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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Future Warriors: Psych!

Via Waryor on Sportshawaii.com, Long Beach Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa has "officially" decommitted from UH and will go to UCLA.
Long Beach Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa talked about why he gave UCLA a verbal commitment tonight.
"It's a close to home, and I felt more at home here,'' Tepa said. "I like the campus. It's beautiful. The coaching staff is wonderful and the players make you feel comfortable being around them. That's why I chose UCLA."
And, for those wondering, he was the silent commit I had spoken about before.
Is it February 4th yet?!

Warriors in the Pros: LaBoy, Bess

Ginger Rough (awesome name) of the Arizona Republic mentions Travis LaBoy's status in an article about treating the Cardinals' injuries.
Like most NFL teams, the Cardinals generally decline to talk about specific treatments they use on injured players, citing privacy.

Such is the case with defensive end Travis LaBoy, who is pushing hard to play in tomorrow's game despite a biceps injury that sidelined him in the NFC Championship.

Athletic trainer Reed will say that LaBoy, like others recovering from injuries, will receive a variety of therapies.

"It's a shotgun approach," Reed said. "We're using everything we can and we're treating around the clock."
Cardinals' coach Ken Whisenhunt says LaBoy is expected to be ready.
While the four men on the injury report were limited – running back J.J. Arrington (knee), punter Ben Graham (groin), defensive end Antonio Smith (knee) and defensive end Travis LaBoy (bicep) – Whisenhunt said all were progressing nicely. All are expected to be available against the Steelers.
And KGMB's Liz Chun interviewed Davone Bess about his rookie season with the Dolphins. Chun also highlights the Leukemia Lymphoma Society benefit that Bess and Colt Brennan attend.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Spring 2009 Roster

Stephen Tsai has posted a tentative spring roster. Some new and interesting names/positions:
  • QB - Inoke Funaki (on the move to RB or SB?)
  • QB - Bryant Moniz (former Leilehua QB)
  • WR - Corey Paclebar (Portland State transfer)
  • RB - Kimo Alo
  • RB - Kennedy Carlson (former Punahou RB)
  • RB - Kahekili Kalalau
  • RB - Bryce Kalauokaaea (back to QB?)
  • RB - Daniel Libre (still petitioning for medical redshirt)
  • RB - Hogan Rosehill (former BIIF all-star)
  • DB - Marvin Judd
  • DB - Fefootai Papalii
  • DB - Cody Walker
  • DL - Abraham Cavco-Amoy
  • DL - Aaron Rink (from Scottsdale CC, check out his highlights)
The roster also includes mid-year JC transfers Brett Leonard, Rodney Bradley, Lametrius Davis, Tank Hopkins and David Hafoka, along with early enroller Billy Ray Stutzmann.

RGM at Willows, Kevin Williams to Idaho, EFC Camp

Dave Reardon writes that Ryan Grice-Mullen will be joining Colt Brennan, Davone Bess and others at "An Evening with Colt Brennan," a benefit for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Hawaii being held February 3rd at the Willows restaurant. Here's the official website.

Via dabowman, JC corner Kevin Williams has apparently decommited from UH and will become an Idaho Vandal.

And the Advertiser has some info about the upcoming football fundamental skills camp for kids, which is run by Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala along with some former Warriors like Nate Ilaoa and Wes Keliikipi. Here is the Extreme Fitness Club's official website.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Future Warriors: David Graves

Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee has an article about the recruiting season that includes a mention of UH commit David Graves:
Folsom's David Graves isn't the prototypical drop-back passer with the Peyton Manning size, but The Bee's Player of the Year has special skills. He's a master at the spread formation offense, a craze in college football, and his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame, speed and instincts make for quite a package. USC and Florida didn't come calling, but Hawaii and its spread offense did. Graves accepted the Warriors' offer.

"He's not that huge quarterback some colleges look for, but put four or five receivers around him, the quick snaps, the quick decisions, and he's a natural," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said.
And Stephen Tsai writes that Graves has reaffirmed his commitment.
It’s been open season on UH recruits.
But don’t worry about quarterback David Graves.
“I’m definitely still with Hawai‘i,” Graves said.
He said quarterback Nick Rolovich made a home visit the past Monday.
“For sure, I’m signing with Hawai‘i,” Graves said. “Everything is A-OK. I’m pretty excited.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Travis LaBoy (w/UPDATES)

AZCardinals.com has a Travis LaBoy injury update:
Whisenhunt said defensive end Travis LaBoy is getting more comfortable with his biceps injury. LaBoy is wearing a special brace and Whisenhunt said the Cards will “get more of a focused look” at how LaBoy will be for Super Bowl Sunday.
And KGMB's Liz Chun had a feature on the three players with Hawaii ties in the Super Bowl -- LaBoy, Aaron Francisco and Chris Kemoeatu.

UPDATE (1/29/09): LaBoy is profiled by Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.
Not all of LaBoy's luck with the Cardinals has been good.

After signing a five-year, $22 million contract with roughly $7.5 million in guarantees he got off to a great start.

He had two sacks in the season opener and four in his first five games. Then he battled leg and ankle injuries, groin pulls and neck strains. He suffered a biceps tendon injury in the NFC Championship, but practiced Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday.

He hasn't recorded a sack since Oct. 5 and he's missed four games.

"It's kind of been a tale of two seasons for me,'' LaBoy said. "A lot of it was injuries, some of it the frustration of injuries.''
UPDATE 2: Jack Magruder interviews LaBoy in a special to the Advertiser.
Win or lose, LaBoy's post-Super Bowl plans are set.

"We have two or three days of packing and we're out to the Islands for a good two months if possible," he said.

"We try to get back as much as we can. The last offseason got a little short with us having to move, but we look forward to getting back out there this year."

Recruiting Trail, Iuta Tepa Decommits?

Stephen Tsai writes about the UH coaches out on the recruiting trail.
UH coaches Ron Lee, Cal Lee, George Lumpkin and Nick Rolovich are on the Mainland making home visits to prospects who have given verbal commitments to the Warriors. (Ron Lee’s flight was snow-postponed yesterday in Oklahoma City.)
What’s more, assistant coach Brian Smith is heading to American Samoa.
And Greg McMackin has visited prospects on O‘ahu.
This is a hectic time heading into the final weekend before the Feb. 4 signing date.
And on SportsHawaii.com, bowfan excerpts a Scout.com article that has UH recruit Iuta Tepa saying he is no longer considering UH.
Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa (6-2, 240) said he no longer considers himself a commit to Hawaii, and that he’s no longer considering the Warriors. That bodes well for UCLA, where he’s visiting this weekend, and who he said is his leader.

“I’m visiting UCLA this weekend and I’m not even really thinking about Hawaii anymore,” said Tepa. “Right now, I’m focused on staying here. I haven’t committed yet but I’m pretty excited about UCLA. If everything goes right, I’ll probably commit this weekend. I just talked to Stan (Stanjarivus McKay) about what was going on and he was saying to commit.”

