Archive for March, 2011

Pro Day

March 31st, 2011

CARSON, Calif. — Former Warriors were impressive at today's pro day at the Home Depot Center.

Seventeen former UH football players went through speed, jumping, agility and weight-lifting tests. Afterward, representatives from each NFL team met, then came up with a consensus on what they decided would be the final results.

Slotback Kealoha Pilares apparently has fully recovered from a knee injury suffered in the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl. One NFL scout timed Pilares at 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash. But  NFL scouts decided to credit Pilares with a 4.42 time.

Offensive tackle Laupepa Letuli bench pressed 225 pounds 42 times, but was credited with 35 because he did not fully lock his arms on seven lifts. He initially was credited with 39 reps — a total UH head coach Greg McMackin insisted Letuli reached.

And safety Mana Silva  appeared to have set a UH pro day record when it was announced he had a 42-inch vertical jump. But during the meeting, it was decided he did not cleanly hit the a marker, and was credited with a 40-inch jump.

* * * * *

Here's Greg Salas:



* * * * *

And running back Alex Green:



* * * * *

Pilares on the broad jump:


And the vertical jump ...


And the 40-yard dash ...


* * * * *

Oakland Raiders' head coach Hue Jackson:


* * * * * *

And this is what one side of the finish line looks like:


Wednesday's notes

March 30th, 2011

Because of the NFL lockout, players who were eligible for the draft in previous years are not allowed to participate in college-sponosored pro days this year. That means that former UH quarterback Colt Brennan, defensive end Melila Purcell III and cornerback JoPierre Davis are not eligible to participate in UH's pro day tomorrow in Carson, Calif.  All three had agreed to attend until UH received a ruling saying those players' participation was not allowed.

Here's the pro day roster: Cameron Allen-Jones, Dustin Blount, Rodney Bradley, Jeramy Bryant, Lametrius Davis, Chizzy Dimude, Brysen Ginlack, Alex Green, Kainoa LaCount, Laupepa Letuli, Kealoha Pilares,Greg Salas, Mana Silva, Spencer Smith, Adrian Thomas, Bronson Tiwanak, Kamalu Umu.

* * * * *

Today was the first spring practice in full pads. Among the highlights:

• Slotback Miah Ostrowsi, who recently rejoined the Warriors after three months with the UH basketball team, did not wear full pads. He has to have two limited-contact practices before being allowed to participate in full workouts. Defenders were allowed to wrap up ballcarriers but not tackle them today.

• Marcus Malepeai, Desmond Dean, Beau Yap and Sonny Recca received most of the d-end work in place of injured Liko Satele. (OK, had a brain freeze, and initially mistook Waylon Lolotai for Recca.) While d-ends Alema Tachibana and Alasi Toilolo have more experience at that position, the coaches want to give more work to Malepai, Dean and Yap.

• With linebacker as the thinnest position, the Warriors have focused more on teaching techniques during drills. Aulola Tonga, who redshirted as a sophomore in 2010, has received expanded playing time. T.J. Taimatuia, who recently was cleared to practice, got work as the "elephant" — the pass-rushing linebacker position.

• Offensive tackle Jordan Loeffler did not practice today because of  "knee issues."

• Nathan Johnson auditioned as a kicker today.

* * * * *

Looking ahead:

• The coaches' talk-story social, which was postponed because of the tsunami threat, has been rescheduled for Friday, April 8 at the second-floor dance studios at the UH athletic complex. The event, hosted by UH coaches, will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call (808) 956-6508 for details.

• Camp dates: Skills Camp (June 10-12), Big Man's Camp (June 17-19), Kids Camp (June 25-26). For details, call (808) 956-6508.

* UH's training camp opens Aug. 2 with an orientation for newcomers. The rest of the Warriors report Aug. 3.

D-ends step up

March 29th, 2011

The Warriors made an easy transition back to work yesterday after a one-week hiatus for spring break:

• Defensive left end Liko Satele's left arm was in a brace because of an injured left forearm. Satele won't participate in contact drills the rest of the spring, but he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in August. UH head coach Greg McMackin said Satele  played well during the first five spring practices.

• Paipai Falemalu, the No. 1 defensive right end, took several reps at left end in place of Satele. Marcus Malepeai, Beau Yap, and Desmond Dean also received extended work at DE. During the team drills, Yap had a sack. "I like those three guys," d-end coach Cal Lee said.

* One of the d-end candidates, Siaki Cravens, has not practiced this spring while recovering from a procedure on an injured leg.

