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Monday, June 30, 2008

Colt To Sign Autographs

Colt Brennan will be signing autographs at the Pictures Plus in Pearl Highlands Center on July 5th from 3 to 6pm. Tickets for the event will only be sold through the Pictures Plus website and cannot be purchased at the event. And according to the website, it's Colt's only autograph signing in Hawaii this year. I believe a portion of the proceeds will go to Na Koa. Be there!

Recruiting Coordinator? / Lewis Walker

Dave Reardon writes that Tony Tuioti and Doris Sullivan are among the candidates for a new position in the UH football office.
Technically, it can’t be called recruiting coordinator, but at least some of the work would entail handling nuts and bolts in that area.
Stephen Tsai, who also has new photos of the offensive linemen practicing in Klum Gym, adds this:
The word on the street is UH is looking into whether it is possible for Na Koa to pay for a second non-coaching position. That way both Sullivan and Tuioti could join the program.

And The Salt Lake Tribune lists incoming cornerback Lewis Walker as one of Utah's prep difference makers, both on and off the field.
Why he's making a difference: Through Walker's Christian Outreach Program, he's visited homeless shelters around the city, selflessly giving his time and simply making himself available to people less fortunate to himself.
He says: "This is important to me because a lot of people have nobody to talk to. That makes me want to engage in conversations with them.
I try to stay 30 minutes after my time is up because if that were me, I'd want somebody to talk to."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Linkner, Camp Schedule, PPV, Season Tickets

The Star-Bulletin continues their Sunday Warrior profiles with a feature on receiver Dylan Linkner.
Dylan is a musician himself, taking on the rare double of football player and trombone player while at Kailua High School.

"I can say I'm knowledgeable about music. I'm not very good at singing. I played high school band, trombone. I felt I did pretty good in high school band, but nothing like I could come to college and play," he said. "Henry Fu, the band director, he understood I couldn't be good at everything.
Stephen Tsai has posted the August training camp schedule.

UH will be offering a 65% discount on a special football road game pay-per-view package for season ticket holders, as well as a price reduction in some season tickets.
Fans purchasing season tickets by July 18 will be offered the five UH road pay-per-view telecasts for just $99, a savings of $181 from the $280 it would cost to purchase the telecasts individually. This special introductory offer for the five-game road pay-per-view package is available only to the UH season-ticket holder of record and season-ticket holders can activate any Oceanic account (does not have to be their home).
Why July 18th? Well, John Fink asks you to Think About It.
John Fink, vice president and general manager of KFVE/KHNL, said, "I want to make it clear that after we beat Florida and then we beat Weber State the guy wants to buy the pay-per-view package and says I'm a season-ticket holder, (well), you don't get the discount any more."
John Fink don't take no $%@# from nobody!

Ferd Lewis writes that UH games will not be shown in HD this year, but may be sometime in the near future.

UH has a PDF with a list of the season ticket pricing.

AD Jim Donovan talks about striking a balance in pricing for tickets and PPV.
"My main concern was that we come up with a package for the season-ticket holders, the people who actually fill the stadium for the home games, so they can watch the road games (live). I think $99 for all those road games is a great introductory rate," UH athletic director Jim Donovan said. "Secondly, we wanted to have something affordable (for home games), yet make you consider being a season-ticket holder. I think we're there. On a game-to-game basis, it's about the same (price)."
Despite the economic downturn, season ticket sales as well as the money from corporate sponsorships are higher than last year.
UH said both areas, which are major sources of operating funds for the state's only Division I athletic program, are trending up. John McNamara, UH associate athletic director, said corporate sponsorships have already set a school record at $2.2 million in cash and $554,000 in trade and are poised to go higher.

Moreover, McNamara said, football season tickets, which are continuing, stand at approximately 24,500, nearly 2,000 more than last year. Last year UH had $2.1 million in cash corporate sponsorships and $421,595 in trade, McNamara said.
And finally, Lewis wonders why Donovan still doesn't have a contract.
Somehow, it is hard to imagine that whatever is holding this up it could be Donovan asking for the moon. Especially when he knows UH doesn't have it.

More likely is that UH has taken crossing T's to some absurd lengths. Or, still smarting from the whole Herman Frazier episode and big bucks buyout, it is insisting on some curious contract language or clauses. If so, it needs to rethink the situation.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Photos, Linkner, SWA, Bess

Stephen Tsai has more offseason workout photos, including news about former UH b-baller Matt Gibson playing in Venezuela, some Sugar Bowl travelers getting 1099s, and the UH football media guide being printed on recycled paper. From yesterday, Tsai wrote about the hard work that Dylan Linkner puts in each day. There's also more photos, and news that Laupepa Letuli and Shane Austin have recovered from their injuries.

With a playoff berth on the line for the AIFA's Fayetteville Guard, starting QB Shawn Withy-Allen will not be playing in this week's game.
Withy-Allen, who has thrown for 15 touchdowns in the past three games, is out of the country and won’t be in uniform when the Guard (5-8) plays Mississippi (12-1) with an American Indoor Football Association playoff berth on the line.

“He wanted to be here, but this is something he’d already obligated himself to do,’’ Guard head coach Charles Gunnings said. “So as a man, he had to go ahead and take care of that.’’
And another nice mention of Davone Bess, this time from Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland.
He also singled out David Kircus, Jayson Foster and Davone Bess as young receivers who impressed him during OTAs. I second the Kircus endorsement. He speculated that Bess might be a young receiver they can "hang your hat on for a little while."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oregon State Game Time Set

Via the OSU Beavers website:
FSN Northwest, the Oregon State University Department of Athletics’ regional television partner, has announced it will broadcast live the Sept. 13 football game between the Beavers and Hawai’i Warriors. Air time is 1 p.m. PDT from Reser Stadium.

American Samoa, PPV, Stadium

Dave Reardon writes about the coaches, players, former players and medical professionals who left for the June Jones American Samoa Football Academy yesterday.
"I'm excited to go back home, but even more, to go back and spend some time with the young players. We hardly had any NFL players or camps. I went to one camp. I told myself I want to be in that position some day to come back and help out," said Purcell, whose father, Melila Sr., is the academy director. "Teaching the kids and telling them what I went through will be great. I want to give them the idea, 'You can do anything.' The road I took was tough, but very exciting."
Stephen Tsai profiles Reagan Mauia, who is making the trip back home.
Mauia said this three-day trip, which includes a clinic co-produced by coaches from Southern Methodist and Hawai'i, completes his life's circle. Until he was 10, Mauia lived in American Samoa, a territory in which there is no Pop Warner program and the high school football teams share a rugby field.

"I'm glad I can help," he said.
Ferd Lewis writes how 11 of 13 UH football games may be included in this year's pay-per-view package.

Brandon Masuoka has details of Aloha Stadium's $185 million overhaul, expected to be completed by 2013.
The initial stage is aimed at fixing "the health and safety issues of the stadium," according to Stadium Authority Chairman Kevin Chong Kee.

Later stages, aimed at enhancing "the spectator experience" and generating revenue, will explore adding luxury suites and several other amenities.

Saito said the project will start in March, with major work being done between the end of the NFL's 2009 Pro Bowl and the University of Hawai'i football season.
And on the heels of Fresno State's NCAA baseball championship (congratulations), along with Boise's and UH's BCS bowl appearances, Jimmy Watson of the Shreveport Times writes that the WAC is the right place for Louisiana Tech.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Quad Preview, Fonoti, Lafaele, Owens, Etc.

