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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spring Practice: Day 1 Wrap-Ups

Jason Kaneshiro has a report from the first day of spring practice.
Meatoga is among seven returning starters on defense, a stark contrast to last spring, when the Warriors had two starters back.

The experience allows the staff to accelerate the process a bit, with an eye on a season-opening stretch against USC, Army and Colorado.

"We're working to next year already," said associate head coach Rich Miano, who has a secondary stocked with returnees. "We're acting like this is an extension of summer camp. The seriousness, the approach, everything. There's nothing casual about this."
Stephen Tsai profiles center Matagisila Lefiti, who has some big shoes to fill.
Lefiti knows the expectations placed on the replacement for a player who never needed replacing.

"I have to live up to the hype," Lefiti said. "You know, people have been putting me on the spot. I have to work with that. It's tough filling those shoes. I have to go with it and do what I can. I'm here to win, and that's it."

Lefiti is slightly under-sized, at 6 feet and 292 pounds, but he makes up for it with his quickness, agility, strength and, what teammates claim, nastiness.

"He has a mean streak," left tackle Austin Hansen said.
Tsai also writes about Kealoha Pilares power cleaning 356 pounds.

Dave Reardon takes a look at UH's new-look O-line.
The old way to measure experience was returning starters. UH has only one on the O-line: Austin Hansen, who gets the first look at left tackle.

The new way -- and perhaps more relevant -- is total games started by all returnees. Hawaii has 10: Hansen has opened eight games and Adrian Thomas two. That's it, just 10. John Estes by himself had started more than four times that many himself headed into 2009, his senior season.

Oft-injured starting right tackle Laupepa Letuli could get another year from the NCAA; but even if he does, how long will he remain healthy?

Last year's group allowed 36 sacks, and that's a lot. Maybe it's good that an almost completely new group will play.


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