• Miah Ostrowski's return after three months as the UH basketball team's point guard was a success. Ostrowski practiced as the No. 1 right slotback, and he looked crisp in running routes and catching passes. He said he developed chemistry as starting quarterback Bryant Moniz's roommate on road trips last year. With the help of two of Moniz's cousins, their hotel room was turned into a mini theater. A projector played movies on a large canvas.

• The first two spring practices, Allen Sampson and Terence Bell were the No. 1 slotbacks. While the receiver competition will remain open until training camp, Sampson and Bell yesterday practiced at wideout. The Warriors want to improve their vertical attack, and Sampson and Bell are speedy on the 9 routes along the sideline.

• Corey Paclebar remained as the No. 1 left slotback. Billy Ray Stutzmann will push for a job at slot or wideout.

• With Tank Hopkins playing his best since his arrival in Manoa in June 2009 and John Hardy-Tuliau moving from nickelback, it appeared the Warriors were set at cornerback. What's more, highly regarded corner Mike Edwards joins this summer. But Kawika Ornellas has played well in man coverage this spring, providing depth and, maybe, some more competition at corner.

• Here are linebackers George Daily-Lyles and Aaron Brown:


• The theme of yesterday's practice was to "play fast." That was emphasized when the coaches implored the offense to play at "game tempo" during team drills. And defensive coordinator Dave Aranda told his defense he wanted hockey changes during substitutions. It was a reference to how quickly hockey teams change lines.

• For the final drill of practice, there was an offense versus defense competition, with points awarded for third-down stops, interceptions, forced fumbles. The surprise of camp, kicker Kenton Chun, converted a 37-yarder. Tyler Hadden has the lead, but Chun and Kyle Niiro are solid insurance.

Back to work

March 28th, 2011

After a one-week hiatus — spring break! — the Warriors resume spring training this afternoon (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Among the things to look for:

• The return of slotback Miah Ostrowski, who spent the past three months with the UH basketball team. There will be some restrictions on Ostrowski for practices today and Wednesday, but he is one of the top contenders for a starting job.

• There should be more clarity on the depth chart at quarterback. Backups Shane Austin, David Graves, Cayman Shutter, Corey Nielsen and Kevin Spain received extended work in the first five spring practices.

• The Warriors have been spending extra time teaching special-team techniques and fundamentals. Now the on-field auditions begin.

* * * * * *

On being named to the pre-season All-America honorable mention list, UH quarterback Bryant Moniz said: "Cool, I guess."

* * * * * *

MPSF Volleyball

1. USC...........15-1.....@ Stanford (F), at Pacific (S)

2. Stanford.....12-5.....USC (F), Pepperdine (S)

3. BYU...........12-6....LBSU (Th), LBSU (F)

4. Long Beach..10-7...@ BYU (Th), @BYU (F)

5. Santa Barbara...9-7...UCSD (Th), UCI (F)

6. Hawaii.........10-8....Northridge (F, S)

7. UC Irvine......9-8...UCLA (W), @UCSB (F)

8. UCLA......8-8....@UCI (W), UCSD (F)

9. Pepperdine...4-12...@ Pacific (F), @Stanford (S)

10. Pacific......4-13....Pepperdine (F), USC (S)

(Tied) Northridge...4-13....@Hawaii (F, S)

(Tied) UC San Diego...4-13...@UCSB (Th), @UCLA (F)

* * * * *

And a very happy birthday to LizKauai.

The simple life

March 27th, 2011

A long time ago, I was sitting in the waiting area in an East Coast basketball office. That was when I learned that, at the time, the head coach had a secretary who had a secretary who had a receptionist.

I'm reminded of that during the NCAA Tournament while watching televised sideline shots of head coaches who look like CEOs. And I'm reminded of that while wandering around UH.

UH does indeed run a down-to-earth program. The football office still does not have a full-time secretary, instead using three student workers. That means coaches make their own coffee, answer their own calls, even try to figure out how to reload the printer. During one of the spring practices, head coach Greg McMackin demonstrated blocking techniques to the young offensive linemen.

For the women's volleyball program, 1,000-plus victories could not be parlayed into a secretary, not even a student worker. When the coaches were relocated for the office renovations, Dave Shoji found himself in a room where he often could not receive cell-phone reception.

The coaches of the women's basketball team had to work through weeks of hearing the THUMP-THUMP-THUMP of construction outside their makeshift offices.

Softball coach Bob Coolen conducts his post-game interviews between re-organizing the dugout and helping the grounds crew. He pitches batting practice. During the offseason,he often came in on weekends to help clean the Lower Campus.

And sneak into a men's basketball practice. Gib Arnold is the sixth man.

Those are reminders of life of a non-BCS program.