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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WitP: Mouton, Mighty Mouse, Colt

Ryan Mouton and the Tennessee Titans came to terms on a 4-year deal today.
Ryan Mouton and the Tennessee Titans came to terms today, according to Ken Zuckerman, the agent for the cornerback who played for Hawaii.
The four-year contract is worth close to $2.5 million and can reach over $3 million if Mouton achieves certain milestones.
Stephen Tsai has more:
"This just caps off a successful post-season by Ryan," Zuckerman said. "He went from a projected free agent and a blip on the NFL radar to a top draft pick and it wasn't easy. He missed a couple of games during his senior season, pulled his hamstring at the East-West Shrine All-Star game, aggravated the same hamstring at the combine and did the same at Hawaii's pro day. In fact, he never completed a 40 yard dash healthy. However, with his tremendous upside and great character he was able to overcome all of these obstacles and still maintain to elevate his draft stock. I'm really proud of him and he deserves it!"
Yesterday, Billy V tweeted that Chad Owens was picked up by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
HawaiianBroadcast.com confirms Former UH Player Chad Owens picked up by Montreal Alouettes/Canadian Football League. Owens leaves Wed for CA
Stephen Tsai had more:
"I'm just looking forward to playing football again," Owens wrote. "Just trying to continue to live my dream and continue to do what I love to do."
Owens has recovered from a torn ACL that abbreviated his indoor-league season last year.
Thanks to Patty G for sending these next two Colt Brennan articles:

Jake Luce of Redskins.com has a Q&A with Colt Brennan. Here's an excerpt.
Q: What are your goals this season?

A: “My goal is to get better in practice, understand the offense more and act more like a starting quarterback. I have to have an attitude that, if I’m called upon, I can do the job. It takes a lot of work. You’ve got to put in the time in learning the playbook and you’ve got to be a leader.

“When it comes time for preseason, I want to have four great games and I want everybody to step back and say, ‘Wow, look how much the kid has grown from last year.’

“When it comes time for the regular season, I just need to be ready because you can never predict anything. I want to be ready so that, if I’m called upon, we’re not going to be taking a step back.

“It’s going to be, ‘Let’s go have fun with this new kid under center.’”
And in an interview with Hogs Haven, Redskins linebacker Robert Henson had some cool things to say about Colt.
Robert: You know who can still throw? TC. Todd Collins. He can THROW. I was dropping back in coverage thinking I was about to get him and that ball was there! I wouldn’t sleep on Colt Brennan either. Colt’s arm is crazy. You know what messes me up is his release. Most of the time you can time a quarterback’s release but that sidearm.

: The coaches get on him for that?

Robert: I haven’t been really paying attention to that. I’m mixed up in my own battles. I can’t touch the ball when he throws, but I’ll try to change that in training camp. I remember watching him in your pre-season game last year, and he did real good.

We Play For You

The UH Athletics Department has unveiled its new marketing campaign for the 2009-10 season.
The newly adopted "We Play For You" slogan and logo will be incorporated into UH's television, radio, and print advertising and included on all external items, including media guides, game programs, press releases, schedule cards, website (HawaiiAthletics.com), weekly e-newsletter (H-Mail), premium items, merchandise, etc.

"UH athletics belongs to the people of Hawai`i and we are proud to represent this state in major-college sports competition," Jim Donovan, athletics director, said. "Through national telecasts and NCAA competition, we've been able to spread the word about our incredible home and bring Hawaii into millions of households. This athletics program belongs to the fans and we play for them. So, we felt this marketing and advertising campaign was important to help communicate and reinforce this message."

On July 6, UH will begin airing football season-ticket commercials on K5, KHNL, ESPN, ESPN2, SPIKE, TNT, and CNBC. The commercials will feature various Hawaii citizens enthusiastically proclaiming: "I'm A Warrior" or "We Are Warriors." Action-packed highlights of UH football will be featured between the fans' clips and the commercials will conclude with the "We Play For You" slogan and logo.
I like it. I just hope they sell "They Play for Me" T-shirts. Fans wearing "We Play For You" t-shirts would be weird. They would totally work for the UH band though. Ooooh, they should sell "They Run Fake Punts For Me after I suggest it on Call the Coach" T-shirts. I'd buy it!

News and Notes

John Estes is the guest on today's Warrior Beat Mid-Day Show, starting at noon HST. Submit questions during the show, or on the blog. Be there!

PIAA's Doris Sullivan confirms that 2009 signees Chad Lopati and Benson Ma'afala will be enrolling at Arizona Western instead of UH.

Tina Mata’afa of Samoa News has a wrap-up of the 2009 American Samoa Football Academy and Medical Mission. Here's an excerpt:
Students lined up following registration to get their Academy t-shirts signed by the likes of Oakland Raiders center Samson Satele and NFL great Jesse Sapolu, former San Francisco 49’ers offensive lineman and four-time Super Bowl champion.

Former defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders Ta’ase Faumui, former Denver Broncos tight end Ma’a Tanuvasa, a two-time Super Bowl Champion plus former NFL quarterback Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson are also among the football celebrities in town for the Academy.

Students were led through speed and quickness drills by visiting coaches —Jones, McMackin, as well as three other coaches from SMU and two from Hawaii.
Wes Nakama has a report from the All-Poly Camp, which got underway yesterday.

Ferd Lewis writes about Hawaii being a recruiting hotbed.

Ferd Lewis takes a look at the UH Athletic Department's $2.58 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year.

The ever-prolific Ferd Lewis writes about WAC teams getting smaller payouts this year, which does not help the current deficit.

However, the tireless Ferd Lewis wrote earlier this week that for better or worse, UH needs the WAC.

The Centurions: 31-35

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 numbers 31-35:

35. Walter Murray, receiver
34. Dan Robinson, quarterback
33. Travis Sims, running back
32. Ma'a Tanuvasa, defensive lineman
31. Solomon Elimimian, linebacker

Joe Edwards profiles Bam-Bam, i.e. running back Travis Sims.
If ever there was a back you could count on for the tough yards when you really needed them, he was your guy.

And if ever there was a guy tailor-made for the spread -- as preached by Paul Johnson -- it was Sims.

The base play in the former UH offensive coordinator's attack is the fullback dive. Straight ahead, right behind the guard. Sims was built for it.

"Travis was a great fit for our offense and a really good person," said Johnson, now head coach at Georgia Tech. "He had great balance, good vision and deceptive speed for a guy his size. He had really big legs and broke a lot of tackles."

Said Sims, "I'm a kind of quick, fast-hitting guy. That offense was perfectly made for me. The first guy that I looked for was one of the DBs. I'd step up and hit him right in the mouth. I figured he'd be reluctant to step up there next time."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Bess, Satele, Sopoaga

Miami Dolphins officials confirm that the guy who said he was Davone Bess on Twitter was not really Davone Bess.
The person who created the Twitter account "Lambo_Weezy" and claimed to be Dolphins WR Davone Bess was indeed just a moronic impostor.

Miami Dolphins Senior VP of Media Relations, Harvey Greene, has told me that they have spoken with Davone and "he assured it wasn't him" on Twitter.
The Phinsider also has a statement from Davone's agent, Kenny Zuckerman:
The site is a 100% fake. In fact, we have contacted all the proper authorities and plan to prosecute this impostor to the fullest extent of the law.

Fraud is fraud and we are going to protect Davone and his reputation at any cost.

He is very upset about this incident and wants everyone to know that he is the victim of an unfortunate scam.
UPDATE: Fox Sports has a story about the whole mess.


Samson Satele spoke to KGMB about his new team, the Oakland Raiders. His story starts at about 2:20 into the video.
"If Tom Cable sees it, he's been in there for about four years now and the rest of the guys have been there for about six years. He's saying that these guys are working the hardest since he's been there. He always talks about we're not going to be like how we were the last five or six years, we're not going to be like those teams last year or the year before. It's the same things that Sporano said and it worked out good. The guys in Oakland we just got to believe in it and good things will happen," said Satele.

And Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee's 49ers blog takes a look at San Francisco's defensive line, including this analysis of Isaac Sopoaga.
Isaac Sopoaga, 6-2, 330. He's the strongest player on the team, he's athletic for a big man and he's entering his sixth year. So why hasn't Sopoaga had a bigger impact? The problem is that he's not an instinctual player. Sopoaga seems to be best the closer he is to the ball, which is why some inside the organization think he'd be better at nose tackle than at defensive end. His bulk certainly supports that hypothesis. Sopoaga, however, has said in the past that he's much happier at end than on the nose because he has less to worry about. What does that leave the 49ers with? A solid player who can't quite fulfill his potential.

The Centurions: 36-40

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 numbers 36-40:

40. Nolle Smith, back
39. M.L. Johnson, linebacker
38. Harry Kahuanui, end
37. Ryan Grice-Mullins, slotback
36. Travis LaBoy, defensive lineman

Lyle Nelson writes about Harry "Clown" Kahuanui.
Football was where his star was brightest. Kahuanui made honorable-mention All-America as a United Press International choice at defensive end in 1949.

"He was often the biggest guy on the field, in height," Asato said. "He wasn't the heaviest, but he wasn't too thin either, played around 190 pounds."

He was the first Rainbow to take part in the Shrine game, held in those days at Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park. Harry played end on offense and defense with equal brilliance, Asato said. "He was so good all-around it's hard to pick out one thing. Just a great player and a great natural athlete."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WitP: LaBoy, Mouton, Bess

Travis LaBoy talks to KHNL about recovering from ankle surgery, coming back to UH for his degree, and his desire to coach at UH some day in the future. Article includes video.
His rehab will keep him out of the upcoming year, but LaBoy has plans during his down time.

"I'll be out this season, probably try get a little school done, a little school work. We'll find out what I got left, hopefully it's not too much, but I got a feeling it's quite a bit so you might see a lot of me down here so don't make fun of me too much, I'm trying to get my work done," said LaBoy
"I'd love to come back to Hawaii and coach, not necessarily head coach, but you don't even gotta pay me, just let me be on the sideline and help these kids out, I don't really have any love feelings for any other colleges, so I'd definitely love to come back God willing you know?"
Terry McCormick of The Nashville City Paper talks to Ryan Mouton about recovering from his hamstring injury and what he expects going into this season.
Mouton had a hamstring issue when the Titans drafted him in the third round out of Hawaii in April. It limited him during the rookie orientation and the May OTA work. But of late, Mouton has been a full participant, despite tweaking his ankle a few days ago, and should project himself in the mix as a backup cornerback, dimeback and possibly in the kick return derby that features a number of players.

“I’m feeling a lot better. I feel like I’m 100 percent now. Hopefully, I can just go in there and contribute somewhere,” Mouton said. “It’s a learning process, but I feel like I’m picking it up well. Every day, I’ve just got to go in there and try to get better.”
Gary Estwick of The Tennessean writes about Mouton's opportunity to contribute his rookie season.
"We felt like he was a guy who could possibly come in here and give us some depth in the secondary, as well as help us immediately on special teams," defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson said. "He's a very explosive guy, very physical tackler and he's got a little bit of knowledge of the game."

Mouton's top impact, barring an injury to Fuller or starting cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan and Nick Harper, likely will be as a gunner on special teams, taking the pressure off safety Michael Griffin.

Mouton will also compete for the kickoff and punt return jobs.
And some douchebag named "Lambo_Weezy" has been impersonating Davone Bess on Twitter, Ustream, and who knows where else. The impostor has been trash-talking other NFL players, asking people for money to appear at clubs, asking other Twitter users to pick up women for him, basically dragging Davone's name through the mud. Check out Finstache and the Phinsider for the details.

Future Warriors (?): Correa, Brackenridge, Lopati, Etc.

Stephen Tsai writes that UH has offered a scholarship to 15-year-old Kamalei Correa.
Kamalei Correa has received a scholarship offer from the Warriors.

The offer is postdated to 2013.

That's because Correa, who turned 15 in April, will be entering the ninth grade at Saint Louis School.

"We're in awe," Lani said.

Recruits may not verbally accept offers until their junior years, but the Correas have been assured that head coach coach Greg McMackin will honor the offer.

Last year, McMackin made national news when he offered a scholarship to Reeve Koehler, then an eight-grader. Correa and Koehler will be Saint Louis classmates this year.
Jason Kaneshiro writes that Kalani Brackenridge is still trying to decide between UH and the Tampa Bay Rays.
While Kalani Brackenridge continues to wrestle with his decision on which path to take next, he's thankful for the options before him.

"It's a great opportunity with these choices I have," Brackenridge said. "It's incredible."

Brackenridge, a defensive back from Kapolei, signed a letter of intent to join the Hawaii football team in February. Earlier this month, he was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

If he sticks with football, Brackenridge said, he'll grayshirt this season and join the Warriors next spring.
And some bad news for UH, as Kaneshiro notes that Chad Lopati, one of the key recruits of the 2009 signing class, will enroll at Arizona Western this season.
Brackenridge's former Kapolei teammate, linebacker Chad Lopati, also signed with UH but will attend Arizona Western College this fall, Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said.
Kaneshiro also writes that 2009 signee Joey Iosefa will grayshirt, and talks to recent commits David Lefotu and Viliami Fonokalafi.

The Centurions: 41-45

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 numbers 41-45:

45. Larry Sherrer, running back
44. Ryan Mouton, defensive back/returner
43. David Veikune, defensive lineman
42. Amosa Amosa, offensive lineman
41. Cliff Laboy, defensive lineman

And another excellent Centurions article as Mike Wise profiles Amosa Amosa.
His football accomplishments -- first-team All-Western Athletic Conference, named twice to the prestigious Warrior Club and to the 1988 Hula Bowl, member of the first all-Polynesian line in NCAA history -- cemented his credentials for UH's top 100. If he wasn't snapping the football and then nimbly using his 6-foot-2, 285-pound frame to pull his blocks in a triple-option offense -- if he didn't play on a UH team that knocked off No. 9 Iowa his senior season and was probably the best 9-3 squad never to go to a bowl game -- Amosa doesn't join honorees ranging from Larry Price to Colt Brennan, from Tommy Kaulukukui to Jason Elam.

But the numbers and victories do little to paint the portrait of Amosa, who fittingly came home last year as head football coach at Campbell, back to where a bamboo-shoot thin freshman could barely bench-press the 45-pound bar that held the weights.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Centurions: 46-50

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 numbers 46-50:

50. Ron Hall, tight end
49. Hercules Satele, offensive lineman
48. Isaac Sopoaga, defensive tackle
47. Jim Mills, offensive lineman
46. David Maeva, linebacker

And Robert Kekaula writes that David Maeva is still 'Mento' after all these years. Excellent profile.
Using a black Sharpie, David Maeva wrote "Jimmy" on the white towel that hung from his hip pad, penning his own football future.

It was Sept. 3, 1988, at Aloha Stadium. The season opener against ninth-ranked Iowa was Maeva's first game as a University of Hawaii starter. But the chicken skin he felt as the band played "Hawaii Five-0," quickly dissolved, turning him into a Rainbow running around like a chicken without a head. Scared, confused and lost at times, Maeva was left embarrassed by his play in the first half.

"I was sitting and crying in front of my locker," Maeva recalled. "I was all sick, just staring at the 'Jimmy' I wrote on my towel."

"Jimmy" was James Ferrigno, Maeva's Kamehameha Schools classmate who died in a car crash less than a month before the Hawkeyes flew into town.

"Jimmy would expect more from me," Maeva said. "I promised myself right then and there I'd never play like a wimp again. And I never did, for Jimmy."

Seventeen tackles later, the Rainbows upset Iowa, 27-24.

Trip to American Samoa

Jason Kaneshiro writes about the American Samoa Football Academy and Medical Mission.
The June Jones Foundation established the mission last year. Along with Jones, current Warriors coach Greg McMackin and former UH players Jesse Sapolu and Ma'a Tanuvasa are returning for the second year.

