Time to spring forward

March 30th, 2008

For many UH football players, the most important season is spring.

"There are 20 or so scholarship guys, and it's time for them to step up," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "The honeymoon is over. They definitely need to step up. They'll get a good shot. This spring is huge for them."

Keep an eye on:

• Slotbacks Michael Washington and Aaron Bain. Both entered the program at the same time as Ryan Grice-Mullins and Davone Bess. The two slot positions are now open, and Washington and Bain have their one and only shot. Because they have not redshirted, they are entering their senior seasons.

• In the musical chairs that is the offensive-line rotation, fourth-year juniors Laupepa Letuli, Aaron Kia and Raphael Ieru have been left standing on the side. There were great expecations when they signed with UH in 2005. It's not too late.

• Two JC quarterbacks won't arrive until training camp, and Greg McMackin has promised both a shot at the starting job. There's no reason that Inoke Funaki, who enters spring ball as the No. 1 quarterback, can't hold onto the job with knockout workouts. The quarterback position is about leadership, and Fuanki is in the best position to win over his teammates.

• In team testing, C.J. Allen-Jones consistently puts up impressive numbers. For some reason, he could never secure significant playing time at outside linebacker. McMackin has been successful in converting outside linebackers into speed rushers. Maybe the same could happen to Allen-Jones, who has moved to defensive end.

• In January 2005, UH players couldn't stop talking about the charismatic recruit from the Bay Area. Even June Jones marveled at the recruit's personality. But Mario Cox had to wait to get academically cleared, and it deteriorated after that. He gets a third chance at running back. With his strength and toughness he could fit the role of power back in the revised four-wide offense.

• During a practice for the 2004 high school all-star game, the UH coaches declared Rocky Savaiigaea as their top local priority. With defensive tackle Fale Laeli recuperating from knee surgery, there is an opening for Savaiigaea.

• If Brashton Satele can stay healthy, he should be a force at middle linebacker. "He's dedicated himself in the weight room," defensive coordinator Cal Lee said. "That's what it takes. If you want to be good, don't lie in bed and dream about it. You have to work for it."

* * *

The numbers:

Power cleans — 318 pounds: Clarance Tuioti-Mariner, Blaze Soares, Ray Hisatake, Daniel Libre.

Squats — 610 pounds: Clarence Tuioti-Mariner. 500 pounds: Keith AhSoon, C.J. Allen-Jones, Austin Hansen, Jake Heun, Vaughn Meatoga, Rocky Savaiigaea, David Veikune.

Bench press — 455 pounds: David Veikune, R.J. Kiesel Kauhane. 435 pounds: Josh Leonard, Tuika Tufaga. 425 pounds — Vaughn Meatoga, Quentin Beaver.

Flex test — 10.5: MacArthur Cheek. 9.5: Nate Nasca.

Broad jump — 10-5: Ryan Mouton. 10-2: Kealoha Pilares.

Vertical jump — 39 inches: Ryan Mouton. 36.5 inches: Kealoha Pilares.

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