Tepa visited Hawaii and Oregon this month, and had good experiences on both visits.

“With Hawaii, it was my first time visiting there,” said Tepa. “It’s nice out there. It was humid but still nice. They have the whole city thing going on and they have the beach right there.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aulola Tonga, Gary Nagy?

Paul Honda writes about Kahuku's Aulola Tonga committing to UH.
Tonga's decision came down to two factors: staying home near family, and the complicated web of changes on the continent.

"My mom liked Coach Mack when she met him. He said he'd take care of me," Tonga said of Warriors coach Greg McMackin. "It's a chance to play soon and stay close to home, play in front of everybody."
Honda also notes the other Red Raiders playing for UH.
Like Funaki, Tonga expects to go on a Mormon mission. Tonga follows a growing line of Red Raiders now suiting up in green and black. He and linebacker Kamalani Alo join transfer Gary Nagy (BYU) and recent recruits Alema Tachibana and Paipai Falemalu, plus walk-on Richard Torres.
That's the first I've heard of Nagy's transfer. Here's his BYU player profile. He was the 13th ranked prospect coming out of Hawaii in 2007, according to Rivals.com

Monday, January 26, 2009

UNGL On Hold

The United National Gridiron League has postponed its scheduled February 8th debut until March 22nd.
League CEO Marvin Tomlin said the delay stems from its primary investor withdrawing from his financial commitment.

"We are very disappointed considering we had everything in place from team rosters to coaches, general managers and stadiums," Tomlin said. "We will, however, use this time period to engage previous investors as well as entertain new ones."

The UNGL still plans to begin play with 48-man teams in eight cities: Dallas, Miami, Akron, Birmingham, Shreveport, Columbus (Ga.), Winston-Salem and Norfolk. The Connecticut-based UNGL hopes to eventually become a feeder system to the NFL and has even met with league officials to discuss the possibility of a future partnership.
As I posted previously, ex-UH football players Karl Noa, Myron Newberry, Gerard Lewis, Ryan Keomaka and James Michael Bessard are on UNGL team rosters. Let's hope the league can find new investors, which doesn't sound like an easy task in this economy.

Future Warriors: Mike Wadsworth

Ray Brewer of the Las Vegas Sun profiles UH commit Mike Wadsworth.
Barely 100 pounds as a seventh grader, Wadsworth displayed the athleticism that has made him a star at Silverado the past two years. A certain excitement ripples through the stadium each time Wadsworth touches the ball, and regardless of his small stature, he finds ways to compete.

That is something fans at the University of Hawaii will soon learn. Wadsworth, a safety and kick returner, is one of four players with ties to Henderson who are expected to sign letters of intent on Feb. 4.

Not many players Wadsworth's size — he was 5-foot-9, 120 pounds as a freshman — go on to play in college.

But, then again, not many have the drive of Wadsworth.

Warriors in the Pros: Colt Brennan

Gary Fitzgerald of Redskins.com interviews Colt Brennan about adjusting to the NFL in his rookie season. Some excerpts:
The easygoing, seemingly care-free quarterback called himself a “sponge” in his rookie season. He soaked in the NFL experience, learning the nuances of playing quarterback at the highest level.

“It’s nice to have the first season done, because now you have finally seen it and you know it,” Brennan said. “You’re not questioning anything anymore. It was a great experience. I finally got to see what the NFL is all about.”
And then there’s his throwing motion.

When the Redskins selected Brennan last April, NFL draft gurus wondered if he would be able to adapt his sidearm release to a more conventional throwing motion.

With head coach Jim Zorn emphasizing a strong, high release, Brennan has worked to adjust how he throws the ball.

The sidearm release, so prevalent last preseason, is not as prominent now, Brennan said.

It’s still there, though.

And that may be okay.

“[Coach Zorn] told me, ‘As long as you’re accurate with the football and you can get the ball there, I want you to be comfortable,’” Brennan said.

O-Line News

Stephen Tsai has some news about incoming offensive linemen.
Offensive lineman Whitley Fehoko, at the moment, is not a member of the UH football team.

* * *

UH’s four walk-on offensive linemen are Bronson Tiwanak, David Garness, Ikaika Rodenhurst and Kainoa LaCount. Yes, LaCount will join as a walk-on this summer.

February 4th Info

HawaiiAthletics.com has more info about the 100th anniversary and LOI day celebration at Murphy's.
Head Coach Greg McMackin will discuss each of the student-athletes that officially signed with the Warriors earlier in the day and there will be video highlights of the recruits. The first day that football recruits can sign a National Letter of Intent with NCAA schools is Wednesday, Feb. 4.

“We have been working extremely hard to put together a quality recruiting class and we’re excited about announcing our new Warriors,” McMackin said. “I hope we have a great turnout at Murphy’s on Feb. 4, so we can celebrate our new players and the 100th Anniversary of UH football with our fans.”
And here's more info about UH accepting new season ticket deposits beginning on the 4th.
The cost for seven exciting home contests in 2009 is the same as the seven-game package in 2008 (see prices and home opponents below). Deposits for new season tickets can be paid online at HawaiiAthletics.com and are for seats in the upper sideline and endzone sections. Current season-ticket holders will be mailed renewal information in March.

Fans placing a $50 deposit by Friday, March 27, will receive a coupon for four (4) free tickets to a 2009 men’s volleyball or baseball game and a coupon from Rainbowtique for 25% off UH merchandise. Depositors will also qualify for the chance to win a Trip for Two to Las Vegas, compliments of Vacations Hawaii and California Hotel & Casino (no purchase required and entry forms for the Las Vegas trip are available at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office).

Aulola Tonga, Alex Green and Kevin Bell to Join UH

Stephen Tsai writes that Kahuku safety Aulola Tonga will become a Warrior.
"I told coach (Greg McMackin) I wanted to be a Warrior," said Tonga, who is 6 feet 3 and 200 pounds. He said he is capable of running 40 yards in under 4.6 seconds.

Tonga also has a 38-inch vertical jump. At Kahuku, he has earned letters in basketball, volleyball, baseball, track and field and football.

Next month, he will earn his Eagle Scout ranking. His project was to build a sandbox for a preschool in Kahuku.

"I wanted to play in front of my family and friends," said Tonga, who turned down offers from UCLA and Brigham Young. "I think there's a chance I can play right away."
Tsai also writes about running back Alex Green committing, and kicker Kevin Bell expected to join the team as a preferred walk-on.
Green also visited Hawai'i the past weekend, and came away impressed with the UH's coaches and players.

"The city is beautiful," Green said. "The people are great. They made me feel welcomed."
Bell received offers from Miami, Boise State, Utah and Air Force.

But he said Hawai'i is "a great place, really great culture. All of the people are nice. The weather is nice."

Bell is 5 feet 9 and 170 pounds. He said his range is 60 yards.
Congrats to all of them!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend News, WitPs, Etc.