The New York Times Quad blog has college football countdown, and ranks UH at #65 this year, which is about the average of what other magazine and publications are saying, the bastards. Here's an excerpt from their extensive preview:
It is likely no coincidence that “Coach Mack” has been involved in the two greatest seasons in Hawaii’s history (the nine-game turnaround in 1999, and last fall’s run). Though he has a monumental task ahead of him in replacing Jones, Hawaii seems to have chosen the right man for the job. Most importantly, players, fans and U.H. supporters have almost universally lauded the hiring, an integral step in the program moving forward after a difficult divorce from his predecessor.
The article also includes a review of key losses, players to watch, breakdowns, predictions, etc.

Stephen Tsai profiles defensive end John Fonoti.
This offseason, middle linebacker Brashton Satele and Fonoti, who is listed as the No. 1 defensive right end, are workout partners. Their day begins with a 5 a.m. wake-up call.

"I used to have to call him," Satele said. "Now, the majority of the time he's waking up on his own. Now he's calling me. He's way more committed this year. He's taking on a leadership role."
Tsai has more offseason workout photos on his blog, writes that Michael Lafaele recently had a tryout with the Buffalo Bills, and shows some Warriors on their mopeds. Noooooo. Mopeds bad!

Ferd Lewis writes about the potential heat and humidity at the UH-Florida game on August 30th. As Jim Donovan puts it:
"My guess is it will be about 92 to 97 degrees — and about 106 percent humidity. We may need to issue snorkels."
Lewis also writes about the financial disparity between the two programs.

Chad Owens has been named to the AFL's All-Rookie team despite a late start and an early end to his season. Get well, Mighty Mouse!

Here's an interesting profile of former UH and current SMU coach Jeff Reinebold, from PonyFans.com.
“June told us at the Sugar Bowl that it (the move to Dallas) might happen,” Reinebold said. “Then, after we got home, he called at 4 a.m. (Hawaii time) to tell me about his decision. Initially, he told me he wanted me to stay there in Hawaii, because there were a lot of projects we had started as a staff there. But after a lot of soul-searching and talking with my wife, we knew it was the right thing for me to come to SMU with him. Besides, our daughter, Megan, is a student at Hawaii, and this gives us the opportunity to get her to SMU.”
And finally, CFN's Pete Fiutak has 2009 NFL Draft Rankings. He has Dan Kelly as the #4 placekicker, John Estes as the #16 offensive guard, and Solomon Elimimian as the #21 outside linebacker.

Thanks to fuzzylogic and lostinube.

Monday, June 23, 2008

News and Notes

Some bits of news from the past few days...

The Fayetteville Guard did not make the AIFA playoffs despite the strong play of former UH QB Shawn Withy-Allen.
Withy-Allen completed 17 of 36 passes for 199 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 16 since returning to the Guard three games ago.
Chad Kapanui completed 16 of 32 passes for 140 yards, but the Sioux City Bandits got eliminated in the first round of UIF playoffs. Kapanui will play in the UIF All-Star Game on July 19th.

Greg McMackin, Cal Lee and George Lumpkin are among 24 NCAA coaches helping out with the Game Plan Academy from June 30 to July 2.
The academy is designed to help the athletes get information on graduating with a college degree while playing a sport.
UH will be hosting a lot of camps this summer, including three football camps. Details can be found here.

Future Warrior Lewis Walker participated in the Utah High School Football Coaches Association all-star game on Saturday. He got a very brief mention in this Deseret News article.
Judge Memorial's Lewis Walker, who will play at Hawaii, was 3A's workhorse.
Future Warrior Earvin Sione is an OIA Red East first-team volleyball all-star.

Stephen Tsai writes that Kaleo Wong will join the team as an invited walk-on in August. And Josh Andrews hopes to join UH as a non-scholarship player.

Here's another nice mention of Davone Bess.
Miami Dolphins WR Derek Hagan and undrafted rookie WR Davone Bess impressed the team during minicamp according to PFW. Bess, who comes from pass-happy Hawaii, has the best set of hands on the team, according to one club source.
Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Melila Purcell was among the coaches and counselors who took part in the All Poly Camp in Utah.
Purcell remembers attending a Joe Salave'a camp when he was in high school. "I dreamt of being in this position," Purcell said. "I'm just trying to give a little back to the kids and show them the road I took."
Detroit Lion defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis is mentioned in this NFC team report.
DE Ikaika Alama-Francis has shown improvement, but that progress must continue at a rapid rate for him to rebound from an unproductive rookie year. He must improve his footwork and hand placement to be effective.
Looks like Timmy Chang will be on the Hamilton Ticats roster when their regular season starts this Thursday. Looked dicey a few weeks ago, but he had a great series of practices and that awesome preseason game.

For Warrior fans not in Hawaii or Florida on August 30th, you can watch the UH vs Florida game on Raycom, or according to this Raycom webpage, on ESPN Gameplan.
The telecast will be available as part of ESPN's Game Plan Package in U.S. markets not listed above. Game Plan is a pay-per-view service offered via DirecTV, Dish Network and participating cable systems.
Thanks to fuzzylogic and 4uhfan for some of the links.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Veikune, JJ, Gilmore, Etc.

The Star-Bulletin continues their Sunday profiles with a feature on defensive lineman David Veikune.
Veikune played at 250 pounds a season ago and is trying to get to 270 by the start of camp. He says his bench press is up to 500 pounds, but his ability to keep his speed and agility while adding strength is what makes him such a dominating force.

"It's surprising he can keep his mobility with the strength he has," Watson said.

"He's probably one of our most versatile guys on the line. He can play defensive tackle, defensive end and he's even the nose guard in our 3-4 packages. He contributes everywhere coach asks him to."
Stephen Tsai has an interview with June Jones. He talks about life in Texas, recruiting Hawaii, possible game(s) between UH and SMU, and a little about his decision to leave.
"(New UH coach Greg McMackin) is a great football coach, and a good person, and he is perfect for the job. He will win, and he will get it done his way. I think the commitment people are making to the program right now is what I'm talking about. People are stepping up and realizing that if they want to have a top program, everybody has to do what they've got to do. I've been watching what's happening with people stepping up to do things. It looks like those things are going to get done.

"If I had stayed, I don't think that the sense of urgency would have been what it is right now to get things done. In the long run, (leaving) will be the best thing for the school."
Tsai also writes that former UH safety David Gilmore is joining the team as a graduate assistant.

Ferd Lewis has a column about what UH can offer local recruits that they couldn't back in the day.
UH, back then, had never been to an NCAA bowl of any kind, had but two TV appearances in its Division I-A history and was often overlooked in the draft and for postseason awards.

But the Warriors have now been to five bowls in six years, including the rousing BCS breakthrough. They regularly appear on TV four or more times a season, annually have players taken in the draft and had a third-place finisher for the Heisman Trophy.

Since June Jones' arrival and, now, continuing with Greg McMackin, they have coaches with NFL backgrounds and contacts.

Of course, the Warriors find themselves competing in a vastly more crowded marketplace, too.
Jason Kaneshiro has an article and timeline of this past year in UH athletics.

