legal news:

SI.com's Andy Staples writes that the Daniel Smith case may be headed to court.

And three members of Congress, including Hawaii's Neil Abercrombie, want the Justice Department to investigate whether the Bowl Championship Series is an illegal enterprise.
Representatives Neil Abercrombie, Democrat of Hawaii; Lynn Westmoreland, Republican of Georgia; and Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho, introduced a resolution saying the B.C.S. restricts trade because only the largest universities compete in its games. The resolution would require the Justice Department’s antitrust division to investigate if the B.C.S. violates federal law.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Day 10, Linkner Chat

Today is Day 10 of spring practice. Visit UH Sports Extra and the Warrior Beat for updates. The WB will also host a chat with receiver Dylan Linkner at 10:15am HST. Be there! (if you can get past the "few quick questions" section with a submit button that doesn't work).

UPDATE: Here the link to Linkner's chat, and probably some practice news later on.

Here's a report from Dave Reardon. It includes a play-by-play of the team session. An excerpt of some depth chart news:
More notes: Calvin Roberts No. 1 at RCB for second day in a row. Mana Silva No. 1 at safety with returning starter Keao Monteilh. R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane at No. 1 strongside linebacker, but Blaze Soares is in pads. Lots of shotgun today. Ray Hisatake worked extensively with the No. 1s at left tackle.
UPDATE 2: Tsai reports that Laupepa Letuli is possibly done for the rest of spring practice.
Laupepa Letuli apparently is done for spring ball after aggravating a pulled left string. He suffered the original injury a month ago when he was running the 40-yard sprint. Letuli aggravated the injury during Wednesday’s practice. He was expected to compete for the starting job at left tackle.
UPDATE 3: Here's some video from the Advertiser. Clarence "Lafu" Tuioiti-Mariner, Josh Leonard and Keoni Steinhoff talk about the performance of the offensive and defensive lines throughout spring practice. I think there's a cameo from Randy "Macho Man" Savage at the end. Ooooyeeeeaah!

Day 9 Wrap-Ups: Blaze, Victor, Camron, Iceman

Dave Reardon writes about the offense's improved play in yesterday's practice.
The Warriors quarterbacks continued to work under center and some shotgun was mixed in. For the first time the prime contenders for starting quarterback posted more touchdown passes (two) than botched exchanges from center (none). Interceptions and sacks are still another matter, but at least the offense isn't inflicting wounds on itself before the play even really starts.
Michael Tsai profiles Blaze Soares and Victor Clore, both battling back from shoulder injuries.
Soares, who totaled 27 tackles and three sacks in nine games last year, sustained a shoulder injury last week but returned for his first practice in pads yesterday.

Clore, who'll likely battle for time on the defensive line and special teams, is making his way back after suffering a separated acromioclavicular joint and fractured shoulder in December.
Brian McInnis profiles running back Camron Carmona.
"Camron's got a little personality to him ... I tell you what, I think everybody needs to have it," said Gerke, who cited burst and heart as Carmona's top assets. "I don't care what position you play. You need to have a little personality to play this game. ... I think it should be that way every day."
Dave Reardon's Sports Notebook has news and notes about Calvin Roberts, Greg Salas, Mana Silva, etc.

And Ferd Lewis has a column about Chawan Cut's favorite player, Dan Kelly.
If there was anybody who had a clutch touch in the Warriors' magical 2007 season outside of quarterback Colt Brennan, it was Kelly, who earned the nickname "Iceman" along the way. With a 49-yard field goal, he got UH to overtime and an eventual 45-44 win against Louisiana Tech. Then, with Nevada trying to freeze him on national TV, Kelly nailed a 45-yarder to beat the Wolf Pack, 28-26, with 11 seconds remaining.

It got to the point where then-head coach June Jones said he only worried about Kelly's accuracy when he wasn't attempting a pressure kick.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 9, Kelly, BCS Money, Colt, Bess Visits 49ers, Elam (w/UPDATES)

Spring practice continues today. Visit UH Sports Extra and the Warrior Beat for news.

UPDATE: Here's today's post from Reardon, with news that Dane Porlas and Josh Aufai are out with injury, but Blaze Soares was back to practice.

UPDATE 2: Not a practice update, but here's a draft analysis (w/video) of Colt Brennan from the Dallas Morning News Cowboys blog.