"Those kids are so receptive and so respectful, it's an awesome feeling to go out there and see so many Samoan brothers out there," Tanuvasa said. "They just soak everything in.

"They're catching up to us, but a lot of the kids are coming in slippers and bare feet and still kind of grasping the game. The coaches out there have done a great job; they already know a lot of the basics."

Satele, UH assistants Craig Stutzmann and Tony Tuioti, former UH lineman Ta'ase Faumui also made the trip. Jack Thompson, known as the "Throwin' Samoan" during his days at Washington State and with the Cincinnati Bengals, will also be part of the clinics.
Dave Reardon has a column about the humanitarian aspects of the trip.
Meet the unsung heroes of this undertaking -- the people in this delegation who will provide the most long-lasting positive effect on the people of American Samoa.

Anita Ciarlieglio, Robert Esteban, Francisco Garcia, Scott Holuby, Carolyn Ma, Jessica Munoz, Daniel Nabas, Ellie Taft-Reinebold, Marci Tapusoa, Kelli Te'o. These doctors, nurses, social workers and students won't show anyone how to block and tackle.

They'll merely teach others how to save lives.

JACK THOMPSON, "The Throwin' Samoan," noted the incredible statistic that a male from American Samoa is 40 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American.

But the health care stats aren't so good. Jones pointed out some of them. The more cynical among you will call this a glorified football recruiting trip. But $400,000 in medical supplies and services and the fact that this is the second annual venture speak otherwise of the June Jones Foundation.
SamoaNews.com has a short article about the trip.

Stephen Tsai has photos from the trip.

cfetters has posted more photos on WSN.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Charles Tuaau Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that along with Calen Friel, Leilehua defensive end Charles Tuaau will become a Warrior.
Tuaau said going to UH will be somewhat of a reunion. Several of his cousins attend UH, including defensive tackle Chris Leatigaga.

He also is friends with linebacker Art Laurel, offensive lineman Clayton Laurel and quarterback Bryant Moniz.

"They said a lot of good things about the program," Tuaau said. "I'm anxious to go to UH, and play for the Warriors."

Tuaau said he received interest from Oregon, Washington State, San Jose State and Idaho.
Here are more quotes from Friel:
Friel said his decision fulfilled a long-time dream.

"I was a Warrior fan since I was a little kid," Friel said.

He said an older brother is trying to earn a berth on the Warriors' roster.

"I was looking at a lot of schools," Friel said. "I think Hawai'i is the place to be."

Friel said he could not pass on an opportunity to play games in front of family members.

"I come from a family of brothers and sisters," Friel said. "I like to stay home and hang out with my family."
Congrats to Charles and Calen.

The Centurions: 51-55

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 numbers 51-55:

55. Adrian Klemm, offensive lineman
54. Nate Ilaoa, running back
53. Adam Leonard, linebacker
52. Pump Searle, back
51. Bill Wise, back

Jerry Campany profiles Bill Wise, the heart of the "Wonder Teams" of the 1920s.
Like most back then, Wise played both ways. He excelled on each side of the football. When he died in 1964, 40 years after showing off his skills, columnists for both Honolulu newspapers credited Wise with being the best passer who had ever stepped onto the island, including visiting Hula Bowl slingers Fran Tarkenton and Paul Hornung. But could he run? A four-touchdown game against Colorado State should answer that question, the only time that feat would be accomplished until Larry Arnold did it in 1968.

Some said he was the greatest defensive player as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WitP: Pisa, Mouton, Bess

Pisa Tinoisamoa has been named the Chicago Bears' starting strongside linebacker.
The Bears wasted no time in moving Pisa Tinoisamoa into the starting lineup.

As organized team activities ended, coach Lovie Smith announced that the former Ram will be the starting strongside linebacker. Tinoisamoa beat out Hunter Hillenmeyer for the job.
Ryan Mouton is one of the many candidates for the Tennessee Titans' punt and kick returner jobs. The Tennessean has a quote from him regarding his special teams experience.
Rookies Ryan Mouton and Jason McCourty, both cornerbacks, had return experience in college. Mouton averaged 21.4 yards on kickoff returns last season at Hawaii, including a 90-yard score at No. 22 Fresno State. At Blinn Junior College in Texas, he returned both.

"It doesn't matter," Mouton said. "Whichever I can come in and help and contribute."
And Davone Bess talks to Ed Thompson of Scout.com about proving everyone wrong.
"Obviously, it was really disappointing not getting drafted," he told me during a recent interview. "But at the same time, I use every negative thing and turn it into a positive. I try to just go out and prove everybody wrong."

Bess signed a free agent contract with the Dolphins and made the roster. And when Greg Camarillo was felled by injury, the hungry rookie stepped in and made people notice that he has the skill to play in this league.

During the final six games of the season, Bess averaged nearly six catches per game with 35 receptions for 366 yards. Over the complete span of his rookie season, he pulled in 54 balls for 554 yards and one touchdown.

Denver's Eddie Royal (91) and Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson (62) were the only rookie wide receivers with more catches. But considering they each started 15 games compared to Bess' six, you have to believe that Bess could put up some big-time numbers this season if he can pick up where he left off.

"I feel good right now," he said. "Obviously, having a year under my belt, I'm going out there a lot more confident. I can just go out there and play ball now."

Calen Friel Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that Kailua defensive lineman Calen Friel will become a Warrior.
Kailua High defensive end Calen Friel has accepted a football scholarship from the Warriors.
Friel is 6 feet 2 and 240 pounds.
"I was a Warrior fan since I was a little kid," said Friel, who participated in the recently completed UH Big Man's Camp for offensive and defensive linemen.
Congrats to Calen!

Road Warrior

Koa Anuenue has info about how you can be a "Road Warrior".
Join the University of Hawai‘i football team on the road for away games during the 2009 season and become a "UH Road Warrior"! Support the team and receive Rainbowtique discounts for online purchases of UH apparel!

A $50 UH Road Warrior contribution to ‘Ahahui Koa Ānuenue (AKA) offers you the opportunity to purchase up to four (4) tickets for any or all UH football road games and seating priority in areas designated for UH fans. Priority seating tickets are available in units of four (4) per $50 contribution. Your contribution supports scholarships for student-athletes at the UH-MĀnoa campus, is 80% tax deductible, and includes membership in ‘Ahahui Koa Ānuenue.
In any case, HawaiiAthletics.com has some info on how to purchase away-game tickets for the upcoming season.

David Lefotu and Viliami Fonokalafi Commit to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that offensive lineman David Lefotu of Pearl City High (woot woot!) and defensive lineman Viliami "Pep" Fonokalafi of Kaimuki High will become Warriors.
Lefotu, who is 6 feet 4 and 295 pounds, is the first Charger lineman to receive a UH football scholarship since Brian Derby in 1981.

"Not even Jason Scott Lee got one," mused David Hallums, a family friend.

Fonokalafi, who is 6 feet and 290 pounds, plays defensive tackle and defensive end for the Bulldogs.

Both cited family and friends in their decisions.

"It's the overall hospitality," Lefotu said. "I grew up here. I lived here my whole life. I don't think there's anything better than playing in front of the people you love and the people you grew up knowing. It's the friendly environment the people of Hawai'i have to offer."

Lefotu received offers from California and Wyoming, and drew interest from Oregon.

Fonokalafi drew interest from Utah, Wyoming and Utah State.
Congrats to David and Pep!

The Centurions: 56-60

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 numbers 56-60:

60. Golden Richards, receiver
59. Chris Roscoe, receiver
58. Mark Kafentzis, safety
57. Nuu Fa'aola, running back
56. David Toloumu, running back

And Jason Kaneshiro profiles Mark Kafentzis.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: LaBoy, Ingram, Ikaika

Some WitP stories from the past couple days...

Travis LaBoy spoke at this week's Big Man's Camp. The story includes a video report.
Earlier this year LaBoy played in the NFL Superbowl with the Arizona Cardinals, but now he's in the Islands for a little rest and relaxation after undergoing surgery which will hold him out of the upcoming season.

However, he made a special effort to come and talk to the future players of Hawaii.

