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Friday, July 31, 2009

WitP: RGM, Mouton, Hawthorne

Ryan Grice-Mullen scored his first touchdown of the season as the BC Lions lost to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 30-18.
Grice-Mullen, returning to the lineup to replace injured Ian Smart, scored his first touchdown of 2009 on a two-yard end around for the Lions first touchdown after the Tiger-Cats scored on their opening drive.
He also returned several kicks and punts and fumbled the ball once. Here's the box score from the game.

Ryan Mouton impressed on the practice field as the Tennessee Titans opened training camp.
Cornerback Ryan Mouton made several nice plays, breaking up a pair of passes and putting himself around the ball all day.
Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron had some nice things to say about C.J. Hawthorne as he returned to practice.
C.J. Hawthorne came off of PUP Friday and jumped right into his first practice. He was to be limited, but showed no ill effects coming off his foot surgery so he eventually got a full workload.

“We wanted to ease him in to some degree, but watching him practice it didn’t appear to me that he repped any less than anyone else,” said Jauron. “He said he felt good. He’ll have to ice and see how he feels tomorrow. He’s been so automatic. He’s just always out there running. It was kind of a shock when he got hurt initially, so hopefully he’s fully back.”

Q&A with Destin Stewart

Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman has a Q&A with incoming receiver Destin Stewart. Here's an excerpt:
Do you think you’ll get a chance to play right away in Hawaii?

I think I’m ready for the football part of it and I’d like to. At the same time, I think it might be better to redshirt just to get adjusted to college and take things slow like that. But I think I’m ready to play.

What are you most looking forward to about going off to college: football or being in Hawaii?

Definitely football. I just want to go there to learn new things and keep getting better. But I’m not going to lie, being in Hawaii will be nice, too.

Hawaii Bowl and C-USA Extend Deal

Four more years!
Conference USA has agreed to participate in the Hawaii Bowl through 2013.

ESPN Regional Television, the owner and operator of the college bowl game, made the announcement Friday.

This year's game at Aloha Stadium is slated for Dec. 24 and will feature a Conference USA team against a team from the Western Athletic Conference. Hawaii will represent the WAC, if the Warriors are bowl eligible.
Okay, so it's five more years, but 2009 was already contracted back in April.

McMackin Suspended

For 30 days without pay:
Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin has been suspended 30 days without pay and will receive a salary reduction for an incident yesterday at the Western Athletic Conference media preview.

McMackin will, however, volunteer to coach the Warriors during the 30 days.
He will also take a 7% pay cut.

The Advertiser some quotes from today's conference.
An emotional McMackin broke down during today's press conference, while making another apology.

"I just made a big mistake," McMackin said. "I apologize to everyone and anyone I offended. I'm committed to do whatever I can to as a life lesson to learn from my mistake."

"We all recognize that yesterday Coach McMackin made a serious mistake that has hurt many people and brought negative attention to our state and university," UH-Manoa Chanellor Virginia S. Hinshaw said at a press conference today. "He is clearly remorseful — as well as he should be. This has been a painful experience for all involved, but we must now consider actions that will help everyone learn from this very negative event."

Members of some of the campus gay/lesbian groups were at today's athletic department press conference at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"Today will strengthen a positive and on-going working relationship between LGBT Student Services, the UH commission on the status of LGBTI Equality and the Department of Athletics," said Camaron Miyamoto, UH coordinator of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Student Services.

"Coach is a great guy, I truly believe he sorry," UH running back Jayson Rego said. He was one of dozens of UH football players also attending today's press conference.
UPDATE: KGMB has video from the press conference.

UPDATE 2: More press conference quotes from HawaiiAthletics.com.

UPDATE 3: The Advertiser has reactions from some UH football players.
Raphael Ieru, senior offensive lineman:

"It was hard to watch him break down.

"I think the punishment was fair.

"We've got to support our coach. We're here for him no matter what.

"I know it was tough for him."

Ray Hisatake, senior offensive lineman

"I was just as emotional as Coach Mac.

"We all say stupid things and I think Coach Mac really regrets it.

"Before we went in (into the press conference), we all met with Coach Mac and he was balling.

"We all feel his pain."

"I've never seen coach so vulnerable."

WitP: C.J., Pisa, Samson, Colt

C.J. Hawthorne has been cleared to play for the Bills again.
The Bills had another receiver back on the practice field Friday afternoon, as C.J. Hawthorne was taken off the physically unable to perform list. Hawthorne had missed the entire spring with a foot injury, and had to eventually have surgery performed near the close of minicamp.

The procedure left him not quite ready to participate in practice at training camp. But after missing just eight practices, Hawthorne was able to rejoin his teammates.
Pisa Tinoisamoa says he's already up to speed with the Bears defense.
Speaking of linebackers, the expected starter on the strong side is Pisa Tinoisamoa. He's already up to speed in the defense and said it's virtually the same as what he was used to as a rookie in St. Louis in 2003.

``It's the exact same thing,'' he said.
He also talks about his 1-year contract.
Tinoisamoa signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million ($1 million base, $500,000 signing bonus). He was released by the St. Louis Rams in late May and acknowledged the thought process was that a one-year deal allowed him to enter the free market at a more opportune time.

"We tossed around the idea of a two-year deal, at least, and we talked about what happened because I got released at that time,'' Tinoisamoa said. "There were different options. Weighing it out and looking at free agency and the potential that we have there, and looking at the teams we had interested, it only made sense to sign the one-year [contract]. Hopefully, things work out [longterm]. But if not, you're with a good defense, an established defense and one I am familiar with, and I'm with a team that likes me. Why not?''
Samson Satele gets praised by one of his new teammates.
Left guard Robert Gallery is sidelined for the moment having recently undergone an emergency appendectomy. Which means he has a different view of new fellow Raiders offensive linemen Samson Satele (center) and Khalif Barnes (tackle).

"They're athletic," Gallery said. "They're going to be good in this (zone-blocking) system. They can move. Just all the things you need to be in this system and that's why they brought them in here and it's good to get going with them."
And Colt Brennan is mentioned a few times in today's Redskins.com practice report.
Colt Brennan, Safety?

When the offense is working apart from the defense, sometimes they have to recruit one of their own to mimic defenders.

During one drill on Friday, quarterback Colt Brennan donned a yellow rag over his helmet and lined up at strong safety.

Before the ball was snapped, Brennan even approached the line of scrimmage in an apparent effort to blitz.

He was quickly swallowed up by blocker Eddie Williams, though.
# Colt Brennan’s deep pass to Roydell Williams was too far. Williams had to adjust his body and veered out of bounds to try to make the grab.
# Big Mike Williams blocked out rookie Jeremy Jarmon, giving Brennan time to get a pass away. Brennan found Marko Mitchell across the middle for a nice gain.

Coverage of the Fallout

Here's a list of some of the news articles about Greg McMackin's huge mistake yesterday.

McMackin language stirs uproar, by Jason Kaneshiro

Hawaii football coach apologizes for gay slur, by Stephen Tsai.