UPDATE 3: Two vids from Leila Wai. This one is about depth chart movement in the secondary, as Mana Silva and Calvin Roberts practiced with the first team today. Interviews with them as well as Rich Miano and Ryan Mouton. And speaking of Mouton, he and Keao Monteilh have a competition going. Watch the video and vote for who has the better hair.

And NelsonO has a Wednesday practice report up at Sportshawaii.com. Here's an excerpt:
The depth charts at this time are not set in lava. The coaches are making their best efforts to evaluate as many players as they can. For example, Erik Pedersen and Pookela Ahmad were the back-up outside linebackers on Saturday. Today, Tyson Kafentzis and R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane were the back-ups. Alasi Toilolo and Elliott Purcell were the back-up defensive ends on Saturday. Today, C.J. Allen Jones and Victor Clore were the back-ups.
UPDATE 4: Here's tonight's news compilation from CC. News about Greg Salas, Ryan Grice-Mullins, Keao Monteilh, along with coaches Nick Rolovich and Brian Smith. Chancellor Hinshaw talks to the Leaheys about where the BCS money may go, and where the money June Jones owes UH is.


Dave Reardon writes about Dan Kelly, who will be busy during the spring game on April 26th.
Since he's the only kicker on the team right now, the fourth-year starter will handle field goals and extra points for both teams. (No kickoffs are planned). And since starting punter Tim Grasso is not at UH this semester, Kelly will do that job, too, coach Greg McMackin said yesterday.

"He'll be playing for both teams," McMackin said. "It'll be fun and he'll like it. He likes action."

Kelly said he's up for it.

"I'm just excited I get something to do," he said. "This is my third spring, and I've yet to do anything."

Ferd Lewis writes about the $4.3 million in BCS money UH will receive sometime this summer. It'll total about $2.2 million after expenses.
The record payout to a non-Bowl Championship Series-signatory school is expected to go primarily to reducing the athletic department's mounting red ink. UH athletic director Jim Donovan, who inherited a balance sheet with a $4.4 million accumulated net deficit when he took over last month, said he hopes to use $1.5 million to balance the budget for the current fiscal year.

Ronnie of the Tsaikos found this interview with Colt Brennan, from Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown. Here's an excerpt:
Scott Wright: Is there one or two teams in particular that you’ve noticed paying more attention to you?

Colt Brennan: To be honest I’ve kind of gotten the same interest from a handful of different teams. I really haven’t been able to narrow it down. Just in talking to my agents, who last year represented Trent Edwards, the Buffalo Bills showed no interest in him whatsoever before the draft yet picked him in the third round. It’s tough because you talk to a lot of teams but sometimes those teams that are talking to you are just trying to get more information on why not to draft you and some of the teams that really don’t talk to you that much are just trying not to show that they do want you. Right now it’s a tough thing and you just have to wait until Draft Day to find out.

Davone Bess recently visited with the 49ers. SFI has a scouting report/analysis of him.
Strengths: Stands only 5-10 but has good size and bulk at 194 pounds. Is a smooth athlete with good hands who catches everything thrown his way. Runs good routes and is agile. Can change direction and runs well after the catch. Is an experienced receiver with good instincts and awareness. A very productive player in college who also brings some toughness to the table. Has some potential as a kick returner.

And here's a profile of former UH kicker Jason Elam.
Thus began in 1990 Jason Elam's long trip home. Signed by Hawaii out of Brookwood High School — the team's offensive coordinator was a former Georgia Southern assistant named Paul Johnson who recruited him — Elam has finally come full circle. An eventual All-American at Hawaii, then one of the finest kickers in the NFL with Denver, he has come back to town with the Falcons, the team of his youth, 20 years after graduating from high school.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring Day 8 Wrap-Ups, Dylan Linkner, Injuries, Etc.

Tyler Graunke talks to Brian McInnis about working his way back.
Graunke is trying to regain his status as the favorite to succeed Colt Brennan, which he held prior to spring practice before a suspension for violating team rules.

"I'm just trying to get better and get everyone else better," he said. "I have a lot more goals -- earn everyone's respect back, that's my first goal -- and be a team player. Not trying to do too much, and just doing my thing. I feel like that's going pretty well."
Jason Kaneshiro profiles receiver Dylan Linkner.
Talk to Hawaii receiver Dylan Linkner and the urgency is clear.