And Dave Reardon has a good Press Box column about the grown-up issues that stole some fun from an amazing year in UH athletics.
This was a year best to be viewed through 10-year-old eyes. When you're a kid, all you care about is your heroes and their stats and getting them to sign something. It doesn't matter to you if the athletic department makes money or not, you just live and die on whether the teams win or lose.
But the supposedly grown-up sports world interfered with the fun. Budgets, incompetent business management, lawyers (four court cases at last count), people firing and quitting and over-analysis of it all sucked out plenty of the joy of what should have been pure celebration.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blaze, Sopoaga, American Samoa, SWA

AM 1500 has an interview with Blaze Soares from the Rob and Russ Show up on their front page.

Isaac Sopoaga took part in a 49ers O-line/D-line youth football camp yesterday. Here's what he had to say:
Sopoaga in particular appreciated the chance to impart his knowledge on the youth at the camp.

“It is a great and beautiful opportunity for them to be here so they can learn,” said Sopoaga. “These kids here are lucky to be able to take part in something like this. Where I grew up in American Samoa, we didn’t have this. I didn’t learn football until my last year in high school.”
Funny he should mention that -- Dave Reardon writes about a contingent of Hawaii and SMU football coaches who will be traveling to American Samoa next week to conduct the first June Jones American Samoa Football Academy.
According to Kevin Kaplan, director of the June Jones Foundation, the academy will involve 550 athletes, and five will each win a $2000 scholarship that can be used at any U.S. college — not just SMU or UH.
The UH coaches making the trip include Alex Gerke, Greg McMackin, Nick Rolovich, Brian Smith and Craig Stutzmann. SMU coaches include Jones, Dennis McKnight, Wes Suan, Jeff Reinebold and Frank Gansz. Interesting! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

UPDATE: Reardon has more details.
Current and former NFL players Jesse Sapolu, Maa Tanuvasa, Mel Purcell, Reagan Mauia, Paul Soliai and Leo Goeas are also scheduled to appear, Kaplan said.

It is McMackin's first trip to American Samoa.

"It's going to be a fun deal," McMackin said. "I'm really looking forward to it because they're a big part of the Warrior Nation."
Reardon also writes that season ticket sales are up from last year.


And Shawn Withy-Allen is praised in this preview of the Fayetteville Guard's next couple games.
Withy-Allen has completed 26 of 33 passes and thrown for 10 touchdowns in the two games since he was coaxed back into playing by Gunnings.

“If you’ve watched the last two games, our defense has been on the field more than our offense,’’ Williams said. “That’s because of Shawn. Since he’s been back, the offense gets on the field and it’s boom, boom, boom and they score a touchdown. We don’t get time to rest.

“To have him (Withy-Allen) back, it’s felt like last year. Our offense is just scoring at will.’’

Donovan, Miano, Kapanui

AM 1500 currently has interviews with Jim Donovan (from the Jeff Portnoy Show) and Rich Miano (from the ROB and RUSS Show) on their front page. If they get bumped from the front, you can check the previous page links at the bottom.

And congratulations to Chad Kapanui, who is the United Indoor Football League's Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Chad Kapanui, quarterback for the Sioux City Bandits, is being honored as Offensive Rookie of the Year. He is in his first season in indoor football and played collegiately at the University of Hawaii. Kapanui completed 227 of 364 passes for 2,402 yards and 40 touchdown passes. In addition, he rushed 52 times for 141 yards and seven touchdowns. Led by Kapanui, the Bandits offense finished in the top 5 of several categories: scoring offense (5th, scoring 41.6 points per game), passing offense (3rd, averaging 165.6 yards per game), rushing offense (2nd, averaging 76.3 yards per game) and total offense (3rd, averaging 241.9 yards per game). He was recently selected for his first UIF All-Star game. This weekend, Kapanui and his teammates head east to St. Charles, Missouri, where the Bandits will meet the RiverCity Rage in the first round of the UIF playoffs.
UPDATE: More offseason pics from Tsai.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

USA Today Article, Konrath, Te'o

David Leon Moore of USA Today has an article about the UH athletic department's facilities. Some interesting excerpts:
Jones, though excited about his new rebuilding project at SMU, admits he never would have looked for another job if the Hawaii administration had agreed to his requests for upgrades in the program. When Hawaii officials countered SMU's offer, proposing to raise his salary to $1.7 million and promising upgrades in the program, Jones saw it as too little, too late.

"It was almost like it was just talk," Jones says. "I didn't believe that it would happen."
Jones' departure did spur action, however. Donovan says the school is seeking bids for the artificial turf field and that it should be completed by late October.

Another longtime annoyance of Jones will take longer to remedy. Down the hall from his former office is a wing of unfinished office rooms — shells, with bare walls and floors — where the football program was supposed to move. They sat like that for four years, with no money to finish the project.

Donovan says he is moving on that, too. He thinks the project will be completed in a year or so. The needs are everywhere, though. The locker room and weight room need upgrades. The archaic video equipment needs to be replaced.
Stephen Tsai writes that linebacker Kevin Konrath is looking to transfer out of UH.
Konrath said he wishes to transfer, although he has not decided on a destination.
“It’s a lot of things,” said Konrath, who redshirted as a freshman last season. “I don’t want to finger-point things.”

Konrath, who was raised in Chicago, said he enjoyed his time at UH. He said he also wants to leave on a good note.
Konrath said he will take a summer-school class to ensure that he has at least a 2.6 cumulative grade-point average. That is the minimum GPA Konrath needs to exit without UH incurring an APR penalty.
“I want to leave the program in good standing,” Konrath said. “I want them to be able to use my scholarship.”
That's cool of him. Best of luck to Kevin.

And Ferd Lewis writes about how the attention being paid to Punahou's Manti Te'o is shining a light on a lot of other Hawaii high school football players.
The long line of coaches and recruiting gurus who have come here to check out Te'o is a bonanza for more than the tourist industry; it also is opening up opportunities for other players.

Consider that four of the top 10 prospects on the www.Scout.com Northwest list are from Hawai'i. More than the states of Washington and Oregon — combined. Thirteen of the top 40 and 30 of the top 100 are from Hawai'i. Unprecedented numbers, really.
Here's a link to the 2009 Northwest "Hot 100".

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ken Niumatalolo / Bess / Bain

Dave Reardon writes a Press Box column about former UH QB and current Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Prior to the ascent of Niumatalolo, a full-blooded Samoan from Laie, you could count the Polynesian college football head coaches on Edward Scissorhands' fingers.

It's the first battle won in a war similar to the one African-American coaches continue to fight. Apparently minorities are good enough to star on the playing field and be assistants. But when the head coaching positions open up, they are rarely in the mix.

"I don't feel pressure because of it, but I think about it. After all the e-mails and phone calls I got I thought about it a lot," said Niumatalolo, after a talk at the Honolulu Quarterback Club yesterday. "Dignitaries from Samoa contacted me. It's a milestone for Polynesians.
Davone Bess gets a brief but positive mention in this Sun Sentinel article about the young Miami Dolphins receivers.
Of the four undrafted rookie receivers — Jayson Foster, Davone Bess, Selwyn Lymon and Justin Wynn — Bess, barely 5-10, has clearly stood out.

"I see improvement," Sparano said. "There is a lot of competition at the position right now. As far as where anybody is, any of those things, we really haven't put our finger on that yet, but we're looking at all these guys right now.

"What I like is we have some big players at the position. We have some smaller guys that can really run. We are starting to find some roles in maybe our half-personnel stuff when you are getting three wide receivers out there. Some things are starting to take shape as we get on with this."
And Rotoworld.com rates Aaron Bain as their 56th rated fantasy college football wide receiver for the 2008 season, for all you fantasy players out there.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Warriors in the Pros: Shawn Withy-Allen, TC

In his second game back with the AIFA's Fayetteville Guard, Shawn Withy-Allen went 11 of 16 for 196 yards, throwing for 3 touchdowns and running for another in leading his team to a 51-21 victory over the Florida Stingrays. This Fayetteville Observer article has a photo of him from the game.