Slur becomes 'big news', by Ferd Lewis

Swift discipline urged over coach's 'hurtful language', by Stanley Lee

In a word, this is one day he'll regret, by Ferd Lewis

Mack must improve mouth management, by Dave Reardon

UH Coach McMackin Under Fire For Gay Slur, by KITV

McMackin Drawing Harsh National Reaction, by KGMB's Liz Chun

Hawaii coach faces sanctions, by Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune

McMackin's comments were out of character, by ESPN's Graham Watson

McMackin's slur reveals larger problem, by ESPN's LZ Granderson

...and on and on.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WitP: Colt, RGM, Veikune, Bess

Washington Redskins training camp started today. Here's a photo from DC Sports Bog of coach Jim Zorn showing Colt Brennan some proper QB footwork.
"What was happening is, when he was throwing to his left, instead of setting up and driving towards his target, he was lifting and swinging his leg over," Zorn said. "And it was making him late, and also making him throw inaccurately."
Colt did well in practice today, at least on two passes.
Get excited, Colt Brennan fans: No. 5 completed consecutive passes, one on a short route to Marko Mitchell and anotther on a downfield route to Santana Moss.
Gary Fitzgerald of Inside the Redskins takes a look at the backup QB position.
If Collins falters, Brennan could be given a shot as the first backup off the bench.

Brennan provided some preseason excitement last year, completing 36-of-53 passes for 411 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His QB rating of 109.9 led the offense.

Brennan, a sixth-round draft pick in 2008, continues to be a work in progress in terms of refining his throwing motion. Jim Zorn emphasizes a strong, high release instead of the sidearm release he was accustomed to at the University of Hawaii.

Daniel, an undrafted rookie pickup, is also working on his mechanics as he adjusts to the NFL from the University of Missouri.

The Redskins could consider pursuing a veteran free agent quarterback, depending on how Collins and Brennan perform in preseason. Remember, team officials visited with Byron Leftwich last offseason, so adding a veteran has been discussed in the past.
Ryan Grice-Mullen is back on the BC Lions' active roster.
One lineup change this week sees receiver/kick returner Ryan Grice-Mullen make his return to the active roster for the injured Ian Smart (knee).
David Veikune is highlighted as a potential hidden rookie gem in this article by John P. Lopez of SI.com.
It's a long way from the sunny shores of Hawaii to the bitter howling winds of Cleveland, but Veikune has made a habit of adjusting nicely to change.

A college defensive end, Veikune has a lot coming at him as he is making the switch to inside linebacker. So far, so good. Even without a firm grasp on NFL linebacking schemes and the demands of the job, Veikune has showed nice instinctive playmaking ability. He's another one of those high-octane players always looking for contact, which should play well in Cleveland.
And David Dorsey of News-Press.com has a few quotes from Davone Bess:
"We'll take continuity into the next season," said wide receiver Davone Bess, who caught 54 passes for 554 yards and a touchdown last season. "We can just go out now and play football and not have to worry about learning the playbook still."
Bess said he looked forward to his role in the offense this season.

"Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'll do," Bess said.

Last season, Sparano incorporated the wildcat formation into the offense, in which running back Ronnie Brown, rather than quarterback Chad Pennington, took a direct snap and would either throw, run or hand off the ball.

Bess, Thomas and right offensive tackle Vernon Carey said they liked that added dimension to their game.

"I'm one of these guys who says, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,' " Bess said of using the wildcat again this season. "It's exciting. But we're not going to surprise people with it any more."

Brashton back to LB

In football-related news, Jason Kaneshiro writes that Brashton Satele will be moving back to linebacker.
After shedding 26 pounds this summer, Brashton Satele will be back at middle linebacker heading into fall camp. Greg McMackin had moved him to defensive end after spring practice, but said Satele’s work this summer convinced him to move him to linebacker. McMackin said Mana Lolotai will compete at both inside and outside linebacker.

McMackin Apologizes

Yep, this will make national news.
University of Hawai‘i head football coach Greg McMackin apologized for making a disparaging comment during today’s speech to reporters at the Western Athletic Conference Football Preview.
In describing a battle of chants between Notre Dame and UH during last year’s Hawai‘i Bowl Banquet, McMackin said the Fighting Irish performed a “little faggot dance.”
He repeated the phrase twice more in trying to apologize.
“I would sincerely like to apologize for the inappropriate verbage of words that I used,” McMackin said. “I have nothing against the University of Notre Dame. I don’t talk like that. I’m realy ticked off at myself for saying that. I don’t have any prejudices. It really makes me mat that I said that. I’m disappointed in myself.”
McMackin described the loss to Notre Dame as the worst in his 40-year career.
“It ticks me off that I said that because Notre Dame played a great ball game,” McMackin said. “What I was trying to do was be funny, and I wasn’t funny, and it’s not funny. Even more, it isn’t funny to me. I was trying to make a joke. It was a bad choice of words. I really, really feel that.
UPDATE: It's on Deadspin, as well as lots of other news sites.

UPDATE 2: Reading the articles from the WAC blogs and news sites, it looks like Coach Mack's attempts to apologize did not help the situation at all.

Campaign for John Estes

HawaiiAthletics.com has a new web page for John Estes which will promote his All-America, Rimington Award and Lombardi Award candidacies. It includes an intro video as well as a link to a photo gallery. The site will be updated throughout the season.

Estes also has a Twitter account: @JohnEstes55

And Stephen Tsai has an interview with Estes. Here's an excerpt:
On his summer training:

"I've been working out every day. I lift every day. (UH conditioning coaches) Tommy Heffernan and Mel deLaura have helped me out. I work out twice a day. I'm doing drills. I'm eating well. I've gained weight. I'm around 300 pounds now. My freshman year I was 275. I was 293 last year, now I'm 300. It's a good weight. I think I can get bigger in my upper body. I'm working on my upper-body strength this summer."

On working with four offensive line coaches in five years:

"If you count (Mike) Cavanaugh (who resigned shortly after signing day), it's five. It's six if you count (former center) Samson (Satele). I still take what I was taught when I got here. It's set and punch. I take little things from each coach. Coach Gordy (Shaw) has helped me on run-blocking a lot this year, getting up to the next level, and hitting your landmarks. Zone-blocking and inside zone are helping me out a lot. We'll see how it goes."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

UH picked to place 5th

Both the coaches and media picked the Warriors to place 5th in the WAC this year.
The University of Hawai‘i was picked fifth in the preseason Western Athletic Conference Media and Coaches' polls, which were announced at the conference’s Football Media Preview at the Hilton Salt Lake City Airport.

The Warriors received 36 votes in the coaches' poll and 275 votes in the media poll. Boise State was the preseason favorite in both polls.

Last season, UH was picked fourth in both preseason polls but finished in a three-way tie for second place with a 5-3 league mark. Overall, the Warriors posted a 7-7 record and secured their third-consecutive bowl appearance with a trip to the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl.
Jason Kaneshiro has some notes from the first day.
Toward the end of WAC commissioner Karl Benson’s session with reporters this morning at the WAC Football Preview, Fresno State head coach Pat Hill raised the question of possibly moving kickoff times for games in Hawaii earlier in the day to give visiting team a chance to return to the mainland that night and save on expenses.Hill said leaving the night of the game could save between $12,000 and $15,000. San Jose State coach Dick Tomey also said leaving the night of the game would help the California schools, which are facing deep budget cuts.Benson said setting the game times is up to Hawaii. The game times for this season have been set, but Hill said he’d look at pursuing an earlier start for future trips.

>> Benson touted the stability of the WAC over the last five years, and anticipates having the same lineup for the next five years with no plans for expansion.
Stephen Tsai has some notes, and a picture of the Cyborg Gazelle, Colin Kaepernick.

WitP: Jake Ingram Signs with Patriots

Jake Ingram signed a contract with the Patriots today.
The Patriots announced the signing of Hawaii long snapper Jake Ingram, one of their two sixth-round draft choices.