"It's my last year," the fifth-year senior receiver said. "I have to get on the field somehow."

Since joining an offensive unit headlined by Tim Chang and Chad Owens back in 2004, the Kailua graduate bided his time, waiting and working behind a series of prolific Warriors pass catchers.

With his final fall in a UH uniform coming up, this spring represents the career understudy's best chance to date to make his case for a leading role.
Dayton Morinaga also talks to Linkner, writes about Graunke's rise to co-No.1 QB, has some injury news, and highlights players who are getting a chance to shine.
Junior linebacker R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane has been working with the first defense since last week in place of Blaze Soares, who is sitting out because of a shoulder injury.
The offensive line has also been auditioning several newcomers this spring due to injuries. Yesterday, sophomore Brysen Ginlack worked with the first unit at left guard in place of Keith AhSoon, who has an injured calf.
Jason Kaneshiro and Brian McInnis have injury news, including some about a possible early return for Blaze Soares:
"I'm going to try to come back (tomorrow), run around," Soares said. "Felt kind of out of place (on the sidelines), naked without my pads on. Maybe do some seven-on-sevens, some drills, but I think no contact."
"I try to have a positive set of mind," Soares said. "It's hard, but I really want to be out there. I love hitting people. This is the time you usually get your cracks in, you know what I mean. But this spring I'm taking a break."
Lanaly Cabalo of the Garden Island talks to some of the players from Kauai about spring practice.
“Our practices have been good. Mondays are always hard because everyone goes hard on Mondays,” said Jasper, a Kaua‘i High School graduate. “It’s a little tougher than practice in regular season because we have full pads on and guys are getting hit. There’s a lot of hitting going on, which isn’t a bad thing.”
And Dave Reardon writes that UH athletic director Jim Donovan may be lowering ticket prices for some tickets to sporting events.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day 8, Allen-Joneses, Spring News, Kapanui (w/UPDATES)

Today is Day 8 of spring practices. Check the Warrior Beat or UH Sports Extra for live updates and/or wrap-ups.

UPDATE: Leila Wai reports that Rocky Savaiigaea has a fractured right tibia, and will miss the rest of spring practice.

UPDATE 2: Jason Kaneshiro reports that John Estes was back practicing today.
Jason reports that all-WAC center John Estes is back to full duty today after being limited the first two weeks of spring practice by a tight hamstring.
And Le'Marcus Gibson worked out in 7-on-7s even as he rehabs his knee.

UPDATE 3: Princess Leila has a video with Rocky Savaiigaea, Malcolm Lane and John Estes talking about their injuries.

UPDATE 4: (chawancut here): Leila Wai has one more video talking with Tyler about him being co-#1 QB. (fyi -- this link might resize your browser)

UPDATE 5: Tonight's news via CCC (Chawan Cut Compilation.) KGMB's Liz Chun has a report on Savaiigaea's injury, KITV's Rob DeMello interviews Kealoha Pilares, who has been improving in his switch to slot, and KFVE's Stephen Florino highlights the defense. Update 6:(chawan:)I'd like the vids to be known as "original chawan cut compilations" (OCCC). wait, nvm. they're not original.


More news about Saturday's practice from KHON's Kanoa Leahey and KITV's Rob DeMello.

By the way, both DeMello and Leahey are part of the Leaheyradio.com blog, which announced the winner of their "Hawaii's Greatest Hi-Lite" tournament.

Dave Reardon profiles the Allen-Jones brothers, C.J. and Cameron, who are both adjusting to moves to defense line.
"Both C.J. and Cameron are very bright," Aranda said after a recent practice. "They pick up everything. You tell them one time and then they've got it. C.J. has been on defense as a linebacker, so some things come a little more natural to him. (Last Thursday) was a big day for Cameron in terms of turning a corner with some of the techniques we're teaching him. We're working on minimizing his movements."
Reardon also writes about some moves in the offensive depth chart.
At the crowded running back spot, Lee said juniors Mario Cox and Jayson Rego have helped themselves at recent practices. Daniel Libre and Leon Wright-Jackson are considered co-starters there.

"He has a little wiggle, he has some ability when he runs the ball," Lee said of Rego.