"I think it's important just to be here and be able to answer questions, just to let these guys here to let them know, I'm no different than you, it's just the decisions you make that allow you to be successful," said LaBoy

"It's important that players get to see guys that have made it in this profession, and the first thing he said is make sure you get good grades," said Warrior head coach Greg McMackin.
Kisha Tapangan of PatriotsInsider.com profiled Jake Ingram, and talked to his former coach, Ikaika Malloe:
Malloe has high expectations for Ingram in the NFL, just as he did at the University of Hawaii, "I truly believe he will be one of the best snappers in the NFL if he continues to get better," Malloe said. "Jake Ingram, I believe, will set the bar for what a long snapper should have in terms of tools for the NFL. I wish him luck in his career in New England."
Ikaika Alama-Francis practiced at first-team defensive tackle for the Lions today.

Blaze Q&A, Spain, Enos

Stephen Tsai has a Q&A with Blaze Soares. Here's an excerpt:
How's the calf?
"You see me running. I'm doing good. I'm doing coach Mel's workouts every day. He's been getting me right. That's all I can ask for: a good strength coach. I'm working on getting my leg 100 percent."
Soares suffered the injury on the second day of training camp.
"It was a typical hitting drill. It was a freak accident. The Lord has a plan for us. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. Only the man upstairs knows."
On missing the entire 2008 season:
"It was very frustrating. It was hard to go to every game, and having to sit out. That's life. I'm sad to say I'm injury prone. I talked to (former UH running back) Nate Ilaoa. He said, 'Bro, you've just go to deal with it.' He was in the same situation as me. He knows what I'm going through."
"I love to hit. But, to me, I'm just another player trying to make my family and the state proud."
Jason Kaneshiro writes about UH's newest commit, quarterback Kevin Spain.
A fan of UH's run-and-shoot offense, Spain said he followed the Warriors during Colt Brennan's career and made sure to watch whenever UH appeared on ESPN. So when his father was sending out scouting tapes to college and asked Spain which schools he was interested in, Hawaii ranked right near the top of his wish list.

He attended a camp at Arizona State, but the Sun Devils already had a quarterback committed. So ASU coach Dennis Erickson directed Spain to the Hawaii staff.

Not long after, Spain (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) got a call from the UH coaches offering him a scholarship.

"Basically I was overwhelmed," said Spain, who also had an offer from New Mexico State and took a couple of days to confer with his family and coaches before committing.

"The recruiting process was different that I expected, but it ended up working out great."
Kaneshiro also talks to incoming kicker Scott Enos.
The kicker out of Sierra (Calif.) College signed a scholarship agreement with UH last month and moved to Hawaii to start summer school about a week later.

Since then he's been a regular in the weight room and at Ching Field preparing for his shot to compete for the kicking job vacated by Dan Kelly last season.

"I feel like I'm settled in," Enos said. "So I've just been going to work.

"It's been great. I go to school, study hall, workout, kick, it's all here for me."

The Centurions: 61-65

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the top 100 players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with numbers 61-65:

65. Kynan Forney, offensive lineman
64. Larry Khan-Smith, returner/receiver
63. Tony Morse, back
62. Jim Kalili, guard
61. Walter Briggs, safety

Dave Reardon profiles Tony Morse.
WHEN THINKING of Tony Morse, I remember a Skippa Diaz handshake. Thankfully, this was in the pre-manhug days because Morse looked like he could unintentionally squeeze the life out of me.

It was his induction to the UH Sports Circle of Honor, 1987. Morse, 72, fidgeted like a 4-year-old in church.

"He's just nervous," said Eddie Inouye, the UH sports information director. "He doesn't like to speak to groups."

We chatted a bit, he relaxed some and smiled. He crushed my hand again. I left thinking, yes, this big strong man could've played with today's players.

MORSE WAS a blocking back, playing with Buster Piltz, Jack Johnson. This 1934 backfield was so loaded, Morse started ahead of Tommy Kaulukukui (who was a year away from his run to fame).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Greg Alexander on the Warrior Beat (w/UPDATE)

UH QB Greg Alexander will be today's guest on Stephen Tsai and Leila Wai's Warrior Beat Funtime Hour today at 12:30pm HST. Post questions on the blog or on the Cover it Live section during the show.

UPDATE: The Star-Bulletin's Jason Kaneshiro also spoke to Greg Alexander.
Summer vacation? Not so much for the Warriors these days.
Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander said his days normally stretch from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., with conditioning, classes and voluntary workouts filling his schedule.
He was at Ching Field for the Warriors’ 7-on-7 session this afternoon, then stuck around for more running.
“It’s still work time,” Alexander said.
With the offense putting together a strong spring, the Warriors are hoping to maintain that momentum through the summer by getting together for 7-on-7s four days a week.
“Guys are picking it up, we’re hitting our landmarks and everything’s a lot crisper and smoother than last year,” said Alexander, who was taking his first steps in the system a summer ago. “We know how it’s supposed to look as opposed to just trying to figure it out on the fly.”
Speaking of offseason training, Tsai tweeted this tidbit earlier.
Jovonte Taylor just ran a 10.3 over 100 meters.

The Centurions: 66-70

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions" continues with numbers 66-70:

70. Larry Cole, defensive lineman
69. Charles Araki, lineman
68. Hal Stringert, cornerback
67. Darrick Branch, receiver
66. Alvis Satele, linebacker

Billy Hull profiles #67, Darrick Branch.
If YouTube were around in the 1990s, Darrick Branch would have his own channel.

With a college career chock-full of eye-popping moments, his playmaking skills made him a popular name on a team overflowing with talented players.

Ask Branch today to look back at his four years as a receiving and special teams star, and those highlights are just a tiny slice of the whole college pie.

"The mission," as he calls it, is what stays with him.

"There's only one first and that's what it was all about," Branch says. "I remember coming here and talking with guys like Maa Tanuvasa and Travis Sims and Jason Elam and Jeff Sydner.

"We had this dream of being special and being the first WAC champions. We talked about it before we even played and to accomplish it fulfilled so many dreams in itself."

More on Kevin Spain

Stephen Tsai talks with UH's newest recruit, Kevin Spain.
Spain drew interest from UCLA, Boise State and New Mexico State.

He also had an impressive showing at Arizona State's recent one-day camp. The Sun Devils already received a commitment from a quarterback for 2010. ASU head coach Dennis Erickson recommended Spain to UH head coach Greg McMackin. In the 1990s, McMackin was Erickson's defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks and at the University of Miami.

"After coach Erickson called coach Mack, Hawai'i watched my highlight film and made an offer," Spain said. "I committed (to UH). I'm super-excited about everything."

Paradise Valley uses a Wing-T offense, but "we put in some shotgun formations so I can throw the ball more," Spain said.

Spain is capable of running 40 yards in 4.7 seconds.

He also can throw a football about 75 yards.

Recruiting analysts praise Spain's accuracy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kevin Spain Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that quarterback Kevin Spain will become a Warrior.
Quarterback Kevin Spain of Paradise Valley High in Arizona told The Warrior Beat he has accepted a football scholarship from the Warriors.
"I'm really happy about it," said Spain, who is 6 feet 2 and 190 pounds. "I've always been a fan of Colt Brennan. I can't wait to play in his offense."
Spain also plays baseball and lacrosse.
Span attended Arizona State's football camp. ASU already received a commitment from a quarterback. But ASU head coach recommended Spain to Greg McMackin. McMackin was Erickson's defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks in the mid-1990s.
"I committed (to UH) today," Spain said. "I'm super-excited about everything."
Congrats to Kevin!

Also in that Tsai post is a Q&A with Jett Jasper. Here's an excerpt:
J-E-T-T. Jett! Jett! Jett!
The uniquely named Jett Jasper, a sophomore wideout from Kaua‘i, took a couple of minutes to chat with the Warrior Beat.
"The story has it when I was in my mom's tummy, I was kicking around, like I was due to take off like a jet on an aircraft carrier. That's why they named me Jett. I love how the name is Jett, and not many people have it. I feel special."
UPDATE: Here's Kevin Spain's junior highlights.