Stephen Tsai writes that Butte College running back Alex Greene will become a Warrior.

Speaking of "future Warriors," linebacker Liloa Nobriga has apparently decommitted from UH and will sign with Colorado. Maybe.

No matter who ends up signing with UH, there will be a "recruiting celebration" on February 4th at Murphy's Bar and Grill.
UH fans are invited to celebrate the 2009 football recruiting class Feb. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Merchant Street in front of Murphy's Bar & Grill Downtown. Head coach Greg McMackin will discuss each of the student-athletes who officially signed with the Warriors earlier in the day and there will be video highlights of the recruits.
Also on February 4th, UH will begin accepting deposits for new football season tickets.

Scout.com has an analysis of the Senior Bowl and lists David Veikune as one of the "up-and-comers".
Hawaii DE David Veikune played with a high motor and showed great athleticism off the edge at the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-2, 255 pound Veikune used his quickness and deceptive strength to gain the upper hand against the likes of Ole Miss OT Michael Oher and Tulane OT Troy Kropog. Veikune doesn’t do anything fancy and isn’t a technician by any means, but he has a quick first step and uses his speed and balance to get into the backfield. On Saturday night, Veikune was held in check and came away with just two tackles, but he recovered a key fumble. He’s an interesting prospect and someone you will want to keep an eye on at the Scouting Combine. He’s a workout warrior and could ultimately land in the third round.
According to the Field Gulls blog, the Seattle Seahawks met with Veikune during Senior Bowl week.

Following up on what kalaika17 posted earlier this month, the Miami Herald reports on Samson Satele's shoulder injury.
One factor in center Samson Satele's up-and-down play (according to the Dolphins' thinking) is that he played all season with problems in his right shoulder and was diagnosed this month with a torn labrum. He had recent surgery and should be fine for next season. Satele (295 pounds) and the Dolphins want him to bulk up -- he's shooting for 305-310.
In a special to the Star-Bulletin, Mark Brown profiles Travis LaBoy, who is battling through injury as he gets ready for the Super Bowl.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated LaBoy should take his place at right defensive end, and complement an improving defense. Still, there remains a cautious approach to the former University of Hawaii standout, and the Cardinals are taking a deliberate method.

"He's getting more comfortable with his elbow, and what he's going to do to be able to play," Whisenhunt said. "I think next week we will get more of a focused look on how limited he would possibly be if Travis would be limited at all. That's going to be the determining factor in how much he plays."
And Dave Reardon writes that Dane Uperesa, who recently retired from playing football, will now be coaching football.
Don ‘t be surprised to see an influx of talent from Hawaii at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Dane Uperesa, a standout at right tackle on Hawaii’s 11-3 team of 2006, will coach the offensive line there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Taylor, Watson, Tryouts, Ching Field, Early Signing Period

Stephen Tsai writes that Jovonte Taylor is back.
Taylor withdrew from classes the past October when he suffered a viral infection.
“I lost 25 pounds, to be exact,” said Taylor, whose weight dropped to 153. “I thought I was dying, man. It was beyond scary. I laid in the bed for 3 1/2 weeks straight. I lost my appetite.”
He returned home to Los Angeles to recuperate.
He said he now weighs 180 pounds.
He also is hopeful of receiving a medical hardship that will allow him to extend his UH career through the 2010 season.
Tsai also wrote that Keala Watson has retired from football.
Former UH defensive tackle Keala Watson is being forced to retire from football.
Watson had a productive career with the Warriors despite suffering from Von Willebrand disorder, a condition similar to hemophilia in which a chemical deficiency does not allow his blood to clot normally.
A blood-clotting medicine enabled Watson to play for the Warriors.
But recent medical tests showed that the medication had diminished efficiency in treating his disorder.
Tsai covered yesterday's UH football walk-on tryouts. Some of the participants were:
Offensive lineman David Garness, an invited walk-on, was raised in Alaska.

Jonovan Santos coaches football, basketball and track at Mililani High School.
Bryant Moniz, who led Leilehua to the state championship game as a sophomore in 2004, was among the candidates. Moniz, who played at Fresno City College, is competing as a quarterback. He wore a black T-shirt with the words: All Bizness.

As a Kahuku High offensive lineman in 2002, Joseph Napeahi was named to the All-State second team. He received interest from Nebraska, Washington and Utah.
Defensive end Aaron Rink attended the tryouts, although his place on the roster is solidified. Rink is 6 feet 3 1/2 and 228 pounds. He is capable of running 40 yards in 4.52 seconds.
The Advertiser has some photos from the tryouts as well as a video from Leila Wai.

Jason Kaneshiro writes about the soon-to-be-completed Ching Field.
The installation of the artificial surface at the former Cooke Field is in its final stages and a formal dedication is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 2.

And with the Hawaii football team hosting prospects over a series of weekend visits this month, the new field gives the Warriors staff something else to show off.

"The recruits look out our windows and see that big Hawaii (logo) out there and the field, and a lot of them have mentioned that," Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin said. "It shows the support that we're getting and I think it helps all the sports. It's really a positive influence on everything."
The grass practice field will now be named Cooke Field.
With Ching Field soon to be completed, Cooke Field will remain a part of the lower campus as the upper grass practice field where the football team practices will be given that designation. It will be the fourth site on campus to bear that name.
And Dave Reardon endorses an early signing period for college football.
People ask me about UH's recruiting class. I tell them check back with me Feb. 4, letter-of-intent day.

Now, if you want to ask me about recruiting, in general, I will tell you this: If college football is truly interested in competitive balance and living up to its lofty ideals, it would install an early-signing period instead of voting the idea down as it did last week.

Making some commitments binding early would make sense and save dollars -- but only for cash-strapped programs, like most college teams including Hawaii.
A leveling concession was made many years ago with the 85-scholarship limit. Those at the top of the pile are wary of anything else headed toward balance. Whatever rhetoric you may hear, never forget this: Balance -- and hence, fairness -- is not the goal of those in power. Keeping the money-printing machine for the BCS humming is.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WitPs: Veikune, Ingram, LaBoy, UNGL Players

Here's another good Senior Bowl practice review for David Veikune.
David Veikune, DE, Hawaii: No matter who he is up against, even Oher, Veikune doesn't back down. His motor always runs. He's strong at the point of attack and works very hard to reach the quarterback on every play. It's hard not to be impressed with his effort.
Jake Ingram gets a mention in a DraftCountdown.com report.
For the first time this week I got to see Hawaii LS Jake Ingram in action and he appeared to have good zip and put a nice spiral on his snaps.
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic talks to Travis LaBoy about his latest injury.
He's been nicked up and battered as much as anybody on the Cardinals' roster, having battled leg and ankle injuries, groin pulls and neck strains, and most recently, a biceps tendon problem that knocked him out early of the NFC Championship Game.