Ingram (6-3, 235) began his college career as a walk-on defensive end in 2005 before making the move to a long snapper.
Thanks to Jim for the news.

UPDATE: Here's some details via WSN.
The New England Patriots signed sixth-round pick LS Jake Ingram, the team announced Wednesday. According to a league source, Ingram signed a four-year, $1.85 million deal.

Tuipulotu, Lasconia

Stephen Tsai writes that Arizona transfer Kaniela Tuipulotu will go on scholarship.
NCAA transfer rules require Tuipulotu to redshirt this season. But Tuipulotu admittedly could not afford to pay his tuition and school expenses.

"I didn't qualify for any of the Pell grants," he said. "I was thinking of taking a year off and working."

But those plans changed yesterday when Tuipulotu received — and accepted — a football scholarship from the Warriors.

Now Tuipulotu will be able to practice with the Warriors and attend classes.

"I was worried about missing school," Tuipulotu said. "This is a big relief. I felt good when I got the call. I was stoked."
And Tsai writes that Saddleback CC linebacker Akoni Lasconia is expected to join UH in January.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 Years / Warrior Jack

Mālamalama offers a condensed history of the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, as adapted from the Warrior Football Media Guide, which I assume will be released really soon. The article is accompanied by a slideshow of photos from throughout UH football's history. Here's a thumbnail of Tommy Kaulukukui.

And not that this is the culmination of those 100 years, but Tasty Island, an excellent Hawaii food blog, has a post about, and with lots of photos of, the Warrior Jack antenna ball.

Who Was That Masked Man? (w/UPDATE)

Via the Cooley Zone, Chris Cooley and Colt Brennan parody the NFL Fantasy Files commercials, Tony Romo and Jason Witten.

Fantasy Files from Tanner Cooley on Vimeo.

UPDATE: This new video focuses on "Tony" and is even more awesome.

Fantasy Files 2 from Tanner Cooley on Vimeo.

News and Notes

Jason Kaneshiro has some news and notes about UH Athletics no longer printing schedule posters and most media guides, the WAC Football Preview beginning tomorrow, and UH coaches Rich Miano and Dave Aranda taking NFL internships this summer.

On UH Sports Extra, Kaneshiro has more about the internships.
Aranda arrived in Denver today and went straight into a day of meetings with the Broncos staff. He was invited to the internship by defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and will work with defensive line coach Mike Nunnely.
“Just to go from one meeting to the next and talk about schemes is a neat experience,” Aranda said.
Miano leaves Wednesday and will start working when the Bengals open training camp on Thursday. Dr. Edison Miyawaki, a part-owner of the Bengals, helped arrange the internship.
“Being around the pro guys and being around the team when they’re getting ready for the season will be exciting,” Miano said.
Like the Warriors, both the Broncos and Bengals run 4-3 systems, giving Aranda and Miano a chance to pick up some notes to bring back to Manoa.
Speaking of UH coaches, Wes Nakama had a profile of Cal Lee as part of the Advertiser's Fab 50 series.

Dave Reardon has a Further Review column about Tommy Kaulukukui, Al Noga, Dick Couch and the importance of word-of-mouth.

Ferd Lewis writes that Jim Donovan has volunteered to take a pay cut.
University of Hawai'i athletic director Jim Donovan has voluntarily accepted a 7 percent pay cut and other athletic administrators are expected to sustain mandatory trims while coaches could also be asked to accept reductions to contribute to the school's belt tightening.

The cuts come as UH addresses approximately $155 million in budget cuts over the next two years, including $48.8 million on the Manoa campus.

Monday, July 27, 2009

WitP: Q&A with Colt Brennan

The Sporting News has an interview with Colt Brennan. Here's an excerpt:
Q: Talk to me about you and your situation with the Redskins. Are you looking forward to training camp?

A: Well, I love the team. You can't ask for a better franchise. The fans are passionate, awesome. I love where I'm at right now. Right now, it's a big preseason for me. I get to step in this year. They've already made it clear that they're going to play me a ton in the preseason. We get to play four very talented teams and talented defenses, and that's going to be my test. And right now, it seems like it's in everyone's hands. For Jason Campbell it's his last year (of his contract)—it's in his hands to go out and earn that second contract. And for me, it's my chance to go out there for the second year and prove I belong, have a great preseason and show maybe I could be a starter one day.

Q: You looked like you had a ton of fun in your college career.

A: Well it's hard not to when you're in Hawaii, right?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm a WARRIOR!!!!!!

KGMB has a segment about the UH Athletic Department's "I'm a Warrior" campaign, which they filmed at UH yesterday. The anchors have to deal with a crazed fan who just so happens to be in the studio.
Die hard U.H fans showed their Warrior spirit on Saturday for a spot on an upcoming T.V commercial.

Fans dressed in their U.H finest, stood in front of the camera and shouted "I'm a Warrior" or "We're Warriors." Even a photographer from the Honolulu Advertiser took a break from shooting to audition! Organizers will review the segments, then choose their favorite ones for a season ticket commercial to air later this year.

Warriors in the Pros: Veikune, Hawthorne, RGM

Stephen Tsai reports (I think he was the first to report) that David Veikune signed a 4-year, $3.5 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.
David Veikune and the Cleveland Browns have reached agreement on a four-year contract worth about $3.5 million, an NFL source said.
Of that amount, $1.8 million is guarnteed.
The guaranteed portion also is protected against skill and injury.
Agent Kenny Zuckerrman of Priority Sports declined to comment on the specifics. But he said "David has worked very hard to make this happen, and I feel fortunate ot be able to help him. He's a model client."
C.J. Hawthorne is currently on the Buffalo Bills' physically-unable-to-perform list.
James Hardy and C.J. Hawthorne were also not ready to practice and were placed on active PUP. Being on active PUP Hardy and Hawthorne can come off of PUP and re-join the active roster as soon as they pass a physical.
Hawthorne had surgery on his left foot in during the team’s mandatory minicamp in June. To this point no prognosis has been given on his possible return.

Both Hardy and Hawthorne watched Saturday morning’s practice from the sidelines.
After starting the first two games for the BC Lions, Ryan Grice-Mullen did not dress for this past Friday's game against the Calgary Stampeders. Not sure if it was due to injury or demotion, but either way it's not good news for RGM.

Fab 50: Noga Brothers

As part of the Advertiser's Fab 50 series, Wes Nakama profiles the Noga brothers.
In the midst of UH football's coming-of-age era between 1980 and 1987, Falaniko, Pete and Al Noga epitomized a tough, strong, undersized, but overachieving defense that stalled some of the nation's top offenses and thrilled near-capacity crowds of 45,000-plus at Aloha Stadium.

"They were a tremendous family who made such a difference in our program," said Dick Tomey, the current San Jose State coach, who was UH's head coach from 1977 through 1986. "All three Noga brothers were great people — hard-working players who competed with high energy."

Bob Wagner, who was Tomey's defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach in 1987, said the Nogas fit perfectly into the Rainbows' scheme.

"We approached defense aggressively; people talk about weapons on offense, but we talked about having weapons on defense," Wagner said. "And all three Noga brothers were definitely in that category. They all were difference-makers."

The Centurions: Top 5 (w/UPDATE)

Dave Reardon has revealed the Top 5 Centurions, but not the order. That's up to us.

