By Stephen Tsai
For backup quarterback David Graves, the reward for a day of two summer-session classes and two workouts, including one in the unforgiving heat, is his favorite meal: Brown rice and poke.
"Oh, yeah, I love poke," said Graves, who was raised in Northern California. "We had an introductory session in class, and I put that down as my favorite food. I love fresh fish, uncooked fish. We have a lot of good seafood in Northern California. I loved seafood before I got here. Poke is perfect. Poke is all muscle. It's lean and protein."
As a second-year freshman in 2010, Graves volunteered to serve as the blocking back on kickoff returns and as an emergency safety. This year, he will focus entirely on playing quarterback. Starter Bryant Moniz and Shane Austin are entering their senior seasons.
Graves will stay in Hawaii through the end of June, then train in California for about four weeks. In California, he will work with two coaches — Patrick Gallagher, who teaches speed training, and Troy Taylor, who was a four-year starter at California. Graves said he also will continue to follow training guidelines set up by UH offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich and conditioning coach Tommy Heffernan.
Gallagher runs Pure Athletics.
"I'll be doing a lot of cone drills, a lot of work on starts and moving laterally," Graves said.
Taylor offers instruction on going through progressions, "just a whole bunch of situational stuff," Graves said. "Playing quarterback is more mental than physical. He helps me with the mental side of the game."
In Hawaii, Graves has been working on his passing and conditioning. For instance, after completing a long pass to a receiver, Graves will sprint down to the other end of the field, then run the ensuing play in the opposite direction. He will end up sprinting as many times as the receivers.
Graves also has spent a couple of hours each day studying football videos. He's gone through UH's 2006 and 2007 seasons —record-setting years for quarterback Colt Brennan — studied all of Moniz's throws, and now is watching Jeremiah Masoli's plays. Masoli, a Saint Louis School graduate, played for Rolovich at City College of San Francisco before going on to Oregon and then Mississippi.
"Masoli attacks the field," Graves said. "He's a good runner, he's quick, he's a playmaker. That's what I want to do. I want to learn how to buy time. I want to be a dual quarterback: Throw from the pocket or on the run. I want to improve in every aspect of my game."
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Happy birthday to Brie Adams, a recent Castle graduate and future Warrior athlete.