"There's no way I'm missing this next game," defensive end/outside linebacker Travis LaBoy said after practice on Thursday, referring to Super Bowl XLIII against the Steelers on Feb. 1.

LaBoy was limited in workouts when the Cardinals returned to the practice field, but he said his sore left arm has improved and added, "I'm going to feel way better than I did this last game, and in that one, I only played like five plays or something."
"I'm ready to go. I feel fresh, actually. I haven't really played since the Vikings game five weeks ago or so. I think I played 10 snaps in the playoffs against Carolina and just five last week against the Eagles, so I think I feel fresher than I did back in preseason. I feel my best and hopefully, it will show."
The rosters for the new United National Gridiron League have been released and they include several former UH players.

Former UH defensive end Karl Noa is on Team North Carolina, and is listed as a linebacker.

Former UH cornerbacks Myron Newberry and Gerard Lewis are on Team Texas. There's also an OT named James Michael Bessard who is listed as having played for Hawaii as well as Texas Southern. Looks like he was a freshman tight end at UH during Von Appen's last season.

And former UH cornerback Ryan Keomaka is on Team Ohio.

The season is supposed to begin February 8th.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WitPs: More David Veikune

NFL.com has a video of the defensive linemen taking on the offensive linemen at Senior Bowl practice. There's footage of David Veikune beating his man at the beginning of the video and then at twice more starting at the 3:07 mark. It might start with a commercial.

DraftCountdown.com has a brief mention of Veikune.
Hawaii DE David Veikune mostly tried to speed rush off the edge and when that didn't work he was basically finished and rendered useless.
TFYdraft.com has a better review from Wednesday's practice.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Not quite the performance seen yesterday, but still solid. Veikune excelled rushing the passer but was not as effective against the run. The end definitely had troubles holding his ground against the likes of Mississippi’s Michael Oher on this day. He did display a nice speed rush off the edge against some of the heavier tackles in drills.
And here's another review from Tuesday, from DraftDaddy.com:
Hawaii DE David Veikune showed excellent speed around the edge, and a nice inside rip in pass rush drills, getting the better of some pretty highly touted athletes. Veikune is a player who might get washed out at the point of attack when a team runs at him, but stopping the run probably isn't going to pay his bills. He could be an interesting stand up 3-4 LB prospect.

More on Ikaika Malloe's Departure

Jason Kaneshiro:
"It's very tough," Malloe said. "Even now that I've made the decision it's still tough. ... It's been very stressful over the last week.

"My ultimate goal, like I told Coach McMackin, is to someday be in his position (as a head coach). I feel God has blessed me with this opportunity and I want to make the best of it."

Malloe's departure leaves the Warriors two vacancies on the coaching staff. Alex Gerke left UH last month to coach the offensive line at Utah State.
Stephen Tsai:
"He's an awesome coach," former UH long-snapper Jake Ingram said of Malloe.

UH head coach Greg McMackin praised Malloe's work during "the transition year."

Malloe welcomes the challenge. "You've got a local boy at an Ivy League school?" he said, laughing. "Now I have to brush up on my English."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WitPs: David Veikune at Senior Bowl Practice

Three different observers, three different opinions of David Veikune's performance vs Michael Oher at Senior Bowl practice...

Mississippi OT Michael Oher and Hawaii DE David Veikune really got after it in one-on-one drills. Neither side would give any quarter. Oher really seemed to be playing with considerable intensity in the drills I saw early on.
Scott Wright of DraftCountdown.com:
David Veikune was on the losing end of a number of battles with Oher and Robert Ayers was put on the ground in one of his matchups. However, consistency is a major issue with Oher and that reared its ugly head again today, with Veikune beating him inside and outside on consecutive plays. However after that lapse Oher resumed his dominating ways.
Tony Pauline, Special to SI.com:
David Veikune/DE/Hawaii: Veikune has worked hard the past two days and improved his game. The former Warrior was tenacious in run defense and also flew off the edge as a pass rusher. Several of his battles against top-rated left tackle Michael Oher ended up in his favor. In one instance he had the potential first-round pick twisted like a pretzel as Oher failed to protect the quarterback from Veikune's speed.
And here are some summaries of Veikune's days so far from TFYDraft.com:
Monday Practice Notes: Showed very good speed and quickness with good lateral pursuit, but had trouble shedding blocks when he got locked up.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Best day of the bunch. Started the practice by really being a hard assignment against the run. He read his keys and fought hard against pressure. His pass rush was impressive today, even making top rated left tackle Michael Oher look bad on an occasion or two. Plus he worked hard on every down, just a tenacious defender.

Malloe Leaving, Recruiting News

Some interesting news items from Dave Reardon today. He writes that UH assistant coach Ikaika Malloe is leaving to coach at Yale.
Three sources close to the situation have told me Hawaii defensive tackles and special teams coach Ikaika Malloe is leaving UH to be an assistant coach at Yale. One of them said Malloe has informed head coach Greg McMackin. Malloe has not returned recent phone calls from the Star-Bulletin. Malloe’s connection is new Yale head coach Tom Williams, who was an assistant at Washington, where Malloe was a star player.
And on Quick Reads, Reardon writes that Punahou QB Kimo Makaula, who was recruited to UH as a defensive end, has switched his commitment to Washington. Also, receiver Kalua Noa will go to Portland State instead of UH.

UPDATE: Stephen Tsai has quotes from Greg McMackin and Ikaika Malloe regarding his departure.
In a tearful announcement, assistant coach Ikaika Malloe confirmed that he has accepted the defensive coordinator’s job at Yale.
“We’re going to miss having what we have here,” said Malloe, a Kamehameha Schools graduate. His wife also was raised in Hawai‘i.
“My heart will always be here,” he added. “My heart will never leave here. … It’s been a dream of mine to not only be a coordinator, but to one day be a head coach. You’ll never know if you’ll get another chance. I don’t want to regret not taking it.”

Warriors in the Pros: LaBoy undergoes MRI

Travis LaBoy will undergo an MRI to exam his injured biceps.
The one injury that the Arizona Cardinals are monitoring entering their Super Bowl preparations is a biceps injury suffered by defensive end Travis LaBoy during the NFC championship game.

LaBoy's playing status is not clear yet.

Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt said during a news conference Monday it wasn't known if the injury is a strain or a tear, and LaBoy was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Neo Cat takes on Agent Smith Puppies

Just a little off-topic, but this is better than the last two Matrix films.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: LaBoy in the Super Bowl

Cardinals DE Travis LaBoy had to leave today's NFC Championship game with a left bicep injury, but Arizona won and now they're headed to the Super Bowl. Richard Obert of the Marin Independent Journal talked to LaBoy after the game.
"Injuries or not, we're going to the Super Bowl," said LaBoy, who has four sacks this season. "At the very least, we're the second-best team in the world right now."

The Cardinals are starting to make believers out of everybody.
LaBoy said he thinks he can contribute in the final game. He'll have two weeks to heal. That's plenty of time, he feels. He doesn't call this journey bittersweet.