This poll from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats website asks "Who Was The MVP Of The Ticats June 12 Preseason Win Against Winnipeg?" The choices are:
Ryan Glasper - 2 Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble
Timmy Chang - 6-for-9, 59 passing yards
Tre Smith - 9 carries, 54 rushing yards, 1 TD
Scott Mitchell - 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards
Nick Kordic - 8 Defensive Tackles
Chang is currently holding the lead. Go vote! Thanks to FL.

Keala Watson, Fuga, Budget, Etc.

The Star-Bulletin continues their Sunday Warrior profiles with this feature on defensive lineman Keala Watson.
But the playing time as a true freshman season didn't last long. He was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder similar to hemophilia. Watson had to stop playing football or risk bleeding to death from a tiny scratch.

"I didn't know there was such a thing. I went through a lot of tests, a blood specialist on the mainland. I saw about 20 different doctors," he said.

Finally, one came up with a treatment that would work and allow Watson to play without the additional risk.

"One of the things some of the fans don't realize is we're humans, like them," Watson said.
Stephen Tsai writes about recent Leilehua High grad Kawika Fuga, who's been participating in offseason workouts and hopes to walk on at UH.
Too often we believe that “chasing the dream” means pursuing a pro career.
And then, every so often, we’re reminded that playing for UH is the dream.
Ferd Lewis writes about the UH athletic department's overall budget deficit, how Jim Donovan is trying to pare down the projected deficit for the coming fiscal year, and why more financial support may be needed from UH.

Lewis also writes about proposed improvements and renovations to Aloha Stadium.
The state Department of Accounting and General Services is recommending a series of renovations and improvements for Aloha Stadium, including club and "super suite" seating, designed to upgrade and prolong for another "30 years" the life of the 33-year-old facility.

New private elevators would whisk patrons to exclusive suites and lounges and "enhance the spectator experience to a level on par with other venues of its size and, hence, its revenue-producing potential, thereby offsetting future maintenance costs," according to a section of the DAGS draft environmental assessment for stadium improvement.
And Dave Reardon writes about the golf plans that Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard have for when they represent UH at the WAC Media Preview in Salt Lake City next month.
Elimimian said he talked Leonard into signing up for the golf outing that is part of the event — even though, according to Elimimian, neither of them has played a round.

“I’ve been out on the range a few times with (teammate) Spencer (Smith), but I’m not sure Adam’s even touched a golf club,” Elimimian said. “I told them to put our handicaps way up.”

Leonard said he has played the game — if mini-golf counts.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

UH vs SMU? / Samson

Ferd Lewis writes about a possible 2009 matchup with SMU.
Donovan said UH is talking "to several schools" about filling one of the two UH openings for 2009 — Sept. 5 or Dec. 5 — and confirmed that SMU is among them.

"Both sides are taking a look at it," Donovan said. "June is very supportive."
Earlier, SMU officials had said it could be a decade or more before the two schools could play because the Mustangs have full schedules. But Jones and UH have reminded Mustangs' officials about the potential for a 13th game if they play in Hawai'i.
That would be pretty cool.

And here's a profile of Samson Satele from Carl Kotala of FloridaToday.com. Samson talks about earning the respect and trust of his teammates going into his second year as the Miami Dolphins starting center.
"They respect me and they trust me," he said. "Last year, I respected them and I trusted them, but I didn't feel like I got their trust. I got their respect, but the trust factor has a lot to do with the O-line because you've got five guys up there."
Justin Smiley, a five-year-veteran free agent pickup, will start at one of the guard spots. The other one is up for grabs.

"He's really smart," Smiley said of Satele. "I was lucky enough to play with a really smart center in Eric Heitmann, who was a Stanford guy, in San Francisco. Samson sees the coverages and a lot of other things that a second-year guy, you wouldn't expect from him. We're pretty lucky to have him in the middle.

"He's definitely got our trust. He (makes the line call) and I'd bet 99.9 percent of the time, he's right on it. And he's usually always in good position. He plays with good leverage. It's really helpful for a guard because you want to know, if a guy slips off you inside, that the center's going to be right there to help you. He's always in the right position."
Via fulingyu on Sportshawaii.com.

Friday, June 13, 2008

RGM Released, Mel Purcell, Photos

The Houston Texans released Ryan Grice-Mullen today.
The Texans released safety Curome Cox and wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen on Friday, executing their second round of roster cuts this week.
Grice-Mullen (5-10, 187), an undrafted rookie out of Hawaii, hardly got a taste of the NFL because a leg injury kept him out of practice during OTAs. Last season, the wideout led UH's receiving corps with 1,228 yards and caught 12 touchdowns.
All the best to RGM.

Melila Purcell has more competition at defensive end with the Cleveland Browns.
DE Melila Purcell may be ahead of Chase Pittman on the practice depth chart, but a player of interest at the end position could be Brian Schaefering, rookie from Illinois. Schaefering displays some interesting ability and agility from the end position and tends to move off blocks a little better than the 2007 draft selections noted.
And the Warrior Beat has more photos from offseason workouts.

Hawaii Recruiting, Idaho Law

Ferd Lewis writes about the changing, more competitive recruiting landscape in Hawaii.
UH, which in previous years was curiously reluctant to extend much in the way of early offers, has become aggressive under new head coach Greg McMackin. The Warriors, by Sullivan's count, have made at least 12 early solicitations.

That is an indication of just how competitive things have become in their backyard, where every Bowl Championship Series conference now recruits.
Dave Reardon writes that the differences between Idaho and Hawaii state law may be a factor in this Sugar Bowl problem for UH.
In the hectic days prior to the Sugar Bowl, University of Hawaii officials turned to its rival for advice. Who better? Boise State had just been to a BCS game the previous year and could give UH some pointers on how to handle the venture -- including with whom to fill its charter planes at state expense.

As it turns out, what's good for the Broncos isn't necessarily good for the Warriors. Hawaii and Idaho state laws vary when it comes to what employees are allowed to accept. Spouses and children traveling to bowl games on the public dime may be a no-no here, although not a problem in other states, including Idaho.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

AM 1500, Mouton, Timmy Chang, Bess

AM 1500 recently launched their new website. I know they've been putting a lot of hard work into it and will have more and more online audio in the future. Right now there's an interview with Ryan Mouton from the Rob and Russ Show on the front page. Be there!


Timmy Chang had a great game for the Hamilton Ticats today, leading his team to victory:
Behind Printers, Timmy Chang took the lead in the race to become his primary backup.

Chang was scintillating on Hamilton's 75-yard touchdown drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters, finished by a five-yard leap from running back Tre Smith. Chang was good on three of his four attempts, with the lone incompletion coming when return specialist Jo Jo Walker dropped a bomb that fell right into his hands.
UPDATE: Here's some video highlights from the game, but they don't show much of Timmy.

Here's what he had to say after the game:
Chang was loose and all smiles about his ability to move the ball, but he stuck to the party line.