UPDATE: Woops, it's not up to us. The order has already been decided, but we can vote for who we think should be #1. I have horrible reading comprehension.

UPDATE 2: The poll is now up. Be there!
To eliminate any lingering doubt, here are Nos. 1 through 5 -- sorry, in they're in alphabetical order for now.

Gary Allen, Colt Brennan, Jason Elam, Tommy Kaulukukui and Al Noga.

THIS SHOULD make my friend Chris Hart happy. A couple of weeks ago, he bemoaned the fact that we had shifted gears from revealing five a day to just one.

Well, we wanted to keep the suspense going instead of trickling it down to No. 1 a day at a time. So please bear with our little juke step here. We will unveil the order of the final five -- along with two-page spreads on each -- in a special section in your Sunday, Aug. 2 Star-Bulletin.

In the meantime, you can vote online for who you think should be No. 1 among these five. Just go to starbulletin.com, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on the Centurions logo (you can also get there via the bar at the top of the page). You can vote once, but you can check back often to see who's in the lead.

Here's a direct link to The Centurions page.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Centurions: #6 Jesse Sapolu

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #6, offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu.

Paul Honda has an extensive profile of Sapolu.
"He was very willing to play both ways," Tomey said. "We'd complete a series, I'd wave my hand. Stay in there and play. He was willing to do whatever it took to help."

On the sideline, Tomey chatted in the final minutes with an exhausted Sapolu. They looked across the field at the stunned Sun Devils.

"The game was winding down and I said, 'You could've been over there,'" Tomey recalled. "He said, 'I'm so glad I'm over here.'"

Just months earlier, Sapolu was set to become a Sun Devil before Tomey talked him into staying home. That gave UH an O-line that also featured future pros Kani Kauahi, Jim Mills and Bernard Carvalho, clearing the way for super back Gary Allen.

The season-ending win gave UH a 6-5 winning mark in its first campaign as a Western Athletic Conference member. It was especially sweet because ASU had dumped the WAC the year before to join the Pac-10.

"The first time I met Jesse, we were talking about him going to Arizona State," said Kauahi, who had been at ASU but transferred to UH. "Jesse was a tiger, man. He was an animal."

Hawaii went 8-3 and 9-2 in the next two seasons and earned the respect of pollsters nationwide. Jim Donovan, now UH's athletic director, was a backup on the O-line during that ride.

"Jesse was one helluva offensive lineman, maybe the best ever from Hawaii," Donovan said. "Certainly the best guard-center combination."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Coach Mack Show Across America

The Coach Mack Show will be on national television this year.
Greg McMackin's University of Hawai'i football coach's show is going coast to coast.

The Emmy-winning half-hour show, which originates on KGMB in Honolulu, will be carried on the Fox College Sports network this fall under an arrangement concluded yesterday, according to Rick Blangiardi, KGMB's senior vice president and general manager.

Blangiardi said it would be shown six times per week in various time slots on Fox, which has a potential audience of 54 million households.

The visibility is seen as a marketing bonus for the Warriors, especially in recruiting.

"You never know who might be watching," Blangiardi said. "The (exposure) can't hurt."
Liz Chun has a report about it 3:51 into this KGMB video.

Off-Topic Friday: Stephen's Laws of Love

The Centurions: #7 Niko Noga

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #7, defensive tackle Niko Noga.

Kalani Simpson reminisces about Noga, and gets a few words from Robert Kekaula.
IT'S TOUGH TO get across the FEEL of Niko Noga in those days, what he meant to us, his presence, the way he played. Maybe the best way is through a memory shared by Robert Kekaula. You should read this with Robert's voice in your head (if you have to, turn on the KITV news). Robert remembers being a kid, watching the old "Dick Tomey Show" hosted by the late Les Keiter, the opening. Included in the montage was footage of Niko Noga running, maybe timing a 40.

"He was wearing shorts and one of those old UHAD T-shirts," Robert writes in an e-mail. "It was cut-off, maybe right below his chest, and as the saying goes, he was 'ripped,' I mean muscles bulging everywhere.

"It freaked many of us out, because wearing green and looking like he did, I swear to God it was the frickin' HULK running on the field."

You can hear Robert saying it.

He closes with this: "It was both spooky and exciting."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

WitP: LP, Colt, Mouton, Ingram, Veikune

KGMB's Liz Chun interviews former UH safety Leonard Peters, who is in China for the start of the rugby sevens World Games. His story starts at 1:24 into the video.

Via the Advertiser, Metromix has an interview with Colt Brennan. Here's an excerpt:
What would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps as a professional football player?

I would tell them to be passionate in whatever they do. It doesn’t have to be football. I mean, whatever you want to be... whether it's a scientist or writer or athlete, you have to be passionate about what you do. You have to love what you do. I remember hearing one time, “If you love what you do, you would never have to work a day in your life,” and I take that to heart. I think that you have to be persistent and learn that life is not fair. You are not going to be handed things. I mean just because you work hard and deserve it doesn’t mean that you are going to get it. You have to fight for it and want it. That’s how you become passionate for it. Never give up. if you really want it, go for it.
Mike Wilkening of ProFootballWeekly.com has a few quotes from Ryan Mouton, who is getting ready for his first season in the NFL.
Mouton will compete for the nickel back role and is likely to have a key role on special teams as a kickoff returner and a gunner. Mouton, who spent time in Hawaii this summer with former college teammates Colt Brennan and Davone Bess doing fundraising work as well as working out, is over a nagging hamstring injury and eager for camp to start. "Now it's time to get in there and work," he told PFW.
Negotiations with Jake Ingram and the Patriots have hit a snag.
A long snapper out of Hawaii taken 198th overall in the 2009 draft, a league source says Ingram — who is represented by the Morgan Advisory Group — is seeking a three- or four-year deal, a slotted contract that would give him a a signing bonus of roughly $95,500 on a four-year deal and $70,000 on a three-year contract.

However, the source indicated New England and senior football advisor Floyd Reese — who is taking the lead in contract negotiations — are attempting to take part of the signing bonus on a four-year deal and put it into a 2010 roster bonus. That doesn’t sit well with the Ingram camp.
Similarly, David Veikune may miss the Browns rookie orientation because his contract has not been finalized.

Cayman Shutter Q&A

Stephen Tsai has a Q&A with incoming quarterback Cayman Shutter. Here's an excerpt:
"I really like getting into the gym and lifting weights. I'm kind of addicted to lifting weights. I'm around 195 right now. I definitely don't want to be too bulky. I was worried about that. Throwing a football involves a lot of finesse. I was trying to get the balance between pure strength and being able to finesse a football."
There's no "I" in "Quarterback Derby."
"It doesn't really feel like competition. We're all out here trying to improve for the overall betterment of the team. As we all try to improve individually, the team will get better. That's the whole idea. We're all friends."
And a couple days ago, Tsai talked to Kainoa LaCount, who confirmed he is set to join the Warriors this fall.

The Centurions: #8 Levi Stanley

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #8, defensive tackle Levi Stanley.

Randy Cadiente profiles Stanley.
As one of the premier defensive tackles in school history, Stanley also put the hurt on opposing runners. He led the team in total tackles in 1972 with 113 (63 unassisted) as well as in '73 with 140 (77 solo). Stanley held the UH record in career total tackles with 366 until Solomon Elimimian broke the mark last season.

"I was running the George Allen defense and in the George Allen-type defense, the inside left tackle is the key guy on the defense," said Price, who took over as the Rainbows head coach in 1974. "You've got to have at least two guys to be able to block him. And he keeps everybody from blocking the linebacker at the same time.