"There's no bitter to this," LaBoy said. "I'm grateful to be part of this."

2009 Schedule Update

Jason Kaneshiro has more about the schedule change for the Navy game, and writes about the rest of the 2009 schedule.
The game was previously set for Nov. 21, but Navy requested the game at Aloha Stadium be rescheduled a week later.

"They wanted to move the game, and we were able to accommodate them," UH associate athletic director Carl Clapp said.

The Western Athletic Conference schedule has yet to be completed and the Warriors had an open date on Nov. 28. UH will play its eight-game WAC schedule over a nine-week stretch between Sept. 26 and Nov. 21.
The latest move gives the Midshipmen bye weeks on either side of their cross-country trip from Annapolis, Md., to Honolulu. Navy has a home game against Delaware on Nov. 14, and closes against Army on Dec. 12 in Philadelphia.

Warriors in the Pros: Colt, LaBoy, Mouton

Chris Cooley, Todd Yoder and Colt Brennan preview today's NFL championship games.



Speaking of the NFC Championship game, Cardinals defensive end Travis LaBoy is listed as questionable but is expected to play in today's game.

And Ryan Mouton had two tackles and a pass breakup in yesterday's East-West Shrine Game.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Warriors in the Bowls: Mouton, Veikune, Ingram

HawaiiAthletics.com has an article about the three Warriors participating in All-Star games. Ryan Mouton plays in the East-West Shrine game tomorrow while Jake Ingram and David Veikune play in the Senior Bowl on January 24th.
The 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game, one of the oldest and most respected of all the college all-star games, will take place at the University of Houston’s Robertson. Kick-off is 3:00 p.m. CST and will be televised on ESPN2.
(The Senior Bowl) will take place at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 24. Kick-off is 6:00 p.m. CST and will be televised on the NFL Network.

Navy Game Moved to November 28

Via uhwarriors and the Star-Bulletin, the Naval Academy announced that next season's UH-Navy game is being moved to November 28th.
ANNAPOLIS, Md.-Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced today that the Navy-Hawaii football game, originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21, has been moved back one week to Saturday, Nov. 28.

Pierce Burton Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that lineman Pierce Burton will become a Warrior.
Pierce Burton of Sacramento’s Rio Americano High has accepted a scholarship offer from the Warriors.
Burton is 6 feet 7 and 250 pounds. He played on the offensive and defensive lines, but, more than likely, he projects to play offensive tackle for the Warriors.
Congrats to Pierce!

Here's Stephen Tsai's article on Burton.
An athletic high school lineman from Sacramento has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Hawai'i football team.

"I decided to commit," said Pierce Burton of Rio Americano High. "It's the place for me."

By accepting, he is turning down an appointment from the U.S. Military Academy. He also received interest from Boise State and San Jose State.

"Right now, (the Warriors) are recruiting me as an athlete," said Burton, who is 6 feet 7 and 250 pounds. "It depends on how my body develops. If I stay the same size and get stronger, I'll be a defensive lineman. They're hoping I'll gain 50 pounds and be an offensive tackle. They think with my height and build, I should be an offensive lineman."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: C.J. Hawthorne

The Buffalo Bills have signed former UH receiver C.J. Hawthorne to a future free agent contract. He was on the Bills' practice squad this past season.
Hawthorne and Huggins have been the most impressive through the course of the season as both possess 4.4 speed and have demonstrated steady hands.

They along with fellow receiver Mike Jefferson all figure to have added opportunity in offseason workouts as second-round pick James Hardy will be busy rehabilitating from ACL knee surgery.
UPDATE: Bills' blogger Chris Brown has more on Hawthorne.
Of all the future free agents (2008 practice squad players) re-signed by the Bills, Felton Huggins and C.J. Hawthorne are two of the most promising as I see it.
Hawthorne is cat-quick and gets in and out of routes in a hurry. He’s that classic smurf receiver. Unfortunately NFL teams are always looking for more size at the position. But both are good players to have in reserve should injuries hit the receiver position. And if they can each take another step forward with their games this offseason they may be able to push people on the 53-man roster.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: LaBoy, Lelie, Satele, Singletary

Travis LaBoy was limited in practice today as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

4uhfan finds this article about Ashley Lelie's biggest game of the season on the Raiders' website.

The Miami Herald has some possible news about Samson Satele.
There's sentiment inside the Dolphins that they need a bigger center than Samson Satele (295-300 pounds), and a Satele trade wouldn't surprise anyone. If Miami moves him to right guard, it would create an intriguing battle among Satele, Donald Thomas (who will be ready for minicamp) and underdog Andy Alleman.
And former UH assistant coach Vantz Singletary has been hired by the 49ers to coach the inside linebackers.

Interesting Job Posting

Via wearewarriors on WSN, looks like UH is looking for a new assistant coach.
Assistant Football Coach (Offensive Line Coach), position number 80512, UHM Athletics, (Manoa), revolving funds Duties: Assist and participates in practice and intercollegiate competitions. Teach necessary skills from the basic fundamentals to the techniques and strategies of team play. Promote and foster a positive team environment, appropriate behavior, and sportsmanship by team members. Responsible for the conduct of team members both on and off the field/court. Promote the physical and mental well being of all program participants. Assist with evaluating, recruiting and selecting qualified prospects who have the ability to compete in the classroom and athletically.
It could just be a replacement for Alex Gerke, who coached the running backs and assisted Brian Smith with the offensive line. Or maybe not! Hmmm.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From the Blogs: Nielsen Chat, Bess Joins Benefit, GDL

Stephen Tsai has incoming QB Corey Nielsen answer some fan questions. Here's an excerpt:
6. Did you see the offensive struggles of 2008 as a motivation to come to UH better than you have ever been to take hold of our run-and-shoot or did you see this as more of a challenge to overcome as you have seen players struggle to work together as a unit to make the offense successful?
Corey: I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to come in and help the Hawai‘i program. The run-and-shoot offense is based on the QB’s understanding of the offense and his ability to get the ball off on time. That is definitely my strength. I feel very comfortable with the Hawai‘i run-and-shoot offense.
And Dave Reardon writes that Davone Bess will join Colt Brennan at his "An Evening with Colt Brennan" benefit for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Check out the event homepage for more info. Looks like if you have $3500 and nine friends, you can sit with Bess:
Just confirmed! Davone Bess will be in attendance! A special table has been set up for you and your 9 guests to join Davone at his table!

Be there!

UPDATE: AM 1500 has posted audio of Rob & Russ interviewing UH commit George Daily-Lyles.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Solomon Elimimian Highlights

minesone808 edited a highlight video of Solomon Elimimian's career at UH. Solly needs to be invited to the Combine!

First and 10 with Jim Donovan

UH athletic director Jim Donovan will be answering questions today from 10:00am to 11:00am HST over at SportsHawaii.com's First and 10 with Jim Donovan forum.