"It feels good, but it feels better that we won," said Chang, who completed five of nine pass attempts for 59 yards.
The Cat Chat's Ken Peters liked what he saw, even if it left him discombobulated.
But I have to say there was something uncanny - even surreal - about how Tim Chang entered the game late and led the Tabbies to not just their only score but the victory.
Chang's performance came almost a year to the date that he led the Cats to their first preseason victory over the same Bombers. In that effort Chang came in completes 10 of 17 for 239 yards and two scores.
And we all know what happened after that don't we?
But again Chang comes in and shows poise and patience. The unofficial stats had him five for nine for 59 yards but I think the stats are wrong. I think he finished seven for 10 for even more yardage.
Still Chang looked great. And his best toss was a 40-yard strike to Jo-Jo Walker behind coverage. The pass hit Walker, who can ill-afford to drop these, in the facemask and bounced off.

And Davone Bess gets more props from Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.
I like (Davone) Bess. He's a guy that is a undrafted guy that's out here and has made a lot of plays. I know we've talked about him a little bit before. So I've been pleased with all of them right now and with how hard they've worked."

Ikaika, Bess, TC, Etc

Tom Kowalski of MLive.com writes a scouting report on Ikaika Alama-Francis.
A few reasons the Lions are high on Alama-Francis are his explosiveness off the ball -- although he still has to do a better job of hitting the snap -- his non-stop motor and his hand quickness. Alama-Francis is still learning what to do in terms of hand placement but if he does a good job with that, he can be a productive player.

Alama-Francis will play mostly at left defensive end, but can also be moved inside on passing downs. With Shaun Rogers gone, the Lions are looking for more pass pressure from the inside.
Davone Bess is mentioned in this analysis of the Miami Dolphins' receivers.
...the Dolphins currently have five rookies competing for a permanent receiver or practice squad position. Davone Bess, from Hawaii, has had an impressive offseason, and he's an early favorite. Beyond that, there’s Jayson Foster, Justin Wynn, Selwyn Lymon and the recently signed John Dunlap, all of whom are undrafted rookies who haven’t had the time to prove themselves.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will have their first preseason game of the season today at 7:00pm Eastern. Timmy Chang is scheduled to play. AM 900 CHML should have streaming audio, but the site appears to be down at the moment.

Dave Reardon asks: June Jones, hero or scoundrel?

Stephen Tsai has more pics from offseason workouts as well as a few updates, including:
Cornerback/kick returner Keenan “The Phenom” Jones is no longer a member of the UH football team.
Cornerback Jameel Dowling, who transferred from Oregon last August, said he has been placed on scholarship.
And Francis Maka's appeal for a medical hardship seems to have stalled due to paperwork.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TC, Mauia, August 30th

Ken Peters of the Hamilton Spectator looks back at Timmy Chang's great performance in his first CFL game last year and looks ahead to tomorrow's preseason game.
But Chang will get a chance to duplicate his first pre-season heroics tomorrow night when the Ticats host the Blue Bombers. This one is at Ivor Wynne. Chang, who enters this season third on the Cat QB depth chart, is expected to see action in the third and fourth quarters.
Thanks FuLo for the link.

Miami Dolphin Reagan Mauia has competition at fullback.
A battle brews at fullback, where Boomer Grigsby and Reagan Mauia are splitting first-team snaps.
Via 4uhfan on WSN, here are some of the "heat initiatives" that will be rolled out during the Hawaii-Florida game on August 30th.
- Cool Misting Tents in the concourses of the north, south and west sides of the stadium

- Additional fans on east side concourse

- Plastic cups with ice for free at concessions stands

- 12-Ounce waters on sale at concessions stands for $1

- More than 100 Water fountains operational in stadium

- Cooling buses on the east and west side to supplement aid stations

- Officers at gates looking out for fans in heat distress and directing to aid stations

A comprehensive heat plan and additional initiatives for spectators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will be announced at a later date.
And Stephen Tsai has a lot more photos from unsupervised workouts.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mediation, Ethics, Game On!, WitP

Dave Reardon notes that reps for June Jones and UH begin mediation over the disputed $400k today.

Stephen Tsai writes that walk-on cornerback Kawika Ornellas has been impressing in unsupervised workouts. Also from the post, Ryan Mouton has been impressing too, and Tsaiko Whitey shares his bio.

Ferd Lewis has some details about the state Ethics Commission review of the University of Hawaii's travel policy.
At issue is whether state employees, guests and others who received tickets, hotel rooms or flights served a legitimate purpose by being in New Orleans for the Jan. 1 game and if state ethics laws were violated.
Lewis has a column about athletic director Jim Donovan apologizing for the mistakes of his predecessor.
In less than three months on the job at UH, Donovan has found few swords he won't fall on for the alma mater. There's been little limit to the pitches he'll take for the "team" in green.
It is refreshing that somebody around UH isn't afraid of responsibility. It would be more noteworthy, however, if it was actually the someone — or ones — who did the deeds coming forward.
If that's not a reason to celebrate Jim Donovan, I don't know what is. In fact, there will be a July 31st "Game On!" fundraiser at the Stan Sheriff Center to celebrate the beginning of the Jim Donovan era as well as the Greg McMackin era. Proceeds will go to address some of the needs of the athletic department.

Chad Kapanui completed 20 of 33 passes for 137 yards and 1 TD, breaking Sioux City's single-season completion record, but the Bandits still lost 41-27.

I haven't heard much about Reagan Mauia recently, but he is mentioned in this Miami Dolphins team report from the Sporting News.
Meanwhile, Williams and Brown will also have two solid fullbacks in Reagan Mauia and Boomer Grigsby. Mauia is a second-year player who has shown some solid blocking skills early in his career, and his hardnosed attitude could often provide Williams and Brown with some nice holes. Grade: B-plus. Pro Bowl-caliber players: Brown.
Thanks to 4uhfan on WSN.

And finally, I went through a bunch of Advertiser, Star-Bulletin and other articles to come up with a compilation of Davone Bess trivia, which just got posted on the excellent Miami Dolphins blog, the Phinsider. Hope they like it. Thanks to Matty I.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Timmy Chang, Brad Kalilimoku, Chad Owens, Ron Lee

The Hamilton Ticats had their Black and Gold Day scrimmage this weekend, and Timmy Chang had one of the highlights of the day.
– QB Timmy Chang threw a ball from his own endzone and connected with WR Rashaun Woods at their 50-yard line for one of the bigger plays on the day.
In this video from "Ticats TV", Chang is interviewed starting at around 102 seconds in. There's a timer on the bottom right of the player.

Speaking of the Ticats, Brad Kalilimoku, who had a tryout with them earlier this month, will be rejoining the Warriors as a student manager and completing work on his degree.
“I don’t have to worry about two things anymore,” said Kalilimoku, who is a Hawaiian Studies major. “If (football) doesn’t work out, I’ll always have my degree.”
Also from that post, Stephen Tsai writes that Chad Owens will have more tests done on his injured knee, and hopefully there will be better news to report.