UH at #71

The Quad -- New York Times College Sports Blog -- ranks UH at #71 in their preseason countdown, and has an in-depth preview of the upcoming season. Here's an excerpt:
Season breakdown & prediction: It’s a role reversal for the 2009 Warriors, who go from having a questionable offense and a talented defense to vice versa. If this team could return last year’s defense and combine it with what will be an improved offensive unit, I would have U.H. as the second-best team in the WAC. However, I don’t think McMackin and his staff will be able to offset losing nine starters on this side of the ball, five of whom earned all-WAC honors on at least one occasion. So where do I put the Warriors in the WAC pecking order? Fifth, in terms of where it falls on the Countdown, but in a tie with Fresno State and Louisiana Tech for third. I like the offense, which returns seven starters, and think it can make great strides over its mediocre performance of a season ago. Obviously, my often-repeated concerns over the defense limit my faith in Hawaii’s conference title hopes, but I believe the unit will do enough to allow U.H. to make another trip to the Hawaii Bowl. I think the Warriors will match last fall’s 7-6 regular season; if, somehow, the defense remains strong, eight wins is well within the range of possibility.

Dominick Sierra Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that defensive back Dominick Sierra will become a Warrior.
Sierra plays tight end, cornerback and safety at La Habra High School in Whittier, Calif.

"I'll probably move to linebacker (at UH)," Sierra said.

Sierra is 6 feet 1 and 207 pounds. He said he runs 40 yards in 4.7 seconds.

At Schuman's National Underclassman Combine, Sierra was named the most valuable defensive back.

At the combine, he had a vertical jump of 33 1/2 inches, and a broad jump of 9 feet 6. He completed the 20-yard shuttle in 4.22 seconds.

Sierra said he has harbored a dream of playing for the Warriors since competing in a Pop Warner game on the Big Island about 10 years ago. He scored two touchdowns in that game.

"Since then, I've always liked Hawai'i," Sierra said.
Congrats to Dominick!

The Centurions: 71-75

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions" continues with numbers 71-75:

75. Tom Tuinei, defensive lineman
74. Colin Scotts, defensive lineman
73. John Woodcock, defensive tackle
72. Heikoti Fakava, fullback
71. Jack Johnson, halfback

Jason Kaneshiro profiles Heikoti Fakava.
As the first read in the option, Fakava averaged 4.7 yards per carry while scoring 16 touchdowns as a junior. He set a school record with five touchdowns against Yale, a mark that stood alone for 17 years before being matched by Chad Owens in 2004.

He began his senior year with the landmark win over Iowa, leaving the game on several occasions only to later return to the huddle.

"I was kind of beaten up a little bit," said Fakava, who scored on a 28-yard run and a 1-yard plunge that tied the game in the fourth quarter. "They had some big guys and it's one thing for them to hit you and another when they land on you."

When the Rainbows bookended the 1988 season with a win over Oregon, Fakava left the program with 2,111 yards, good for third on Hawaii's all-time list at the time, and a then-record 31 rushing touchdowns.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

WitP: Mat McBriar Interview

Rob & Russ interviewed Dallas Cowboys punter Mat McBriar last week and the audio file is now available on their website. McBriar talked about his time in Hawaii, being named to The Centurions list, recovering from his broken foot, etc.

Kauai Football Clinics

Dennis Fujimoto of KauaiWorld.com writes about a series of upcoming football clinics to be held on Kauai.
Greg McMackin, head coach for the University of Hawai‘i Warrior football program is coming back to Kaua‘i.

McMackin, his staff, and possible appearances by former Hawai‘i Warriors Davone Bess and Colt Brennan, as well as Ray Lewis, who played for McMackin when he was the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami, will be part of free football clinics July 6-8 at Vidinha Stadium.

The County’s Anti-Drug Office in partnership with Hawai‘i Speed & Quickness will be offering the clinics designed to teach young athletes the latest football techniques and drills.

Junior Day, Big Man's Camp, Dylan Linkner

Jason Kaneshiro has an update on Dylan Linkner, notes that the Big Man's camp starts tomorrow and writes about the postives of UH's Junior Day.
A couple of months after holding its first Junior Day, it looks like the benefits are already starting to roll in for UH.
Campbell receiver Samson Anguay and Moanalua offensive lineman Frank Loyd were among the high schoolers who participated in the event, which factored into their decisions to commit to the Warriors.
“After our Junior Day at Hawaii, I really found a love for the campus and for the people,” Anguay said. “I have a chance to play for my hometown and I wanted to play in front of my family.”
Moanalua coach Arnold Martinez said Loyd’s parents, “were really impressed with the Junior Day.”
“(The UH coaches are) really trying to kick in another level of recruiting for local kids. I think it’s paying off because it made a great impression on Frank and his family.”
Martinez expects other schools to make a run at the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Loyd, but said he appears solidly committed to UH.

The Centurions: 76-80

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions" continues with numbers 76-80:

80. Larry Arnold, quarterback
79. Nate Jackson, defensive back
78. Chris Brown, linebacker
77. Eddie Klaneski, safety/receiver
76. Sol Kaulukukui, quarterback

Rob DeMello profiles Eddie Klaneski.
I watched football games from the "reds" MM section from the age of 1, and Eddie is my all-time favorite player to sport the green and white. I can still remember the torn jerseys, the blood dripping from his chin and elbows. I swear, he must have led the conference in Band-Aid usage.

He played slotback, safety, and return man while also playing the role of the ultimate underdog.

He entered the program as a 165-pound, 17-year-old "athlete" out of Damien and left as the single-game tackles leader with 23 against Fresno State in 1996, a record that still stands.

In the final game of his career, playing in the all green uni against storied Notre Dame, he put together an effort that my KITV colleague Robert Kekaula says "single-handedly almost beat the Irish."

Christian "Bubba" Poueu-Luna Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that receiver Christian Poueu-Luna will become a Warrior.
Yesterday, the Warriors secured a commitment from wideout Christian "Bubba" Poueu-Luna, who is entering his senior year at Great Oak High School in Temecula, Calif.

"I'm happy to be a Warrior," said Poueu-Luna, who is the third receiver to join the 2010 recruiting class.
Poueu-Luna, who is is 6 feet and 175 pounds, has played quarterback, wideout, defensive back and punter.

He set the school record in the 200-meter sprint, finishing in 21.6 seconds.

He has been timed at 10.9 seconds over 100 meters and 4.4 seconds over 40 yards.

At a combine, he completed the shuttle in 4.09 seconds.

His vertical jump was 32 1/2 inches.

Poueu-Luna projects to play wideout at UH.

"I really like Hawai'i's offense," Poueu-Luna said. "It's wide open."

Poueu-Luna drew interest from California and San Jose State. But he insisted "Hawai'i was always No. 1."
Congrats to Bubba!

Here's some highlights:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

2008 Highlight Video

Another great vid from kapoleicoug.

Corey Lau, Samson Anguay (and two walk-ons)

Jason Kaneshiro talks to the Warriors newest commits, Corey Lau and Samson Anguay.
"I'd say we're pretty good friends, we compete against each other, and now we'll be at the same school in the future. He's a good guy and I'm thrilled," said Lau, an incoming senior at Kailua.

Lau and Anguay, a Campbell standout, both participated in UH's skills camp this week and jumped at the chance to commit to the Warriors, joining Moanalua lineman Frank Loyd in UH's 2010 recruiting class.

"I'm still asking myself if this is actually real," Anguay said. "It's always been my dream to play Hawaii football, and when (UH coach Greg McMackin) offered I said I was going to commit right away.

"I want to play in front of my family and show my hometown and show everybody in the nation that Hawaii is a school to be reckoned with."
Stephen Tsai has more great quotes.
Anguay and Lau are both long-time Warrior fans. Anguay said his role models were former UH slotbacks Chad Owens, Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins.

Several of Anguay's friends and relatives believed he should attend a Mainland college. But that changed after Anguay attended the Warriors' Junior Day in April. The event was considered an unofficial visit during which high school players could tour the school facilities and meet with academic advisers and counselors.