"So (Stanley) always played on the left side, on their right guard.

"And absolutely a killer. There was nobody who could run up the center on us."

The 1973 game against Washington, a powerhouse in what was then the Pac-8, was a perfect example, Price said.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alexander the Greg

Erin Branch of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat profiles Greg Alexander.
Yes, he’s come a long way since he was swarmed at “The Swamp.”

And, in retrospect, it appears that the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Alexander began turning his season around the moment he was benched against Florida.

SRJC coach Keith Simons spoke to Hawaii quarterback coach Nick Rolovich, a Novato native, during the season and Rolovich raved about Alexander’s response to his rugged debut.

“Nick was telling me how Greg would show up to practice every day and just work his butt off,” Simons said. “By doing that he earned the respect of the team.”

Said Alexander, “It’s just one of those things. Crying and whining about stuff isn’t going to help you. I just kept working to get better.”

Video: Colt Brennan, Dan Kelly

Chawan Cut is back and has some video from KFVE and KHON.

Colt Brennan finally gets an autographed photo from Stephanie Lum:

And former UH kicker Dan Kelly talks to John Veneri about getting back into soccer.

The Centurions: #9 Chad Owens

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #9, slotback/returner Chad Owens.

Billy Hull profiles Mighty Mouse.
It started with a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tulsa. A week later, he did it again, taking a punt 75 yards for a score against Nevada.

Both were home games and, with every Saturday, the chants became louder.

He made it three games in a row at Aloha Stadium with a punt return TD, going 71 yards against San Jose State.

But the streak was snapped against Idaho, and Hawaii was 5-5 needing wins against Big Ten teams Northwestern and Michigan State to clinch a spot in a bowl game. That's when the unbelievable happened.

"I just remember the crowd's energy," Owens said. "I could feel it, they could feel it, I felt like I was going to score every time."
Here's his punt return for a TD against Northwestern.

UPDATE: Thanks to Anonymous for this compilation of Chad Owens highlights.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

UH Fans Wanted

HawaiiAthletics.com is calling on UH fans to audition for a UH football commercial this Saturday at Ching Field.
UH fans are invited to "audition" at the Clarence T.C. Ching Field on the UH Makai campus on Saturday, July 25, from 9-10 a.m. Fans will be placed in front of a TV camera and asked to enthusiastically vocalize their UH pride by proclaiming "I’m A Warrior." If a couple or group participates, they will shout "We’re Warriors."

Following the taping, the fan segments will be reviewed and a select number will be included in an upcoming UH football commercial. Fans are encouraged to wear UH merchandise to the taping and all participants will need to sign a waiver form. Fans do not need to register for the taping in advance.
Chawan Cut, bring your legos down!

David Veikune on the Warrior Beat

David Veikune and Miss Hawai‘i Raeceen Woolford are the guests on today's Warrior Beat Show, which begins at noon HST. Submit your questions on the blog or during the show. Be there!

The Centurions: #10 Jeris White

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #10, cornerback Jeris White.

Kalani Simpson profiles White.
In the spring of his senior year, Dave Holmes called, then came over and talked to his mother and father, offered a full ride for four years. White thinks there may have been a couple of jucos after him too, but UH was the only four-year school to show any interest. He accepted. He would play for UH.

But first there was a Hawaii-California all-star football game. "I think they had it one time, and I played in it," White said. "Lynn Swann was on the California team."

In the week of practices he caught everyone's eye. College coaches asked him where he was going. Hawaii, he said. People told him he should go to the mainland instead. He was too good. If things didn't work out, he could always come back home. (The same old story; it's been happening since leather-helmet days.)

He was appalled, when, all week, local people told him the same thing. "You're always whining about guys who are good who go to the mainland and you're telling me to do that?" he says.

But no. He would go to UH, and wear No. 85, and hit people.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Centurions: #11 Garrett Gabriel (w/UPDATE)

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #11, quarterback Garrett Gabriel.

Chance Gusukuma profiles Garrett the BYU-slayer.
"People will come up and say, 'Hey, thanks for the memories' or 'You're the one who beat BYU,' " Gabriel said. "And I'm thinking, jeez, it's been 15, 20 years and these guys remember it so vividly."

Gabriel agrees that Oct. 28, 1989, the night he led UH to its first win over BYU in 15 years, was "probably the best night of (my) career."

But he shares credit as deftly as he once delivered the ball to his teammates.

"It wasn't just me," he said of snapping BYU's 10-game winning streak against UH. "It was a great team effort, everybody was pretty much on the same page. The defense was great. My offensive line, those guys played great. I think I barely got touched (by the BYU defense) all night."

Gabriel completed 14 of his first 15 passes as UH scored on eight of nine first-half possessions. He ended up connecting on 22 of his 29 passes for 440 yards with four touchdown passes to four different receivers against the shell-shocked Cougars.

Bob Wagner, then the UH head coach, still describes it as "the most perfect game, execution-wise, that I've ever been involved with."

"In the bigger games I tended to play a little better," Gabriel said. "That's all I looked forward to. I liked it that that's your moment to shine."
UPDATE: Here's an interview with Gabriel from the July 14th Rob & Russ Show.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fab 50: Jesse Sapolu

Former UH offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu is profiled as part of the Advertiser's list of the top 50 sports persons/teams/people who helped change or shape the landscape in Hawai'i sports since 1959.
"Playing on 'Monday Night Football', I knew there were thousands of young kids watching. Whenever I was on TV being interviewed I had to carry myself in a positive manner," said Sapolu, a two-time Pro Bowler who played guard and center from 1983-97 with the 49ers. "At the end of the day those kinds of things influence kids more than any block I made on the field.

"Now, when I do endorsements — I've been retired for over 12 years — and companies come up to you because they want you to be a spokesman for their company because of the way you conducted yourself off the field, 12 years later, that carries a lot more than Super Bowls, Pro Bowls and other accomplishments. Then maybe I did walk the right path."

The Centurions: #12 Blane Gaison

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #12, safety/quarterback Blane Gaison.

Paul Honda profiles Gaison.
Steering the defense from his safety position, Gaison was a coach on the field. No. 11's intelligence and versatility provided Rainbow Warriors fans with some of their greatest memories. Few athletes can go most of a season without taking a snap under center, then lead a team to victory over established programs.

Gaison's return to quarterback, all because of injury problems to UH's top two slingers, yielded victories over Colorado State and Arizona State. The win over ASU, which had left the WAC to join the Pac-10 the year before (1978), was a demonstration in Tomey's pillars for success: defense and a ground attack.

"He'd hand it off to Gary Allen and David Toloumu. Gary ran for 150 yards," Tomey said, noting the stellar play of a defense that kept Arizona State to its lowest offensive output in seven games.

The Sun Devils, who featured future NFL quarterback Mark Malone, had to play it safe to an extent. Gaison had already shown, in a win over CSU, that he could throw the ball. A third-down completion to tight end Jerry Scanlan was clutch.

"That play was the most shocking thing. That game was totally off the wall," Gaison said. "(Scanlan) was the third option, and we never worked on it. After the game, Coach Tomey said, 'How did you see that?' "

Saturday, July 18, 2009

News and Notes: No Posters, Cory Daniel, Dick Tomey, Etc.