Ron Lee is mentioned as one of the top receivers coaches in the country by CBS Sportsline's Dennis Dodd.
Ron Lee, Hawaii Lee moves up to offensive coordinator this season but for the past nine years, he has coached some of the most productive receivers in the country. From Ashley Lelie to Chad Owens to Ryan Grice-Mullen to Davone Bess, Lee has cranked out pass catchers and NFL prospects. The top receivers in the program's history have played under Lee.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Washington, Jantz, WitP, Ranked 81st

Brian McInnis profiles receiver Michael Washington, who is ready to have a breakout year after sitting on the bench for most of his UH career.
The highly touted recruit (he turned down scholarships from California, Miami, Penn State and other schools) earned some playing time at wideout his freshman year, but was then buried in the deep slotback position for the next two seasons. With Bess and Grice-Mullins leaving for the NFL a season early after the Warriors' 12-0 regular season and loss in the Sugar Bowl, Washington is in prime position to be a difference-maker in 2008.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't go to sleep dreaming about the Florida game, dreaming about games during the season," he said. "Me, Yoda (slotback Aaron Bain), (quarterback) Tyler (Graunke), we got one year left, so we just gotta ball out. I definitely didn't come here all the way from Pennsylvania for no vacation."
Stephen Tsai has a lot of pictures from offseason workouts, and talks about QB Steele Jantz, who continues to impress, as a possible "beigeshirt".
The way a beige shirt would work is Jantz, who is a freshman already enrolled in Summer Session I, would be on the active roster this fall, presumably as a redshirt. In January, he then would go on scholarship. A beigeshirt is different from a grayshirt, in which a freshman is not on the active roster during the fall semester.
Shawn Withy-Allen had a great game in his return to the Fayetteville Guard of the AIFA.
Newly acquired quarterback Shawn Withy-Allen completed 9 of 10 passes in the first half, including a pair of touchdown passes to Jay Jackson.

“Our offensive line played outstanding tonight and all of our receivers were open,” Withy-Allen said. “I didn’t get pressured not one time that I can remember and the receivers ran perfect routes to get open.”

Withy-Allen finished 18-for-23 for 261 yards and seven touchdowns, with one coming on the ground in the second quarter. Withy-Allen’s six touchdown passes are a season-high for a Fayetteville quarterback.
Maybe Timmy Chang's time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats may not be over after all, as was speculated last week. He's been doing great in practice...
QB Timmy Chang made a series of nice throws today, including a pass to WR Ernie Jackson that went over the hands of an outstretched defender and directly to the receiver.
...and the QB signed last week that caused the speculation was released.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have made the following transactions:

Released IMP QB Chris Leak
Chad Kapanui has a chance to break the Sioux City Bandits team passing record tonight.
Quarterback Chad Kapanui needs only six pass completions tonight to break DeGeorgia's old record of 205 set in 2003. Considering the fact that Kapanui's averaging 181.5 yards passing, he'll set a new passing record, currently 327 yards shy of DeGeorgia's 2002 record of 2,405 yards.
Jeff Ulbrich is featured in this article from Matthew Barrows of the Sacramento Bee about the battle at the 49ers strong-side inside linebacker position.
Jeff Ulbrich
Vitals: 6-0, 240.
Experience: Eight-year veteran.

Pro: The savvy Ulbrich isn't afraid to take on guards and fullbacks. He had success playing next to Patrick Willis late last season.

Con: There's concern that Ulbrich will wear down at the physically demanding position. He's also valuable on special teams and in nickel packages.
49ers linebacker coach Mike Singletary talks about Ulbrich in this interview from Barrows' blog.
Q: Jeff Ulbrich is obviously willing to do anything for this team. Is there a concern with him that he couldn't withstand the pounding at the position?

MS: Jeff is very important to what we're doing on this team in leadership and all those things. I think what you're saying is certainly an idea, a thought process. When you've got a guy like Jeff, you want to make sure he's going to last a whole season. You don't want him banged up all the time.

Q: And he's valuable in other areas.

MS: Oh yeah. Very much so. Nickel, big sub - all that kind of stuff.
And finally, Rivals.com ranks Hawaii 81st in the nation in their preseason countdown, just ahead of 4-8 UTEP and 5-7 Wyoming. Right. If they really think UH is going to drop that far, well that's just more motivation for players and coaches, more fools to prove wrong. They just don't know! And that's understandable, with so many unknowns on offense and with the new coaching staff. But from Top 20 last year to 81st?!?! Anyway, being the underdog once again, with what UH fans know about this team, I think it's gonna be a fun year. 83 more days!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Chad Owens Tears ACL, Out for Season

Just when things were starting to go good for him again, Chad Owens suffered a torn ACL in tonight's game against the Grand Rapids Rampage, and is out for the rest of the year.
Crush receiver/kick returner Chad Owens, a former University of Hawaii receiver, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee at the end of the third quarter of Saturday's game on a kickoff return and is out for the year according to the Crush training staff.

Noa, Bess, Arena Games, Projected Lineup

Dave Reardon talks to Kalua Noa about accepting UH's grayshirt offer.
"I'm super excited," said Noa, who completed his senior season with the Cougars last fall. "It's always been in the family."

Noa's father, Henry, played for UH. So did Kalua's older brothers, Kilinahe and Waikoloa.
Here's another video of him, this one from last month's HHSAA Track and Field Championship.

Davone Bess made a nice play in Miami Dolphins minicamp.
The highlight of the afternoon session was the floater Henne connected on with Bess. He put it into the right side of the endzone during redzone drills. Henne put the ball right above the cornerbacks head and Bess jumped high to pull it down.
Here's another one:
Davone Bess, a free agent rookie out of the University of Hawaii, made a nice catch to balance some of his drops. With quarterback John Beck rolling and almost out of room on a red-zone play, he threw into the end zone behind Bess, who managed to reach back against his momentum for the catch.
And Bess is mentioned in this report about the Dolphins' passing game.
The Dolphins also signed Ernest Wilford, who’ll be replacing Marty Booker as the go-to veteran, and rookie Davone Bess, from Hawaii, has turned a few heads this offseason.
A couple of arena football games of interest are being played today. Chad Owens and the Colorado Crush will play the Grand Rapids Rampage. Here's an excerpt from the press release.
WR CHAD OWENS ranks first among rookies in all-purpose yards (1,461). Ranks fourth among rookies in points (90). Ranks fifth among rookies in receiving yards (626), receptions (61) and first downs (38)
Shawn Withy-Allen may play for the AIFA's Fayetteville Guard after being re-signed last week.

Nate Ilaoa of the Columbus Destroyers is out for today's game as he recovers from a dislocated shoulder suffered a few weeks ago.

CFN has an article with projected 2008 WAC starting lineups. Here's who they think will be in UH's starting lineup:
QB 11 Inoke Funaki, 5-11, 195, Jr.
RB 26 Daniel Libre, 5-8, 185, Sr.
Position Spotlight: Everyone's wondering about the passing game and which quarterback will be under center. Literally, under center, which is a change from the shotgun June Jones ran all the time. The Warriors will be able to throw the ball just fine, but now they're going to run it a little bit, too, with Libre playing a big role.

WR 1 Greg Salas, 6-2, 195, So.
WR 89 Malcolm Lane, 6-2, 185, Jr.
WR 5 Mike Washington, 5-7, 175, Sr.
WR 85 Aaron Bain, 5-9, 190, Sr.
OT 77 Aaron Kia, 6-5, 300, Jr.
OG 62 Keith AhSoon, 6-1, 315, Sr.
C 55 John Estes, 6-2, 290, Jr.
OG 51 Latu Tuioti-Mariner, 6-0, 285, Sr.
OT 78 Keoni Steinhoff, 6-3, 280, Sr.
PK 86 Dan Kelly, 6-3, 210, Sr.