"After talking to some players who left (Hawai'i) and then came back, we knew staying home was the best decision," said his mother, Suzette Anguay.

Samson Anguay said: "UH is the place to be. I can get a good education, and I can play football. I have a chance to play in front of my family and friends."
And on today's Warrior Beat post, Tsai writes about two potential walk-ons, Bennett Nicola and Niroby Dingle.
Both are enrolled in UH.
Nicola, who is 6 feet 2 and 165, is a 2009 graduate of Colorado's Glenwood Springs.
Dingle, who was raised in Alabama, recently completed a stint in the Army. Dingle, who is 6 feet and 202 pounds, is friends with former UH slotbacks Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins.
Nicola projects as a wideout; Dingle as a slotback.
Both would be willing to redshirt or grayshirt.

The Centurions: 81-85

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions" continues with numbers 81-85:

85. Kaulana Noa, offensive tackle
84. Jimmy Asato, back
83. Jim Cruikshank, lineman
82. Ed Riewerts, center
81. Abe Elimimian, defensive back

Dave Reardon profiles Jimmy Asato.
Asato played at UH from 1948 to 1951. Coach Tommy Kaulukukui saw a bit of his former self and promoted the freshman to the varsity midway through the season.

The four-year starter broke off long runs on a regular basis (often sprung by a Dick Carpenter block). He was two-time MVP, the greatest Rainbow of his time.

"So quick, great change of direction," says Star-Bulletin columnist Ben Wood. "Tough. He'd get all beat up but keep going."

Running back is rough on the body now, but think about it with the limited protective gear of the 1940s. Asato doesn't have to imagine.

"Maybe I got laid out for a game or two," he says. "I didn't wear a facemask. Then, Stanford game, broke my nose."

Back to American Samoa

Dave Reardon writes that Greg McMackin will be joining Junes Jones for the second annual American Samoa Football Academy and Medical Mission.
This comes from Kevin Kaplan, director of the June Jones Foundation:
“We are doing our second annual American Samoa Football Academy & Medical Mission, June 26 and 27 in Pago Pago, sponsored by the June Jones Foundation. Jesse Sapolu, Jack Thompson, Samson Satele, Ta’ase Faumui and Ma’a Tanuvasa will accompany Coach Jones and McMackin as well as 10 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel on the trip. In all, we will be bringing $250,000 of donated medical supplies to the people of American Samoa.”
Here's a link to the June Jones Foundation press release.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Corey Lau and Samson Anguay Commit

Receivers Corey Lau and Samson Anguay will become Warriors.
Wide receivers Corey Lau of Kailua and Campbell's Samson Anguay have committed to the Hawaii football team for the 2010 season, according to the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance.

Lau posted the fastest times in the 40, L-Drill and T-Drills at the PIAA Combine. The 5-8 Lau was the point guard on the Surfriders DII championship basketball team.
PIAA's Doris Sullivan announced the commits on SportsHawaii.com. Join the discussion on Corey Lau and Samson Anguay.

From those threads, here are some video highlights:

Congrats to Corey and Samson!

Healthy Blaze

Stephen Tsai has some great news about Blaze Soares and Aaron Kia.
Guess who’s back?
Yep, linebacker Blaze Soares has fully recovered from an achilles’ injury, and is doing sprint drills at Cooke/Ching field.
Soares, who weighed 259 pounds in April, is now down to 236.
In addition to running and lifting weights, he has kept fit doing yardwork.
Left tackle Aaron Kia also has benefitted from an intense conditioning program. Kia’s weight had dropped to 270 during spring training. But now he has up to 290 while maintaining his agility. He looked nimble during blocking drills yesterday.

The Centurions: 86-90

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions" continues with numbers 86-90:

90. Mike Akiu, receiver/special teams
89. John Estes, center
88. Matt Harding, receiver/special teams
87. Wilbert Haslip, fullback
86. Dane McArthur, slotback

Kalani Simpson has a great profile of Matt Harding.
He was lightning, this kid. That's how we remember him. Matthew Harding was so fast at the snap he would race the ball back to the punter, and there were times you would swear it was a tie. There were times he hit the punter before the poor guy could even flip the laces -- Harding had no choice; it wasn't roughing. It was a sack. He was early, not late. He actually got there too fast to block the kick.

He was like lightning, this kid.

That's how we remember him.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WitP: Jeff Ulbrich

Scott Adams of the Hollister Free Lance talks to 49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, who reflects on his nearly ten years with the team.
Ulbrich is one of the longest-tenured 49ers, and he has not taken a day for granted. Considering the average NFL career lasts roughly two years, Ulbrich, 32, knows each offseason practice could be his last.

"I always went into the season like I was that guy on the bubble and could be cut anytime," Ulbrich said. "I think that's what kept me up through these years. I've been here long enough to know nobody's safe."

Especially head coaches; Ulbrich is on his fourth. During his early years, a coaching job at San Francisco seemed as stable as the team's success. With Steve Mariucci at the helm, Garcia under center and Ulbrich and company holding their own on defense, the 49ers rebuilt its winning tradition, culminating in its run to the 2003 NFC Divisional Playoffs.

The 49ers have not had a winning season since.

In the wake of its 7-9 finish in 2008, though, there has been talk of an impending turnaround.

WitP: Colt Brennan

Colt Brennan profiles himself for The Sporting News. Here's an excerpt:
Born: Aug. 16, 1983, in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Alma mater: Hawaii

What's on TV: Entourage, The First 48

What's in my iPod: I love all music, from country to rap. Going to school in Hawaii, I got into some of the great Island reggae out there. I also like Sublime, Slightly Stoopid and Bob Marley.

Favorite flicks: North Shore, A River Runs Through It, Old School
Awww yeah, here's a classic scene from one of Colt's favorite movies:

: Here's a link to the "Sporting News Today" version of the article.

Frank Loyd Jr. Commits to UH

Stephen Tsai writes that Moanalua offensive lineman Frank Loyd Jr will become a Warrior, making him the first commit of the 2010 class.
"I've always wanted to be a Warrior," Loyd said. "I was born and raised here. I watched a lot of their football games. It was exciting to be in the stands. It's going to be wonderful to be on the field."

Loyd is 6 feet 3 and 260 pounds. He plays left tackle for the Menehune.
Congrats to Frank!

Here are his junior year highlights:

The Centurions: 91-95

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions" continues with numbers 91-95:

95. Tala Esera, offensive tackle
94. Mat McBriar, punter
93. Don Botelho, back
92. Dan Kelly, kicker
91. Steve Lehor, linebacker

Dave Reardon profiles #93 on the list, Don Botelho.
Maybe Don Botelho needed a time machine.

Those who saw him play for Roosevelt and the University of Hawaii recall a supreme athlete, nimble of foot and mind. But his greatest weapon was rarely used -- a strong, accurate arm. In the 1950s, the forward pass remained a novelty, not something you build a gameplan around.

"He was more throwing if I remember," said Jimmy Asato, who later coached with him. "But no one really threw then."

Botelho said he was ready to let loose when he got the starting quarterback's job. "I liked to throw the ball. But we (as a team) didn't."
He was a sophomore on the 1955 team that beat Nebraska 6-0 in Lincoln.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WitP: McBriar, Pisa

Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com talks to Mat McBriar about getting healthy again.
McBriar didn't resume punting until March, first aiming for targets merely feet away and slowly progressing into a normal routine. He said he still feels a bit "rusty" but admits he's never pleased with his consistency at this point in the off-season.

"I hadn't been kicking every day like I'm going to be for the next three days," he said. "So there's a little bit of soreness associated with just doing it without any rest."
McBriar eventually expects to reach his own standards. In the meantime, he's simply grateful for his health.

"I'm not sort of thinking I'm going to come in (this week) and set the world on fire," he said, "but my foot feels good.