And here's an update on former UH football player Chad Kapanui, who is the QB of Sioux City Bandits in the UIF League.
Kapanui had guided Coach Jarrod DeGeorgia's Bandits to two straight victories. Kapanui gave Sioux City (3-2) a 10-7 lead when he threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Kaylon Price at the 6:29 mark of the first quarter, but Sioux Falls took the lead for keeps three minutes later when Treasure scored on a three-yard run to end a six-play, 33-yard drive.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Scrimmage news & photos (+ today's Day 7 articles)

Here's the news coverage from last night as well as some photos I took.

The rest of the gallery here: (there's many photos so you can also view them in a slideshow by clicking on "View slideshow" from the left column. you can then change the speed as well as size of the photos)


UPDATE (by Tombo Ahi):
Here's today's articles on Spring Practice Day 7 (Scrimmage 1). Sorry for the delay, got computer issues.

Dave Reardon writes about the offense being a little rusty in yesterday's scrimmage.
Coach Greg McMackin said three potential starting offensive linemen (center John Estes, left guard Keith AhSoon and left tackle Laupepa Letuli) did not participate because of injuries.

"We're going to start getting them back next week and that will make a difference," McMackin said. "We had a good practice, just the second, third and fourth teams had problems with the snaps and dropped the balls."
Stephen Tsai has a wrap-up of yesterday's practice and scrimmage. Here's an excerpt about the developing depth at corner:
Three cornerbacks, including starters Myron Newberry and Gerard Lewis, completed their UH eligibility at the end of the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl. But an area of concern has turned into a position of depth. Ryan Mouton, the secondary's best athlete, has locked down the left cornerback's job.

JoPierre Davis is having a strong spring as the No. 1 right cornerback.

McMackin said backup cornerbacks Calvin Roberts and Jameel Dowling, a transfer from Oregon, have been impressive.

"We're getting deep at corner," McMackin said. "They're playing physical and fast."
Jason Kaneshiro profiles freshman cornerback Richard Torres.
"His technique is impeccable," defensive backs coach Rich Miano said. "I wish all the guys had that kind of technique, and he has the wrestling background, so he's tough. He understands work ethic. He's the first one out here at 6 o'clock in the morning and then he's the last one to leave."
Brian McInnis writes about the still-developing offensive line.
"Mostly what we talked about after practice were our standards as an offensive line, and playing to that standard," Smith said. "What we tell them a lot is, they really have to play the game with a passion at the offensive line. Right now there's only a few guys that are, the one that I pointed out to them was Lafu (Tuioti-Mariner), who really played his butt off today."
Reardon and McInnis have a Sports Notebook about Rocky Savaiigaea hoping to resume practice tomorrow after spraining his ankle, an update on Kealoha Pilares' adjustment to slot, some injury news and other notes, and the improved play of JoPierre Davis.
"It's just concentration. I'm just trying to stay focused out here," Davis said. "With this team around me, I just never want to let them down. I know we've got the best front seven in the nation, or one of the best front sevens, and I just want to keep up with them, make plays like they make plays."

Davis said he changed his lifestyle when he realized being a night owl didn't dovetail with UH's morning practices.

"Last year was the first time I stopped going out. I was going out during spring. It's not even an option anymore. I'm not the type that can get up easy if I've been out at night. I've got to sleep to get up easy," Davis said. "I've got people calling me telling me to go out. I tell them I can't. It's just not possible."
And finally, Stephen Tsai has some good items in today's Warrior Beat post, including news about the RISE of Tyler Graunke to co-No.1 QB, and the bright side of a brief altercation in yesterday's practice.
Like lightning-initiated fires that clear overgrowth, it is nature’s way that sometimes bad things can have a positive effect.
And a good injury-free scuffle, in which the participants can hug it out later, can be energizing for a football team searching for a personality.
Football is a violent and emtional game, and every team needs a tough SOB who can get worked up over a basic pass-rush drill.
UPDATE 2: Dave Reardon has more depth chart news in his blog:
Offensive coordinator Ron Lee says he “really likes” what Dylan Linkner and Royce Pollard have been doing at right wide receiver (Z), and one of them will likely be atop a new depth chart that will be put out after tomorrow’s practice. Malcolm Lane, who entered spring practice two weeks ago No. 1 at that spot, sprained an ankle last week.
** Back to the Main Page **