DE 94 David Veikune, 6-3, 250, Sr.
DT 96 Fale Laeli, 6-1, 290, Sr.
DT 68 Keala Watson, 6-3, 300, Sr.
DE 58 John Fonoti, 6-3, 250, Jr.
LB 53 Blaze Soares, 6-1, 240, Jr.
LB 17 Solomon Elimimian, 6-0, 220, Sr.
LB 44 Adam Leonard, 6-0, 235, Sr.
CB 2 Ryan Mouton, 5-10, 80, Sr.
SS 35 Keao Monteilh, 5-11, 195, Sr.
FS 24 Desmond Thomas, 6-3, 174 Sr.
CB 3 Jameel Dowling, 6-3, 205, Sr.
P 49 Tim Grasso, 5-11, 221, Sr.
Pretty good list, but of course none of the JC guys are listed and a few of them are supposed to push for playing time right away. Well, hopefully they will, if not this year, then next -- look at all those seniors! Thanks to Fuzzylogic for finding this, among a lot of other articles.

Full List Released

UH has released the full Sugar Bowl travel list.
UH spokesman Gregg Takayama said the school released the entire list after receiving an opinion last week from the Office of Information Practices that the university could not withhold names of people who were on the Sugar Bowl travel list.
Gerald Kato, a University of Hawai'i journalism professor, called the controversy an unnecessary public relations nightmare. The names should have been disclosed early on because the trip involved state funds and the list was public record, he said.

"I'm surprised that the university dragged its feet in releasing the information," said Kato. "The worst part of this delay in releasing the information is that it makes it seem like they have something to hide."
The reason why the 45 names were blacked out in the first place is discussed in this Dave Reardon article.
HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said the employees were in New Orleans to work, and the union's request to black out the names was to discourage "scrutiny, including 'why he went and why he didn't go.'"

"Granted, it's an assignment no one would turn down, but the bottom line is they were going for a purpose," he added. "Our organization was not seeking to protect their (UH's) interest. Our interest was to maintain confidentiality for our employees. We didn't want to see employees subjected to questions like 'Why'd you get to go?'"
Stephen Tsai talks to Perreira as well as athletic director Jim Donovan.
"There are probably several lessons to be learned here, but first and foremost, we need to go back and figure out a better way to get accurate information out," athletic director Jim Donovan said. "Even though I wasn't involved in setting the policy or determining who would go, during my term, we will be committed to correcting this situation and doing things right.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Kalua Noa, WitP, JJ

Doris Sullivan writes that Kaiser wide receiver Kalua Noa accepted UH's greyshirt offer and will become a Warrior in 2009. Here's Noa's high school highlight video. Congratulations to Kalua!


Some Warriors in the Pros news:

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Isaac Sopoaga is one of ten players who have impressed in the offseason, according to Dennis Dillon of the Sporting News.
Sopoaga was at the team facility even before the offseason program started, lifting weights and watching film. At 6-2, 325 pounds, the fifth-year lineman is a massive, powerful man who is one of the strongest players on the team. He can play both tackle and end but is expected to start at end next season in the 49ers' 3-4 defense.
New York Jets cornerback Kenny Patton had limited participation in minicamp practice yesterday, for unspecified reasons.

St. Louis Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa missed a voluntary OTA workout to attend a graduation.

Atlanta Falcons kicker Jason Elam will miss offseason workouts to take a prolonged vacation in Alaska. The coaches knew of it before he signed with Atlanta.
"He will not be here until we report July 25," Smith said. "We're not doing a whole lot of field-goal work anyway. Jason knows how he to be prepared. He'll be ready. This is not his first rodeo."


And finally former UH coach June Jones has become a celebrity endorser for Rudy Nutrition.
"Football players will love the great taste, superior nutritional value,and optimum hydration of Rudy Beverage," said June Jones. "I am very excited to be joining Rudy in sharing this fantastic product with others and spreading his inspirational message of dreaming big and never quitting. I am a Rudy Ruettiger fan."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hawaii Wahine Football Clinic, Sugar Bowl List

Heather and Greg McMackin will be hosting a football clinic for women on Thursday, August 21st at 7pm. UPDATE: The clinic has been moved to August 19th.
The clinic is open to women interested in learning the basic offensive and defensive tactics of football. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet the UH coaching staff. The cost is $10 which includes refreshments, snacks, and a football manual. For those interested in attending, call the Football Office at (808) 956-6508.
Dave Reardon writes that the Hawaii State Ethics Commission is asking UH for info regarding the people in the UH delegation who traveled to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
At issue is whether people not serving a function for the state went at UH, and hence, state expense, which is against Hawaii law.

The UH athletic department released on May 23 a partial list of people who traveled free to the event in New Orleans. Forty-five names of the 550 provided were blacked out due to union concerns, school officials said.

Commission Executive Director Daniel Mollway wants the complete list to help determine whether any laws were broken, specifically the Hawaii State Ethics Code (HRS 84).

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

WitP: H. Satele, Bess, Lelie

Hercules Satele is interviewed by Dusty Wittig of AZRedReport.com. Here's an excerpt:
DW: Who was your biggest football and non-football influence growing up and why?

HS: My biggest football influence came from all of the relatives I have played with in college. I had two relatives that got drafted last year (Samson Satele and Melila Purcell) and they have been through the ropes. When they came back to Hawaii they taught me everything that they have learned and told me what it takes to play at the pro level.
If you have a Scout.com subscription, there's another link on that page to an extended Q&A with Hercules.

Davone Bess returned punts at Miami Dolphins practice today.

And from the Instant 49ers blog, here's an interview with Ashley Lelie. He talks about his decision to leave Denver, learning Mike Martz' offense, and the opportunities the receivers are getting to show what they can do. Here's an excerpt:
QUESTION: Do you view last year as a redshirt year?

LELIE: Yeah, in a way. I think I put an extra year on my career. I didn't get a lot of reps, and I didn't get in there in games, so my body feels fresher. I didn't get banged around. Although it was tough, that was one good thing that came out of last year. In going through a bad season like that, it puts everything in perspective and makes you re-evaluate how you feel about the game.

Warriors in the Pros: Satele, Sopoaga, Lelie, RGM, Chang (w/Colt update)

UPDATE: Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn talks about Colt Brennan, who has been participating in some drills.
Zorn, a driving force behind the decision to select Brennan - a collegiate record-setter at Hawaii - late in the draft, said he is pleased with what he has seen from Brennan thus far.

"He has been in on a seven-on-seven situation and he's starting to come around," Zorn said. "Really, I'm encouraged with Colt. He's doing a great job."
Colt says he's about four weeks away from being fully recovered from hip surgery. Thanks to Jim (not Zorn) for sending the link.


In a feature on the Miami Dolphins, the Sporting News' Jeff Darlington mentions Samson Satele as a breakout candidate:
During his rookie season, Satele often earned the praise of longtime offensive line coach Hudson Houck, who believes the second-year player has what it takes to be a mainstay in this league for a very long time.

Satele is a strong, smart blocker with exceptional leverage. He struggled at times last year as a rookie, but that might have been the result of a weak roster around him. Now that Satele will have an improved supporting cast, including No. 1 overall pick Jake Long, he could even be on the verge of emerging as an elite player at his position.
Isaac Sopoaga talked to the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows about his move from nose tackle to defensive end.
I spoke for a while with Isaac Sopoaga, who is very happy to be playing defensive end as opposed to nose tackle. At the nose, Sopoaga said, he had to contend with two and even three blockers on any given play. At left defensive end he mainly is dealing with one blocker, and he can make better use of his quickness. Sopoaga has been getting all of the first-team reps at left end while Kentwan Balmer has been working with the second team.
With Arnaz Battle missing practice in 49ers camp, Ashley Lelie has been getting more reps, working with the first and second team. Lelie also spoke about Battle and addressed his own holdout from Denver a couple years ago.
The resident expert on staging protest is wide receiver Ashley Lelie who stayed out of training camp after getting demoted from a starter's position when he was in Denver.