"It's good to be back involved. I remember when I first came in I was really excited about things and I kind of feel like I've gotten a little more excitement back."
Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo tells ChicagoBears.com that the Pisa Tinoisamoa has looked good in practice.
All of our linebackers, particularly Jamar Williams and Pisa Tinoisamoa, have also looked real good. I think that’s going to be a position of strength for us.
Pisa has been running with the first team.
*** It hasn't taken long for Pisa Tinoisamoa to get work with the first team at strong-side linebacker.

Jovonte Taylor, UH Camps

Stephen Tsai writes that UH receiver Jovonte Taylor is fast.
The sprints were run on the Cooke/Ching field's synthetic track. Because they had completed an hour of unsupervised workouts, they were wearing turf shoes, not sprinter's cleats. They did not have a practice run.
Under those conditions, against slight tradewinds, Taylor ran the 40 in 4.31 seconds.
Thing is, the distance was not in yards but in meters.
That equates to a distance of 43.7445 yards. "He's fast," Anthony Pollard said.
Tsai also has a picture of Corey Nieslen at his high school graduation.

And on Midweek, Bob Hogue talks to Coach Mack about the in-progress UH Football camps.
“We really stress fundamentals and technique,” McMackin says. “It’s a great chance for local players to work with our entire staff of coaches and with former Warrior players.”

Not only do present and future high school stars get a firsthand chance to share in Coach Mack’s passion and enthusiasm, but they begin to build the bonds that will help them all making important recruiting/college placement decisions down the road. In the world of college football recruiting, summer camps have become an important tool for college programs - whether those camps are located in Gainesville, Fla., Norman, Okla., Los Angeles or Honolulu, or on college football fields everywhere in between.

“Last year, we gave out 11 scholarship offers at our camp,” McMackin says.

Of course, not every scholarship offered is a scholarship taken, but Coach Mack says that the University of Hawaii has a great success rate. “Eight-nine percent of those who committed decided to stay,” he says. The reason for that is often because of the relationships that began with the summer camps.

“We get to build those relationships,” he says. “(The campers) get to see how proud it is to be from Hawaii and to be a part of Hawaii football.”

The Centurions: 96-100

Today, the Star-Bulletin kicks off their countdown of "The Centurions", the 100 greatest UH football players in the program's 100 year history. Numbers 96 to 100, along with accompanying photo illustrations (which I hope they make into actual sports cards) are:

100. Craig Stutzmann, receiver
99. Jake Ingram, long snapper
98. Alex Kaloi, quarterback
97. Rusty Holt, back
96. Larry Price, OL/DL

Dave Reardon writes about the process of choosing the players for the list, and thanks all the people involved.
"This was ... daunting."

Those were the words of Star-Bulletin sportswriter Billy Hull as he turned in his ranking of the 100 greatest football players in University of Hawaii history. It was a tough job for all who voted, and there's no way we could have put this together without the input of many people who covered, coached and played UH football.

The list of voters and advisers follows; we thank them all, including the ones who chose not to be acknowledged: Randy Cadiente, Bobby Curran, Rob DeMello, Billy Hull, Eddie Inouye, June Jones, Jason Kaneshiro, Robert Kekaula, Jim Leahey, Kanoa Leahey, George Lumpkin, Brian McInnis, Greg McMackin, Lyle Nelson, Larry Price, Kalani Simpson, Dick Tomey, John Veneri, Bob Wagner, Ben Wood.

The head coaches listed all either provided comments or consulted in other ways; they chose not to vote, although most did provide No. 1 choices, which we will reveal later. We also conferred with several former players from different eras who chose to not be acknowledged.
And Reardon profiles #96, Larry Price.
It wasn't always Perry on the left, Price on the right. Some recall when it was Ellis on the left, Price all over the place.

Left tackle Agenhart Ellis played with Larry Price on the University of Hawaii football team in 1963 and '64, before Price became an assistant coach, then head coach.

"A man, older than us. And he played that way," Ellis said.

Way before radio stardom, Price was a rugged 6-foot-1, 240-pound bulldog home from the Army, playing wherever needed, up and down the lines. Normally middle guard on defense and right tackle on offense.
UPDATE: Both Jason Kaneshiro and Dave Reardon write about the UH football Centurions list on their respective blogs. From Kaneshiro:
Today’s first installment provides a taste of what’s to come between now and August. The first five touches both the program’s formative years (No. 97 Rusty Holt, a star in the 1920s) and the recent past (No. 99 Jake Ingram, who finished his career last fall). Also in today’s edition are:
>> No. 100 Craig Stutzmann: His punt into the stands against BYU in 2001 alone has to be worth a few points, right?
>> No. 98 Alex Kaloi: A key figure in the 1974 win over the Cougars and father to successful tennis-playing daughters.
>> No. 96 Larry Price: Who earned greater prominence after his playing days.
It’ll be fun to see the list unfold and hopefully it delivers a football fix until fall camp. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Mouton, Bess, Ulbrich

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean writes that Ryan Mouton appears to be recovering from his hamstring injury.
The Titans continue to work without veteran center Kevin Mawae (elbow) and defensive end Jevon Kearse (knee), although rookies such as cornerback Ryan Mouton (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (hamstring) have shown improvement from nagging injuries.
Brian Biggane of The Palm Beach Post profiles Davone Bess.
A free-agent rookie from Hawaii, Bess finished sixth in the AFC and 10th overall in punt returns with an 11-yard average. He proved a significant upgrade over fellow receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who averaged just 7.8 yards on seven returns.

"And we haven't seen his best yet," special teams coach John Bonamego said of Bess. "He's improved and he'll continue to improve."

A solidly built 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Bess, 23, brings similar attributes to the job as Reggie Bush, whom Bonamego had in his last coaching stop at New Orleans before coming to Miami last season.

"Davone's a guy who's built low to the ground, who's got very good initial quickness, and he's strong," Bonamego said after one of the Dolphins' final practices before their summer break. "For a guy who's not really big, he's built more like a running back. He's not easy to knock off his feet."

And Jeff Ulbrich talks about the purpose of running up and down a hill that 49ers coach Mike Singletary had built.
From a distance, "the hill" doesn't look that imposing, but as you get closer, it's a bit intimidating. Coach Singletary had it built for conditioning purposes.

"I think they'll see a difference once the season gets underway," says Coach Singletary.

"Yeah, he's definitely utilized it and I feel it out there. I feel stronger, more powerful, faster, " says 49er linebacker Jeff Ulbrich.

The concept of the hill is to build football muscle mass by running up and down hill, putting a different strain on the thighs and hamstrings. It's also an alternative to running on level ground and of course misery loves company, especially when working out.
"The most neglected muscle that we train is the mind sometimes. It's tough to run that thing. We run it non-stop for 20-30 minutes straight sometimes, so it definitely tests you upstairs," says Ulbrich.

UH Football "Centurions" / Dustin Blount Q&A

Tomorrow, the Star-Bulletin will begin a countdown of the 100 greatest players in UH football history.
We're calling it "The Centurions." The 100 greatest players, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of University of Hawaii football.

Starting tomorrow we count them down, with photos and stories recounting the stars, from the Wonder Teams of the 1920s through the Dream Season of the Sugar Bowl.

A panel of media — some linked with UH football back to the 1950s — ranked them, in consultation with every head coach of the past 35 years, except for one.

Five will be revealed each day from tomorrow to the end of June, and then each of the top 30 gets his own day and profile by a Star-Bulletin or guest writer. The running list will be posted online, on a Web page where readers can comment on each selection.

It's six weeks until the start of fall camp, but there will be a daily dose of UH football history every day in the Star-Bulletin.
That's pretty sweet.

And Stephen Tsai has a Warrior Beat Q&A with receiver Dustin Blount. Here's a couple of excerpts:

His last name is pronounced Blunt.
"That's what it is."

The story behind the goatee:
"When I take off my helmet, the girls can go, "oooh."

He answers to Da Bizzness and Agent 6.
"That's my jersey number. They gave me 28 when I got out here (last summer). I went with it. I wasn't going to say anything. I was a newcomer, and (quarterback) Tyler Graunke was here longer than me. He deserved it. He was a senior. I didn't play that year, so I wasn't really trippin'. When the season ended, I went to coach's office and asked for No. 6."