If you can't be there at that time, you can leave a question for him. If you can be there, here's the chat thread.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

WitP, Future Warriors

Denny Seitz of the Marin Independent Journal talks to Travis LaBoy about the success of the Arizona Cardinals.
"There's a lot of haters out there," LaBoy said. "A lot of people who don't think we're very good. They say the Cards can't do it. Let 'em keep saying it."
He was able to play in yesterday's game, but didn't log any stats.

Stephen Tsai writes that Colt Brennan has been invited to Barack Obama's inauguration.
It always appeared as if Colt Brennan were an ambassador for Hawai‘i.
Maybe he does have political juice.
Colt has been invited to attend the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, according to his father, Terry Brennan.
Tsai talks to David Veikune about being invited to the Senior Bowl.

Jason Kaneshiro writes about Veikune's invite, and talks to future Warrior David Graves.
Graves is the third high school quarterback to commit to UH, joining Corey Nielsen of Gahr (Calif.) High School and Punahou's Cayman Shutter.

"I believe the competition will only make us stronger," Graves said.

Graves excelled in his lone varsity season as a quarterback. He was behind a prolific passer as a sophomore and junior, and played receiver instead.

"He handled it from Day 1 like he'd been there forever," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said.
Kaneshiro also has an update on incoming offensive lineman Kainoa LaCount:
Offensive lineman Kainoa LaCount is hoping to enroll at UH for the spring semester, which starts tomorrow, and is waiting on transcripts from his junior college. LaCount (6-foot-7, 290 pounds), a Kailua graduate, signed with UH last year as a heralded recruit from College of the Canyons, but didn't earn his associate degree in time to enter school for the fall.
Speaking of a (possible) future Warrior, Long Beach Poly defensive lineman Iuta Tepa was named to MaxPreps.com All-American First Team. He is also the LA Times' lineman of the year.
In helping Long Beach Poly win its 18th Southern Section championship, defensive end Iuta Tepa proved to be a nonstop tackling machine, running down ballcarriers and pressuring quarterbacks with a level of intensity that inspired teammates and unnerved opponents.

The Times' lineman of the year recorded 14 sacks and contributed more than 100 tackles for a defense that was considered the best in Southern California.
In a profile by Richard Kimbrel of Yahoo, Tepa says he'll choose his school on LOI day.
Tepa will begin his visits this weekend.

“I will be visit Hawai’i this weekend on January 9th,” Tepa said. “Following my visit to Hawai’i, I’ll visit Oregon on January 16th.”

“I’m not sure where I will visit on January 23rd, but on January 30th I will visit UCLA,” Tepa said. “I’m feeling very good about all the schools that I’m visiting in January. I will make my announcement on signing day.”

Tepa is a soft commit to Hawai’i and has offers on the table from Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State.
I hope his trip to UH went well.

And the Marlin Democrat has a profile of cornerback Melvin "Tank" Hopkins, who should be enrolling at UH this semester.
"I'm excited and anxious to start playing for the University of Hawaii, this is a dream come true to play Division I football." Said Hopkins. "Hawaii is a beautiful island and this will be an experience I will never forget." His mother Ollie, however, sighs with apprehension "his Father and I are so proud of him, I hate to see my kid go so far away, I'm going to miss him, but we'll be cheering him on every step of the way!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Veikune, Samson, LaBoy, Colt

Stephen Tsai writes that David Veikune has been invited to the Senior Bowl.
David Veikune has been invited to play in the Jan. 24 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. By accepting, he had to drop out of the East West Shrine Game in Houston. He joins long-snapper Jake Ingram, who received a Senior Bowl invitation the past week. Veikune projects to play defensive end in a 4-3 alignment or outside linebacker in a 3-4.
Congrats to David.

SportsHawaii.com poster kalaika17, who seems to have the inside scoops, writes that Samson Satele will undergo offseason shoulder surgery.

Although Travis LaBoy has been limited in practice this week due to a nagging ankle injury, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt expressed optimism that LaBoy will play in today's playoff game.

Colt Brennan has a great Eli Manning impression as he and Redskins teammates Chris Cooley and Todd Yoder preview the Eagles-Giants game.

And here they are previewing the Titans-Ravens game, though the video quality isn't as good.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ingram / Declining Revenue

Stephen Tsai profiles long snapper Jake Ingram as he prepares for the NFL Combine and the Senior Bowl.
Steve Hale, president of the Senior Bowl, said Ingram is the nation's highest-rated long-snapper. Hale said the assessment was a result of extensive research, scouting and video reviews.

"We take specialists very seriously," Hale said. "We spend a lot of time evaluating punters, placekickers and long-snappers. Most of the time, the specialists (invited to the Senior Bowl) are either drafted or make an NFL club as a free agent. Jake is a very good long-snapper."

The UH coaches have said Ingram did not make a poor snap this season.

While flattered by the predictions, Ingram said, "I won't believe it until it really happens. If it happens, that will be confirmation for me."
Tsai also writes about Ryan Mouton and David Veikune as they great ready for the East West Shrine Game and the Combine.

And Ferd Lewis has the bad news about the UH athletic department's declining revenue.
The combination of a struggling football team that went 7-7 on the heels of a 12-1 championship season the year before, and the tightening economy produced a $1.2 million drop in football ticket revenue, according to unaudited figures from UH.

Meanwhile, the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team came in $55,000 below 2007, UH said.

"The numbers aren't a surprise to me, but they are a little disappointing," said Jim Donovan, UH athletic director. "We're seeing it in every sector (of business) and we, especially, started to feel it from early November on."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

WitP: Mouton, Veikune, Ingram, LaBoy, Colt, Niumatalolo

Stephen Tsai writes that Ryan Mouton and David Veikune were invited to the NFL Combine, while Jake Ingram was invited to the Senior Bowl as well as the Combine. Earlier this month, Robert Kekaula said that Ingram, Mouton and Veikune were expected to be invited to the Senior Bowl, so let's hope the rest of the invites are sent out soon!

Travis LaBoy had a limited practice today as he works his way back from a nagging ankle injury. Dave Albee of the Marin Independent Journal spoke to LaBoy about preparing for this Saturday's playoff game against the Panthers.
"You see why they've done well. They're the No. 2 seed (in the NFC playoffs) for a reason," LaBoy said. "They have a veteran quarterback who is not going to see anything he already hasn't seen. We're going to have our hands full."
Colt Brennan made a short video of the Washington Redskins' trainers doing some Jazzercise.

And Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo just received a contract extension.
After coaching Navy to an 8-5 season, first-year head coach Ken Niumatalolo was awarded a contract extension, athletic director Chet Gladchuk announced today. Terms of the contract were not released.

"Rare is the case when a major coaching transition at this level of competition results in the extraordinary success we realized this past season under Kenny's leadership," Gladchuk said in a news release. "Having been a member of the Naval Academy family for more than a decade as both an associate and head coach, there is no member of our staff that understands the philosophy, values, commitment, objectives and dynamics of this leadership institution more so than he."