Stephen Tsai confirms that there will be no schedule posters printed this year.
In a practical move that will save $30,000, the athletic department is doing away with UH team posters.
The Warriors had issued posters, which include a team's schedule, for more than 30 years. The practice originated at a time before the widespread availability of the Internet.
Now UH's schedules can be found through various media sources. The Warriors still will distribute schedule cards. The school also is offering free downloadable desktop wallpapers that feature the schedules.
I think that sucks. Tsai notes that media guides for football and women's volleyball teams will still be printed. Personally, if they had a choice I think they should've kept the posters and gotten rid of the media guides. You can't really hang a media guide in your window.

Yesterday, Tsai had a Q&A with incoming linebacker Cory Daniel.
Cory Daniel, a former MMA fighter and Castle High TKO linebacker, is enrolled at UH-Manoa and prepared to join the Warriors for training camp. He spent the past couple of years at Arizona's Pima Community College, where he earned an associate degree.
Daniel took a break to talk story with the Warrior Beat.
Weighty question first.
"When I came back, I was up to almost 270. Now I'm back to the high 240s. I'm trying to peak it out. I don't want to come out too light. At camp time, I can lose whatever I have to lose. Hopefully, I can play at 235, 240."
Earlier this week, Ferd Lewis profiled former UH coach Dick Tomey as part of their Sports' Fabulous 50 series.
Tomey left UH in 1987 with the most wins in UH history, later to be overtaken by one of his former assistants, June Jones. But the measure of Tomey's tenure is deeper than the 63-46-3 record.

The 39-year-old Tomey was about hope and stability at a juncture when UH football had reached its lowest ebb. In some ways the situation then was more dire than even the 0-12 season of 1998.
Today, the Advertiser profiles the Leaheys -- Chuck, Jim and Kanoa.

And Jason Kaneshiro has some notes about Colt Brennan, the updated UH roster, Aloha Stadium's roof replacement and UH's first opponent of 2009:
Central Arkansas, UH’s season opening opponent, is ranked eighth in the FCS by Lindy’s, 11th by The Sporting News and 16th by Athlon in their preseason publications. The Bears went 10-2 last year and visit Aloha Stadium on Sept. 4.

The Centurions: #13 Ashley Lelie

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #13, receiver Ashley Lelie.

Joe Edwards profiles Lelie.
No Hawaii fan will ever forget Lelie's spectacular, leaping, last-second touchdown grab that gave the Warriors a 38-34 victory over Fresno State. That single catch rocked Aloha Stadium. It was, perhaps, the biggest single catch in Warrior history. On national TV. Against the No. 18 team in the land. Capping a nine-catch, 122-yard effort that only got in gear after a crushing hit by Fresno State safety Cameron Worrell.

"That hit woke me up," Lelie said.


A couple of series later, Lelie first caught a 45-yard pass to put the Warriors in scoring position. He followed it with an 11-yard touchdown catch to put Hawaii ahead 31-27.

Fresno would rally, however, going ahead 34-31 on David Carr's 35-yard scoring pass to Rodney Wright.

Hawaii had to punt on its next possession, but UH safety Nate Jackson soon blindsided Carr. La'anui Correia recovered the fumble and the Warriors were back in business.

"That whole sequence of events, that stuck with me even through my career in the NFL," Lelie said. "That whole game is still like a dream to me. It's like an out-of-body experience. The stadium was so loud. I still get goose bumps thinking about it. That was my most fun game ever. My whole career. NFL. Ever."
Courtesy of braddahneil, here is that game-winning touchdown catch vs Fresno.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New 2008 Highlights Video

Via SportsHawaii.com, kapoleicoug has another awesome highlight video. Getting all excited for the upcoming season.

The Centurions: #14 Samson Satele

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #14, offensive lineman Samson Satele.

Robert Kekaula and Rob DeMello team up to profile Samson.
"Didn't matter how big or how strong you were," Satele said. "Respect was earned, and if I deserved it but the other guy didn't give it, I took it."

Satele's mission of earning respect was widespread, going both up and down the team's schedule, as well as up and down the Warriors roster.

New players who didn't realize Samson was "King" (it was even taped on his helmet at practice) discovered so quickly. The Warriors under June Jones rarely endured punishment drills, but one morning in fall camp the team paid the price for the overnight tomfoolery of some rookies. At one point, Satele -- normally quiet -- let out a loud growl that sent a message that required no repeating. The young UH players knew there'd be more than a warning next time, and there was no next time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The BC Lions take on the Edmonton Eskimos at 3pm HST today. However, Ryan Grice-Mullen will not be starting.
...and Rufus Skillern substituting for slippery-fingered wideout Ryan Grice-Mullen. In the case of Stith and Grice-Mullen, the changes represent a complete reversal of the party line espoused in training camp.

Grice-Mullen was lauded as the speed merchant who could relieve the coverage pressure on Geroy Simon. But the Dreadhead’s slow recovery from a hamstring injury was a red flag that Grice-Mullen’s hands, as well as his hammies, weren’t yet up to game speed.
He should see some playing time regardless, and he may even get his starting job back next week.
As for the speedy Grice-Mullen, Buono said: “Our expectations of Ryan are high. We want him to be a big player for us. Right now, it’s a one-week thing. We want to put on the field players we have confidence in.”
Follow live updates via CFLCentral.com.

Listen to the game via Team 1040 Sports Radio.

Purchase a live webcast of the game via CFL Broadband, though the game may available afterwards for free on TSN's video page.

UPDATE: RGM did not have any stats from the game.

News and Notes: Giving Back, Transferring, Grayshirting, Etc.

Dave Reardon writes about Colt Brennan giving back.
The Ko’olaulea Red Raiders Pop Warner football players will all have brand new uniforms this season, thanks to a hanai son of the North Shore.

Colt Brennan made a donation to sponsor the Red Raiders, and through an NFL program, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback’s donation is matched by the league.

“One of my teammates, Fred Smoot, was talking one day about how he had a team in Mississippi,” said Brennan, the former Hawaii star who is relaxing in the islands this week. “So that gave me the idea to do it here.”
Tsai writes about Colt's donation and notes that T.J. Alofipo will either grayshirt or enroll in a JC.

In today's post, Tsai notes receiver that Daniel Lofton is transferring, incoming receiver Deondre Powell is expected to grayshirt (UPDATE: Tsai revised the post to say that Powell will go to a JC), and incoming defensive lineman Marcus Malepeai may not grayshirt after all. Tsai also has a Q&A with incoming defensive tackle Zach Masch. Here's an excerpt:
He makes sure he gets his daily iron.
"Basically, I do a lot of super reps. I do three different (weightifting) workouts instead of just bench. I do bench, inclines and pushups. I do 15 benches of 225 (pounds). Then I do the incline machine. l do 10 with my right arm, 10 with my left and 10 together. Then I do 50 pushups. I do three (sets) of them."
He weighs 280, and is trying to put on more pounds.
"Right now, I'm on my own for the second (summer) session. I eat Pastaroni or pizza every night. In the morning, I eat a lot of corned beef hash because there's a lot of fat in there. And a lot of rice. I make eggs all of the time. I love eggs. I make it over easy so I get all of the ooze stuff all over the rice. It tastes really good. What I love the most is Portuguese sausage under the rice with the egg yolks on top. That's my favorite thing."
On SportsHawaii.com, AK Warrior wrote that offensive lineman David Garness is transferring.
David Garness decided to go to City College of San Francisco. We are both still Warrior fans and will be rooting for the Warriors this fall.
Jason Kaneshiro profiles former UH cornerback Kenny Patton, who is helping current Warriors with offseason workouts.
"Any way I can help out, I'm happy trying to give back to these guys," Patton said. "I'm happy these guys are coming out and working hard and are hungry for it. It makes it a pleasure."