"I've talked to him," Lelie said. "When it comes to personal business, only you know what the real deal is. It's a business, you've got to do what's right for you."

In staying away from training camp, Lelie forfeited some money and was eventually dealt to Atlanta. After a disappointing year there, the 49ers signed him last season as an unrestricted free agent where he saw little playing time.

"I don't have regrets," Lelie said about his career decisions the last few years. "I wanted to be in a high-powered offense and now I am."

Coincidentally, Lelie stood out in Tuesday's organized team activity practice, catching several short crossing routes, including clutching several passes that were behind him.
Ryan Grice-Mullen was back practicing with the team after being held out with injury.

Signs point to Timmy Chang's time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats possibly coming to an end.
Timmy Chang put on a brave face Tuesday but he must know it's over.
The decision of new Ticat GM Bob O'Billovich to sign heralded former Florida Gator QB Chris Leak certainly signals that Chang's time with the Ticats is just about over.
And finally, here's your chance to vote for AFL players of the year. Have anybody in mind for Rookie of the Year? Hmmmmmm....

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Chad Owens Show / Withy-Allen / Workouts

Chad Owens went crazy last night, catching 10 passes for 132 yards and 4 TDs, and returning 10 kicks for 228 yards and another TD for the Colorado Crush in a loss. Here's the game stats, and below are some video highlights. Check out that mohawk!

UPDATE: Nathan Boudreaux of ArenaFootball.com praises Owens in this column:
I think I said it in one of my columns a few weeks ago (and I’ll say it again) - Colorado rookie WR/KR Chad Owens is the real deal. Owens is only 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, but his skill-set is perfect for the indoor game. He’s as quick as they come. He’s a solid route runner. And he has pretty good hands – as evident by his pair of one-handed TD catches against New York on Monday night. Owens is simply a play-maker (10 catches for 132 yards and four TDs as a receiver and 10 returns for 228 yards, including a 56-yard kickoff return for a score vs. the Dragons) and single-handedly kept the Crush in the game before eventually falling, 73-65. Since joining the club a little over a month ago, Owens has 61 catches for 626 yards and eight TDs as a receiver to go along with 40 kick returns for 822 yards (20.6 avg.) and a score.

In other arena football news, Shawn Withy-Allen will come out of retirement to rejoin the AIFA's Fayetteville Guard.
The Guard went 12-0 last season with Withy-Allen at quarterback and won the Indoor Football Championship. But with a rewarding new job with a church-sponsored youth program and planning to get married, Withy-Allen decided to hang up his cleats with the Guard after 2007.

However, with Fayetteville struggling at 3-7 and having lost three straight games, Withy-Allen has decided to come back to help his old team.

Stephen Tsai catches up with UH players participating in offseason workouts.
"The newcomers are asking questions, and the veterans are giving good advice, and letting them know the offense," Graunke said. "Everybody is getting a pretty good idea of what's going on out here."

Funaki said: "We help each other because we're one team. And somebody has to be ready if somebody goes down with an injury. It's nice to have everybody familiar with the offense."
And Brian McInnis talks to receiver Mike Tinoco about learning the offense.
"I'm kind of used to that offensive style," he said. "It's just different route-running. At JC, if you had a route, that's all you could do. There was a couple times you would switch it up, but here, you got options all over the place. It's good -- it really makes you read the defense. (Improvisation) is good, I like that."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Colt, 49ers, Kajiyama, CO!

Good news for Colt Brennan as he was able to participate in individual drills for the Washington Redskins today.
Rookie quarterback Colt Brennan took his first snaps as a Redskin, participating in individual drills during Monday's practice.

Brennan is nearing the end of his rehab assignment. He had hip surgery in early April.

Because of the surgery, coaches are bringing Brennan along slowly. If he impresses in preseason, he could be the Redskins' third quarterback in 2008.
In 49ers workouts today, Ashley Lelie practiced with the second team while Jeff Ulbrich was lined up as first-team left ILB. And Isaac Sopoaga made an impressive play at first-team left defensive end.
-With Jennings out, rookie Chilo Rachal worked with the starting offensive line at right tackle and looked pretty good. Here's how Rachal performed in his last series of team drills:
-Gets beat badly on an inside pass rush by Isaac Sopoaga.
Stephen Tsai writes that graduate assistant Brian Kajiyama will have expanded duties this year.

And if you're not watching ESPN2, turn to it now cuz you just missed Chad Owens score a touchdown!

UPDATE: The Colorado Crush lost, but Chad Owens had an amazing game with 10 catches for 132 yards and 4 TDs. He also returned a kickoff for a TD. He ended up with over 350 total yards.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Road Games Tickets, WitP

After being offered exclusively to 2007 season ticket holders in May, tickets to the Florida and Oregon State road games will go on sale to the general public starting tomorrow.
The forms will be available online at www.hawaiiathletics.com or by calling the UH Athletics ticket office at 956-4483. Ticket supplies are limited, with a maximum of four per person.

The Warriors open their season against the Gators at The Swamp on Saturday, Aug. 30, and visit the Beavers two weeks later Saturday, Sept. 13.

Leonard Peters is mentioned as a possible surprise for the Chicago Bears in a Q&A on their website.
Other young players who could surprise this season are safeties Kevin Payne and Leonard Peters. Coaches I’ve spoken to are high on both players.
Mel Purcell's chances with the Cleveland Browns are mentioned in a couple articles from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. From Terry Pluto:
With four experienced and talented linemen, the Browns can keep everyone rested. They have flexibility because Shaun Smith and Rogers can both play nose tackle, and both can play end. The Browns say they'd like a fifth lineman to be on the field for about 10 snaps a game, and that guy will probably come from the group of Chase Pittman, Louis Leonard, Melila Purcell and possibly rookie Ahtyba Rubin.
From Tony Grossi:
Hey, Tony: How do you see the defensive line depth shaking up after the big 4? Also, do you think there will be any June 1st cuts from the Browns? -- Greg, Washington, D.C.

Hey, Greg: After the big four, I expect the backups to be rookie Ahtyba Rubin and the winner of the Chase Pittman-Melila Purcell battle.
Pisa Tinoisamoa is mentioned in this St. Louis Rams blog on MVN.com.
So, as it stands right now, I expect to see a starting lineup of Will Witherspoon at MLB, Pisa Tinoisamoa at WLB, and Chris Draft at SLB when the season opens in Philly on September 7th. This is a pretty solid group.
If Tinoisamoa goes down, things will get dicey.
In UIF news, Chad Kapanui's Sioux City Bandits lost a heartbreaker to the Sioux Falls Storm last night. Kapanui was also held to well below his average offensive output.
Sioux Falls, the league leader in several defensive categories, including pass defense (122.5 yards per game), held the high-flying Kapanui to 9 of 19 passing for 102 yards and only one touchdown.

Kapanui, who came into the game ranked third in total offense (201.2 ypg), was under 50 percent passing for the first time this season.
In the AFL, the Grand Rapids Rampage placed former UH offensive lineman Brandon Eaton on recallable waivers. Hope they recall him.

And in the AIFA, the Columbus Lions' Turmarian Moreland is recovering from a foot injury.
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