Destin Stewart Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that receiver Destin Stewart will become a Warrior.
Stewart, a senior at Oklahoma City's Douglass High, said he is 6 feet 4, 200 pounds and can run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds.

He was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association's 2008 All-State team as a receiver, despite playing in a run-oriented offense.

www.Rivals.com listed Stewart in its Oklahoma High Top-35 list of prospects.

He even was named to the Daily Oklahoman's All-State second team as a punter.
Congrats to Destin.

UPDATE: Here's a "SportsNight Oklahoma" profile of Stewart from earlier this last year.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Preliminary 2009 Roster

UPDATE (2/9/09): Here's the updated roster, sorted by class.


Here's an unofficial 2009 roster broken down by class. It's not too early, is it? Some caveats - most of the incoming class still need to sign LOIs in February, and a lot can change in the meantime. I'm also not 100% sure who redshirted or grayshirted this year, whether Jovonte Taylor and others are coming back, where some of the new players will end up, who's moving where, etc. Names will be added/subtracted/moved if we get any new/correct/missing info so please give us a heads up if you have any news. I'll repost after LOI day. Shooooots.

2009 Hawaiʻi Warriors Football Roster by Class
(Returning starters in bold. Incoming HS, JC or transfers in italics.)

Incoming HS
Cayman Shutter
Corey Nielsen
David Graves
Steele Jantz Shane Austin
Brent Rausch
Greg Alexander
Jack Sula

Joey Cadiz Jake Heun
Chizzy Dimude
Daniel Libre
Leon Wright-Jackson
Jayson Rego
Inoke Funaki
Deondre Powell
Jeremiah Ostrowski

Kealoha Pilares
Dustin Blount
Rick Taylor
Ryan Henry
Jon Medeiros
Billy Ray Stutzmann
Kalua Noa
Earvin Sione
Royce Pollard
Troy Lauduski
Jett Jasper
Joe Avery
Greg Salas
Daniel Lofton
Matt Kiel
Mike Tinoco
Rodney Bradley
Malcolm Lane
Jovonte Taylor
Craig Bell
Jordan Loeffler
Benson Maʻafala
Chauncey Makainai
David Garness
Levi Legay
Kahaʻi Choy
Tui Tuiasosopo
Drew Uperesa
Matagisila Lefiti
Austin Hansen
Clayton Laurel
Joey Lipp
Brysen Ginlack
Adrian Thomas
Kainoa LaCount
Brett Leonard
Whitley Fehoko
Bronson Tiwanak

Laupepa Letuli
Aaron Kia
John Estes
Ray Hisatake
Raphael Ieru
Daniel Johnson
Wade Keliʻikipi
Jesse Williams
Haku Correa
Geordon Hanohano
Vaughn Meatoga
Keahi Watson
Ikaika Mahoe
Zach Masch
David Hafoka

Rocky Savaiigaea
Tuika Tufaga
Chris Leatigaga
Chad Lopati
Kimo Makaula
Marcus Malepeai
Veni Manu
Iuta Tepa
Alema Tachibana
Liko Satele
Alasi Toilolo
Elliott Purcell
John Fonoti
Victor Clore
Bo Montgomery
Tua Mahaley
Cameron Allen-Jones
T.J. Alofipo
George Daily-Lyles
Liloa Nobriga
Waylon Lolotai
Paipai Falemalu
Art Laurel
Corey Paredes
Mana Lolotai
Poʻokela Ahmad
Josh Andrews
Marc Moody
Blaze Soares
Brashton Satele
R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane
Joshua Rice
Joey Iosefa
Mike Wadsworth
Kamalani Alo
Christian Vasconcellos
Jordan Gomes
Rykin Enos
Mana Silva
Spencer Smith
Kenny Estes
Aaron Brown
Viliami Nauahi

Lewis Walker
Steven Christian
Kawika Ornellas
Steve Stepter
Richard Torres
Jeramy Bryant
Lametrius Davis
Melvin Hopkins
Kevin Williams

JoPierre Davis
Chris Black
LS (2)

Brett Symonds (K)
Luke Ingram (LS)

HawaiiAthletics.com Football Roster
2008 SportsHawaii Online Media Guide, by BigWave96744
Sportshawaii.com's 2009 UH Football Recruiting
, by Sportsbow
Sportshawaii.com's 2008 UH Commits and Prospects
, by Sportsbow
Also: The Warrior Beat, UH Sports Extra, Advertiser, Star-Bulletin, and the old MGO Blog for the table template.

Coaches' Bonuses, More on David Graves

Ferd Lewis details the bonuses coaches will be receiving for the team's appearance in the Hawaii Bowl.

Stephen Tsai has another article about David Graves' commitment to UH. He's already been running part of Hawaii's offense:
The past summer, the Folsom coaches called UH offensive coordinator Ron Lee for information about the Warriors' version of the four-wide offense. Folsom, which also runs a spread offense, has two UH-inspired plays: "Hawai'i" and "Hawai'i Switch."

"Folsom runs a complex passing game," Taylor said. "He learned to run the show, and he's very good at it. He's smart and competitive. I think he's a great fit for Hawai'i."
Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee writes about Graves' commit.
"It's a dream come true," Graves said. "I'm so excited about this. We ran a lot of the same concepts as Hawaii. I feel like I can fit right in."

Graves was a wide receiver in 2007. He burst onto the scene in 2008 and completed 72 percent of his passes for 2,771 yards and 40 touchdowns in 11 games. He rushed for 696 yards and 11 scores in averaging nearly five touchdowns and 315 yards of offense a game.

"This is great news for David," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. "Hawaii will be a great fit."
Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal writes about Graves' having to decommit from Nevada.
The Pack, which returns all four quarterbacks from the 2008 season, including starter Colin Kaepernick (a junior in 2009), had received verbal commitments from two high school quarterbacks this season. David Fales, from Palma High in Salinas, Calif., is the other.

"I think Reno is getting one heck of a quarterback (in Graves)," Richardson told the RGJ in October. "He's a phenomenal high school quarterback. He's athletic, intelligent. He's got great charisma. He's a great football player. He's as good as you get in high school football.

"If he's a 6-3 guy, he's a top national prospect. Reno's going to love him. I guarantee it. I can't say enough about him. I love the kid."
Here's David's stats from this season. The page also includes an auto-play video interview with him and Folsom teammate Andrew Benavides.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Hercules Satele

Former UH offensive guard Hercules Satele has signed with the Spokane Shock of the AF2.
Satele, 6-2 322, was signed by the Arizona Cardinals after he finished at the University of Hawaii in 2008. At left guard, Satele was a key component of the Warrior’s offensive line that finished first in the country scoring (46.2), second in passing (450.2), and third in total offense (529.2). His junior season, Satele was named first team all-WAC and a SI.com All-American.