Patton put together a program combining drills he learned while playing for UH and in his NFL experiences with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders.

"It was a brief stint, however I did learn a lot," Patton said. "I just tried to soak up as much as I can and break things down, add to it and be creative and just motivate these guys."
Kaneshiro also writes about incoming JC players Lametrius Davis and Alex Green working out during the offseason, and has an update on long-time incoming offensive lineman Kainoa LaCount.
Kainoa LaCount is optimistic he'll be ready to play this fall after sitting out last season. The former Kailua offensive line standout initially signed with UH in 2008 but didn't earn his associate's degree in time to become eligible last season. LaCount said he completed his requirements from College of the Canyons in the spring semester and has been working to keep in shape.

The Centurions: #15 Michael Carter

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #15, quarterback Michael Carter.

What?! He's not top 10?! Blasphemy! Anyway, Jason Kaneshiro profiles one of my favorite UH football players of all time, Michael Carter.
Carter wasn't the fastest quarterback to play for the Rainbows, nor did he have the strongest arm around. But he possessed the decision-making skills required to operate Paul Johnson's triple-option attack and a willingness to absorb the punishment that came with the job.

"He'd get smacked just about every play," said Darrick Branch, a UH receiver in the early 1990s. "He had a lot of bumps and bruises and time and time again we'd see Michael Carter get up and go back to the huddle and lead the team. That's how he'd always been.

"Even before he came to UH that's what we heard about him: He's a tough guy and he's not afraid to play ball the way it's supposed to be played."

Carter finished his career in 1993 and still owns the UH record for rushing touchdowns with 39 and is the second-leading rusher in school history with 2,528 yards, trailing only Gary Allen.

Carter's comfort with contact was a product of his football background growing up in Southern California, and he didn't resign himself to the role of victim when running the ball.

"I was a quarterback and a linebacker from my Pop Warner days all the way up until high school," he said. "I kind of played with a linebacker's mentality. ... And a lot of my time was spent practicing with the running backs, so I actually learned how to deliver blows instead of taking them."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

News and Notes: Wallpapers, Brashton, Doe, Brown

Via H-Mail, HawaiiAthletics has new H-themed wallpaper backgrounds for computer desktops or sites like Twitter (woot!) Here are a couple thumbnails.

...and don't forget to check out Chawan Cut's collection of Chawan-made and other fan-made wallpapers.

Stephen Tsai had a Q&A with Brashton Satele yesterday.
A new approach.
"I went to Arizona, and Chad changed my whole mental thought about working out, eating. I feel great. I feel the best I've ever felt in my life."
In the beginning ...
"The first day I got up there, I was like: 'What did I get myself into?' After a week, it got better."
Thoughts for food.
"The best thing I did was to get off the island, to get away from Hawai‘i food, the white rice. Chad got me on a good diet. I got rid of the sugars, and cut down on carbs. I substitute brown rice for white rice. I eat chicken, steak, salmon. I bake the chicken. Nothing fried. I started to like it once I saw the changes to my body. I got addicted to it."
Tsai has a Q&A with former UH safety Doe Henderson today.
The magic number is 1992.
"It was a good year, a good experience. The simple fact is we were a team. We had Mainland and local players, and we had camaraderie. We had Jason Elam and Junior Tagoai and Bryan (Addison) and Maa (Tanuvasa) and Darrick (Branch). They kept the camaraderie there. ... We had a really good defense. It was just a good team overall. It was great to be part of that. I remember they wanted to redshirt me that year. I didn't play in the first two games. Then coach (George) Lumpkin came up to me and said, 'You're starting.' It was a shock to me."
And Jason Kaneshiro has a brief item on incoming JC safety Aaron Brown.
Aaron Brown, a heralded junior-college safety, reported on campus for summer school last week and joins a line of players to join the Hawaii program from Saddleback Community College.
Colt Brennan ranks among Saddleback’s most notable alums. Current UH receiver Mike Tinoco and offensive lineman Brett Leonard also signed with UH after attending the JC in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Brown has been getting acquainted with more of his Warrior teammates in conditioning drills.
“That’s the big thing, getting to know everybody, and getting a good team atmosphere,” he said.
Originally from Puyallup, Wash., Brown is especially looking forward to UH’s game against Washington State in Seattle on Sept. 12.

The Centurions: #16 Timmy Chang

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #16, quarterback Timmy Chang.

Brian McInnis profiles Chang.
Ultimately, Chang's lasting impact with the Warriors goes beyond his NCAA records of the good (17,072 passing yards) and the bad (80 interceptions).

Some teammates remember a charismatic leader who could get them to give it their all simply by flashing his happy-go-lucky grin in the huddle. His quarterbacks coach remembers a gritty player who would bounce back from his worst performances by rising to the occasion with one of his best. And they still speak to his high character, despite Chang's recent arrest for allegedly throwing a woman's video recorder on a roof (no charges were filed) and his missing of a game due to academics.

And they credit him as being essential in the rise of Hawaii football to its greatest heights.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

WitP: Chad Owens, Leonard Peters

Chad Owens has been added to the Montreal Alouettes' practice roster, it was officially announced today.
Montreal Alouettes’ Vice President and General Manager Jim Popp announced today that Canadian defensive tackle J.P. Bekasiak and import receiver/return specialist Chad Owens have been added to the team’s practice roster.
Hopefully he'll get on the active roster soon.

And former UH safety Leonard Peters is currently part of the USA Sevens national rugby team, which is preparing to compete in the World Games in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei.
With the last of the players arriving in Denver yesterday afternoon, the squad will now train for the next five days at Infinity Park, in Glendale, Colo. The squad will undergo fitness testing and a scrimmage against the local Denver side, before Caravelli selects the 12 he wants to make the trip to China on Sunday.
Other first time camp attendees are Ata Malifa, who like Dahl has been on the verge of attending a camp for over a year, and Leonard Peters, who comes to the assembly from the University of Hawaii where he was a standout football player. Originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2007, Peters was on the Chicago Bears practice squad in 2008 and displays the professionalism and demeanor that Caravelli welcomes to this team.
LP also has a brief profile in eRugbyNews.
USA 7s coach Al Caravelli is still looking for that crossover athlete to jump into his team. Many have found it isn’t easy – rugby is a mental game, too. The latest candidate has a little background to help him out – American Samoa-born, rugby trained college football hero Leonard Peters.

Peters played football at Kahuku High School and later the University of Hawaii, but during his formative years also had some rugby experience. Kahuku was coached by the legendary Livai Siuaki, who is now heavily involved in Hawaii rugby.

The Centurions: #17 Davone Bess

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #17, receiver Davone Bess.

Jason Kaneshiro profiles Simply Da Bess.
Now preparing for his second season with the Miami Dolphins, Bess still reflects on the twists that led him to Hawaii and the abiding impact of that decision.

"I think about that all the time," Bess said. "I'm a true believer that everything happens for a reason.

"They gave me an opportunity to come here and play and I took advantage of it and it put me on a plateau to be successful and work as hard as I can to maintain that success."

Ask Lee about Bess and "work ethic" is liberally peppered into the conversation.