Monday, June 15, 2009

WitP: Manuwai Back to Practice

Mark Long of the AP writes that Vince Manuwai practiced with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the first time since tearing his knee ligaments last season.
Wearing a brace on his right knee and feeling a little timid, former University of Hawaii guard Vince Manuwai returned to practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.

Even though he took just three snaps with the first-team offense, it was Manuwai’s first full practice since tearing two knee ligaments more than nine months ago.

“It’s not like they’re trying to throw me in the fire,” Manuwai said. “They’re working me in. Am I anxious? Yeah, but I’m not trying to force it at the same time. I don’t want nothing bad to happen. Part of it, too, is getting your mind right before the hitting and all that.”

Manuwai, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee during last year’s opener, was initially scheduled to be back at the start of training camp next month. But he dropped 30 pounds during his rehabilitation and showed enough leg strength and mobility that the training staff cleared him for the final week of organized team activities.

Future Schedules

HawaiiAthletics.com officially announces and/or confirms all the future non-conference matchups scheduled through 2019.
In 2010, UH will open the season against perennial national championship contender Southern California (Sept. 2) of the Pac-10. The Warriors will play road games at Army (Sept. 11) and at Colorado (Sept. 18) of the Big 12. UH also moved its game against Football Championship Subdivision’s Charleston Southern to Sept. 25, a game that was previously scheduled for 2011. Hawai‘i concludes the season at home against UNLV (Dec. 4).

In 2011, UH will play three BCS conference teams – Colorado (Sept. 3), at Washington (Sept. 10), and Washington State (Nov. 26) in addition to a road game at UNLV (Sept. 17).

The following year, UH and Brigham Young will renew its rivalry with the first of home-and-home contests in Provo, Utah (Sept. 8). That game is the back-end of a two-game road trip which includes a match-up at USC (Sept. 1).

Three home dates have been filled in 2013 – USC (Aug. 31), BYU (Sept. 14), and Army (Nov. 30).

UH will play UNLV four times from 2014 through ’18 – twice in Honolulu and twice in Las Vegas. The Warriors will play at Colorado in 2014 (Sept. 20) and host the Buffaloes in 2015 (Sept. 5). UH’s four-game series with Army concludes in 2018 (Sept. 15) and 2019 (Nov. 30).
This year's official schedule, as well as future schedules, can be viewed here.

WitP: RGM, McBriar, Pisa, Bess

The BC Lions website has photos from yesterday's "fanfest", including this one of receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

I think this is the third or fourth article about Mat McBriar being fully recovered from his broken punting foot, but Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News has empirical proof!
Punter Mat McBriar, who missed most of last season after breaking his foot in the OT loss to Arizona, has returned to Pro Bowl form. McBriar was booming the ball at the beginning of the morning practice.
McBriar booted one ball about 65 yards in the air, so far that Felix Jones couldn't get to it after turning and sprinting. And it was beautifully directed, too, landing about a yard inside of the sideline. The ball took a nice bounce and would have rolled at least another 15 yards if a Cowboys staffer didn't stop it.

You can cross McBriar's right foot off the list of Cowboys injury concerns.
Brad Biggs of Inside the Bears thinks that the acquisition of Pisa Tinoisamoa is one sign that the Bears are set to make a title run.
Angelo has been making decisions that prove the Bears are going for it now. Signing left tackle Orlando Pace isn't a stop-gap measure, it's a win-now move. Adding Pisa Tinoisamoa with Nick Roach and Hunter Hillenmeyer already in place isn't a stop-gap measure or a move to add depth. It's a win-now move.
And Phin Phanatic takes a look at the Dolphins receivers, and includes this analysis of Davone Bess.
The Dolphins still have a problem with Bess and that is where to utilize him the most. Bess makes a good slot receiver but the Phins will not always run with a slot guy and will sometimes substitute a TE or a RB into the position when they switch to the WildCat formation.

Bess, in theory could push Ted Ginn for the number 1 spot moving the speed burner to the inside where the Phins could make some major mismatched formations. Bess could potentially take over the number 2 WR position thus putting Camarillo into the slot where he too could face LB coverages.

For the Dolphins, Bess is that wildcard that could dictate how the rest of the WR’s lineup. A solid training camp could push the Dolphins to utilize him on the field full time and if that happens, the shake-up of who moves, Ted Ginn or Greg Camarillo, could be a fun one to watch play out. In any case, Bess is in no danger of losing his job or his roster spot.

Miah Ostrowski

Stephen Tsai has a Warrior Beat Q&A with receiver Jeremiah Ostrowski. Here's an excerpt:

Slotback Miah Ostrowski, who grayshirted in 2007 and redshirted last season, is preparing for his first real season as a Warrior. Through intense daily double workouts, he has lost weight, added muscle and improved his quickness. The former Punahou standout — he was All-State in basketball and football — took a couple of minutes to answer questions from the Warrior Beat.

Basketball or football?
"Basketball is my love, but I enjoy football. I thought I was going to play basketball here. If they told me to come out — and I had coach Mack's approval — I'd come out right away. But I have to focus on football first."

Tsai also notes that UH is considering a cost-cutting measure where they would no longer print media guides.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Warriors in the Pros: Davone Bess

Some notes from this weekend's Miami Dolphins minicamp:

With Greg Camarillo back from injury, Davone Bess lined up as the third receiver.
Greg Camarillo is lining up opposting Ted Ginn Jr. with the first team, Davone Bess is switching in on three-receiver sets.
Bess remains Miami's No. 1 punt returner.
WR Davone Bess is still working as the Dolphins' No. 1 punt returner. Ted Ginn Jr. is No. 2. Bess says he's trying to be more instinctive with his returns.
Bess also returned kicks this weekend, and had a talk with Bill Parcells.
White to Bess underneath the coverage for a 10-yard score. After that drill ended, Bess staying behind to spend a few minutes for Bill Parcells, who jumps out of the golf cart to demonstrate a thing or two. The talk ended with Parcells giving Bess a fist bump.

'Road Warrior' / Central Arkansas / Keahi Watson

Ferd Lewis writes about the "Road Warrior" ticket plan UH Athletics will roll out this season.
Members of the 'Ahahui Koa Anuenue booster club, corporate sponsors and season ticket holders have been able to purchase tickets for road games in a UH priority area. Beginning this season, non-season ticket holders and Mainland fans may also purchase tickets in the priority areas under the "Road Warrior" program.

For a $50 donation, which will go to the athletic scholarship fund, UH said non-season ticket holders and Mainland fans may purchase up to four tickets per game in a priority seating area ahead of the general public.

"There has definitely been a growing demand for these seats," said Vince Baldemor, president of the booster club.

UH said it will have at least 2,250 tickets for the game at Qwest Field against the Cougars and 8,000 tickets for the UNLV game. But Baldemor said the home schools "have told us we can have what we need."
Lewis takes a look at Hawaii's first opponent of the season, I-AA Central Arkansas, which has been a very good team since ascending from Division II, but are ineligible to play in the post-season due to some strange NCAA rule.
Here it is more than two months before the start of the football season and despite being ranked as high as No. 8 in the preseason polls, the University of Central Arkansas knows that even with another 10-2 — or better — finish it won't be conference champion or play in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) playoffs.

But the Bears will be coming to Hawai'i.

To head coach Clint Conque, who engineered the trip, that means plenty.

To the 16 returning starters and 48 returning lettermen who have, practically to a man, been sweating through unsupervised workouts in the Arkansas humidity, the Sept. 4 season opener has been something to rally around.
Even though they're I-AA (or FCS), it sounds like they're gonna be a tough season opener for UH.

And Stephen Tsai writes that Keahi Watson is no longer on the team.
It was disappointing to hear that defensive tackle Keahi Watson's UH career has likely ended. He is not on the 120-player active roster.
He is best known as being the younger brother of former UH defensive tackle Keala Watson.
I'll remember him as a good guy who harbored a dream of playing for the Warriors — so much so that he relinquished a scholarship at Saint Francis University to transfer to UH a few years ago.
Best of luck to him.
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