“He’s one of the strongest linemen we have ever signed,” Shackleford explained. “But in addition to his size and strength he is very athletic. When he was with the Cardinals he played both left guard and center because of his athleticism.”
Hercules joins former UH teammate Jason Rivers on the Shock squad.

David Graves Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that quarterback David Graves will become a Warrior.
Folsom (Calif.) High’s David Graves, who had the nation’s highest passing-efficiency rating, has accepted a football scholarship from the University of Hawai‘i.
Graves, who completed 72 percent of his passes and threw for 40 touchdowns, said he chose UH because of the offense, the coaches and “Hawai‘i’s music. I love the music of the islands. I love the bending guitars and the real soothing voices.”
Not only is Graves an accomplished football player — he was named the Sacramento Bee’s Metro Football Player of the Year — he also is a member of Folsom’s top-ranked jazz band.
Graves also rushed for 11 touchdowns and nearly 700 yards.
Congrats to David!

Also, all the best to UH athletic director Jim Donovan as he undergoes a procedure for kidney stones.

UPDATE: Graves was profiled by the Sacramento Bee after being named Player of the Year.
Richardson was Graves' second-grade teacher in Folsom. Even then, the coach could sense a competitive fire within the youngster. Graves didn't just want to beat the other kids in a sprint across the playground. He had to beat them.

And this season, Richardson had to remind Graves it was actually OK as a quarterback to duck out of bounds, that he doesn't have to go Walter Payton on every linebacker and duck his head into defenders to grind out an extra yard.
And here are two highlight films:

Na Koa Fundraiser, Breaking Resolution

Ferd Lewis writes that Na Koa is gearing up to raise more funds.
Saying the University of Hawai'i football team is "at an economic crossroads" to remaining competitive in a tough economy, its head coach and booster club are asking fans to help raise more than $1.65 million in aid for the centennial season this fall.

"Over 20,000 Warrior football fans and contributors," were asked to pitch in, according to the letter sent out and signed by coach Greg McMackin and Na Koa president Rick Blangiardi.
And even though I don't live on the Big Island, I'm totally breaking my New Year's resolution to eat more salad.
A rare ailment that comes from eating poorly washed local produce has hit three Big Island residents in recent weeks, causing extreme pain and hospitalization.

The ailment, rat lungworm disease, is caused by a parasitic worm carried by slugs or snails.

Most people fully recover without treatment, health officials say. But rat lungworm disease can cause significant pain and trauma, including paralysis, blindness and death, as occurred in a fatal case in Taiwan in 1944, according to a joint state-federal study.
The disease arises from parasitic worms, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, sometimes ingested inadvertently by eating raw produce that contains a small snail or slug. The worms migrate through the human body and usually die after several weeks.
I don't think you can have a more disgusting-sounding name than "rat lungworm disease", but what the disease actually is sounds 10 times more disgusting. Lettuce? Peppers? I'm deep frying all my produce, dammit.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Davone Bess

Miami lost their wild-card game against the Ravens today, but Davone Bess had a good game to cap off an outstanding rookie season, catching 2 passes for 54 yards with most of the yards coming after the catch. Here are the highlights:

He also injured his thumb during the game and was taken to the locker room, but was able to come back to play.

Aranda, Reeve, Jesse, Bryce

UH defensive line coach Dave Aranda is profiled in the Redlands Daily Facts.

Andy Staples of SI.com writes about UH offering 8th grader Reeve Koehler a scholarship.
As for his scholarship offer, Koehler remains stunned. He said he and his parents went to McMackin's office to lend moral support to Kimo Makaula, a cousin entering his senior year at Punahou High who had gone to McMackin to ask to be considered for a scholarship. Because the Koehlers approached McMackin, he was allowed by NCAA rules to speak with them and to discuss a scholarship offer.
And Stephen Tsai reports that Aussie Jesse Williams might face some hurdles getting admitted to UH this semester.
In a race against the clock, defensive tackle Jesse Williams is hoping to gain admission into UH-Manoa for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 12.
Because he is a graduate of a school in Australia, there are issues whether some of his classes meet UH’s admission standards.
Tsai also writes that Bryce Kalauokaaea will compete at QB in the spring.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Bess, Satele, Ulbrich, LaBoy

Davone Bess is interviewed by the Miami press in this MiamiDolphins.com video. He talks about the season and tomorrow's matchup with the Ravens.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald interviews Bess about the many obstacles he's had to overcome to get to the NFL.

EMQB.com has an audio interview with Samson Satele. He talks about the season, playing for Hawaii, opposing players pulling his hair, being a father, etc. Should've submitted a question earlier this week, d'oh.

Miami coach Tony Sparano talks about Samson's matchup with Haloti Ngata.
''The fortunate thing for Samson -- and this is not taking anything away from Ngata, who is a tremendous player as well -- but in our division, we've had to play against some pretty good players there,'' Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. 'He just comes off of playing against [the Jets' Kris] Jenkins and he's had to play against [New England's Vince] Wilfork and he's had to play against Buffalo's group there. These type of players he's had to play against a couple times apiece.''

''It is a challenge with all that they do, defensively, because they are complicated, they do move the front, they do move around and try to confuse you so your center has got to get you lined up in some of those situations,'' Sparano continued. ``It's something that he has to pay attention to and Chad has to pay attention to.''
Jeff Ulbrich won this year's 49er "Top Gun" award.
Jeff Ulbrich was the winner of the coveted "Top Gun" award that special teams coach Al Everest gives to his best special teamer each year. Everest has a points-based system that takes into account everything from tackles inside the 20 to blocks to forced fumbles. The coaches pick a different winner each week and then an overall winner for the season. It's very competitive and the there's a weekly kitty, a few hundred dollars or so, put up by the team's high rollers. (See: Clements, Nate). Last year, Michael Robinson barely edged out Ulbrich for the honor.
And Travis LaBoy is listed as questionable for today's playoff game.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!! (again)

Hope you all had a happy new year's celebration and didn't get too effed up. Thanks to CC for wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

Stephen Tsai has an article reviewing the top sports stories of 2008.

Cindy Luis has the top 10 local sports stories of 2008.

Dave Reardon reviews 2008 while previewing 2009.

And now's the time we retire the 2008 schedule along with the links to most of the non-conference opponents' blogs and boards. It's been emotional.

Hawaii Warriors (7-7) 2008 Football Schedule

8/30@ #5 FloridaL 10-56
9/13@ Oregon StateL 7-45
10/4@ #22 Fresno StateW 32-29
10/17@ #15 Boise StateL 7-27
10/25NEVADAW 38-31
11/1@ Utah StateL 14-30
11/8@ New Mexico St.
W 42-30
11/22IDAHOW 49-17
12/6#13 CINCINNATIL 24-29
12/24Hawaii Bowl (ESPN)
vs Notre Dame
L 21-49

2008 Opponent Blogs and Boards
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