Blessed with hands that clung to just about everything thrown to him, Bess worked diligently to improve them, snaring ball after ball fired out of the Jugs machine before and after practices.

When he left after his junior year, those hands had secured a school-record 293 passes, including 41 touchdowns, covering 3,610 yards.

"He has a tremendous feel for where to be," Lee said. "He made it look easy. He's not a 4.4 (40-yard dash) guy, but he has the quickness to make guys miss and he has that savvy."
Just a reminder that he and Ryan Mouton will be today's guest on The Warrior Beat Show today at noon HST. You can post questions on the blog or during the show.

Monday, July 13, 2009

No Swap Meet on Game Days

It's official, via Brian McInnis:
The stadium authority has voted to shift the vendors’ Saturday dates normally shared with UH — there are six this season — to Fridays, the authority board member Marcia Klompus said today.

It is on a trial basis.

“It was for security and traffic reasons,” Klompus said. “We want to see how it works out. We want to see whatever else can be done.”

Bids are in for a new swap meet contract, with the winner expected to be announced Thursday. The winning bidder will have to abide by the UH football shift.

WitP: Colt, Bess and Mouton

KHNL has a story about Colt Brennan and Davone Bess signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at Pictures Plus and Barefoot League over the weekend. They also have video of Colt interviewing Davone. Here's an excerpt from the interview:
Colt: The last question is -- the one thing about Hawaii that you love that Florida can't touch?

Davone: The people.

Colt: I was gonna say the same thing.
Woot! And Stephen Tsai writes that Davone and Ryan Mouton will be guests on The Warrior Beat Show tomorrow.

The Centurions: #18 Raphel Cherry

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #18, quarterback Raphel Cherry.

Dave Reardon reviews the sad story of Raphel Cherry.
TOMEY TELLS OF a play against Utah in 1984. In his mind, the signature play of Raphel Cherry's UH career.

"It wasn't a pass, it wasn't a run. He took a sack instead of throwing a ball away, because he felt the pressure coming from his blindside. It was a completely unselfish play. He took an unprotected hit and protected the ball rather than try to throw the ball and probably fumble. That play won us the game."

It is a play a true quarterback makes. But in those days, very few blacks were considered candidates to be quarterbacks in the NFL. Cherry was drafted by the Redskins as a safety.

I wondered then and I wonder now. Cherry outplayed another black quarterback, UNLV's Randall Cunningham, the two times they matched up. Cunningham played quarterback in the league for a long time, and last I heard lives in a very big house. Meanwhile, Cherry lives in the big house.

Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it means everything.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

From the Blogs: Rodney Bradley, Colt Brennan, Warrior Jack

Stephen Tsai has a Q&A with receiver Rodney Bradley. Here's an excerpt:
The best thing about Hawai‘i is ...
"The beach. It's really fun. I've never been to a beach until I came out here. It's hard to keep away from it. I haven't been surfing, but that's something I want to try. I like the beach in Waikiki, and I've been to Sandy's and Ko Olina."
Waiter, I said make it medium ...
"On my (recruiting) visit, I had some (sashimi). I didn't like it. I guess it's an acquired taste."
LizKauai got to meet Colt Brennan the other night. She writes about her experience, and has lots of photos.

And Paul Honda writes about getting a Warrior Jack ball, and has some photos of it still in its wrapping.

The Centurions: #19 Vince Manuwai

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #19, offensive lineman Vince Manuwai.

Ben Nishimoto profiles Manuwai.
"He would pancake guys with the strike of his hand. He had the best punch I've ever seen," said Brian Smith, Manuwai's former teammate and current Hawaii assistant coach. Smith now shows Manuwai's sophomore highlight tape to his players.

So powerful were his punches that sometimes even his opponents were incredulous.

According to Cavanaugh, during a television timeout in Hawaii's home matchup with Alabama in 2002, a Crimson Tide defensive lineman who had battled Manuwai all night called him over and asked him how much he bench-pressed. When Manuwai told him he benched around 500 pounds, the lineman swore Manuwai could lift more.

With every pancake, national attention increased. Coaches, teammates and eventually pro scouts raved about his athleticism and technique. The "V-Man 65" campaign, concocted by the Hawaii athletic department, gave the quiet giant enough exposure to be named to the CNN/Sports Illustrated All-America first team.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

UH vs Washington State Kickoff Time Set

Washington State University has announced a 4:00 pm PST kickoff time for the September 12th game between WSU and Hawaii at Qwest Field.

Be there!

If anyone is actually gonna be there, be sure to be there Friday night. Island Sports Media is putting together a Sports Hawaii Tailgate Jam.
Island Sports Media & Malaea Entertainment present:
Sports Hawaii Tailgate Jam at Studio 7 in Seattle, WA. Just few blocks south of Qwest Field.
Sept 11, 2009, Doors open @ 7pm, wear your green and white and let’s cheer on the University of Hawaii Warriors.
Hula performances by Na Mea Hula O’Kamano’i'o, Instructor, Malaea Rasmussen-Richardson perform with her halau for you with Harry & da boyz.
Napun Tasi, Elias Kauhane performs with his mixture of Chamorro/Hawaiian music. Also featuring Unified Culture and Island Bound. Food, music, and more….
Here's the flyer from their front page.

From the Blogs: Swap Meet, Sione, Kiel, Symonds

Dave Reardon writes that the swap meet may soon be gone for good on UH game days.
Word we’re getting is that whoever gets the new contract for the Aloha Stadium swap meet will not be allowed to hold it on Saturdays of University of Hawaii home football games. Stadium officials won’t say anything, but a big announcement on this is expected as early as next week.

It’s about time someone figured this one out … it’s a no-brainer.
Stephen Tsai writes that Earvin Sione is back on the UH roster, while kicker Brett Symonds and receiver Matt Kiel will no longer be Warriors.

The Centurions: #20 Jeff Ulbrich

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #20, linebacker Jeff Ulbrich.

Paul Arnett profiles "Brick".
"This is Jeff Ulbrich."

A couple of weeks before, Skinner pulled me aside after a voluntary workout to give me the heads up on the midterm transfer from Gavilan Junior College in Gilroy, Calif. Isn't that the garlic capital of the world? Skinner had no idea. But what he did know early on was UL-BRICK was a player.

"You should see this guy in the weight room," Skinner said, a touch of awe in his voice. "He bangs his head against the weights before he lifts. HARD."

Ulbrich politely raised his hand to shake mine — hard enough — before quietly introducing himself. Like a sniper. Polite. No smile. Just an upward gaze of intensity and acknowledgment. Even now, the thrill of hitting someone in practice was fresh on his face.
I wonder if he gets that same look after he drives his Prius.

Eh, I'm just kidding! Seriously, I hope he becomes a coach at UH whenever his playing days are done.

Warrior Jack

You need to get some balls.
The University of Hawaii Warrior Jack antenna ball bounced onto the market yesterday at all 26 Jack in the Box restaurants around the state, according to Media Relations Manager, Kathleen Anthony in San Diego.

Guests ordering a large combo meal receive the antenna ball free, as has been the case with the restaurant's other antenna balls created in Jack's likeness. Those are generally made available at the chain's 2,180 restaurants in 18 states. This one, however, is available only in Hawaii.
"In years past we offered a series of antenna balls featuring NFL and MLB sports teams, (such as the) San Diego Padres," Anthony said. "However, I believe this is our first antenna ball to feature a college team ... and we are not currently offering antenna balls featuring collegiate teams in other markets."
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