Tupai to undergo surgery

August 5th, 2013

After giving it the old college try for a couple of practices, offensive lineman Elijah Tupai decided it was best to undergo surgery for an ailing right shoulder. He likely will miss the 2013 season.

Tupai initially suffered the injury in high school. It was hoped a combination of rest and rehabilitation would ease the discomfort and strengthen the area.

Tupai said he made his decision Saturday night following the second of this training camp's non-padded practices. The Rainbow Warriors were in shells — shoulder pads — for the first time yesterday afternoon.

The procedure will be best for Tupai in the long run, although UH fans now will have to wait until spring to see the talents that made Tupai one of the Warriors' must-have recruits. Tupai is skilled enough that line coaches on offense and defenses requested him. People in the know gushed about Tupai's quick and powerful punch on his blocks. Tupai had practiced as the second-team left tackle. If the competition had extended, he probably would have ended up in the playing rotation this season.

Still, the Warriors remain deep on the rebuilt offensive line. RJ Hollis, who was held out of yesterday's practice because of hamstring tightness, and David Griffin provide depth at tackle behind Sean Shigematsu and Leo Koloamatangi. Mike Milovale, who has been the No. 1 left guard, also can play tackle. Frank Loyd, who did well in speed and agility testing, has been effective there, too.

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JR Colton, who was expected to compete at long-snapper, has left the team because of family reasons. He is not expected to return.

It was fortunate that Farrington grad Tyler Liana was an 11th-hour addition to training camp. Liana is slightly ahead at long-snapper.

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Matt "Meffy" Koloamatangi was told during the recruiting process he would get a shot at both defensive end and tight end. He was on defense for UH's first two practices and at tight end yesterday. After today's practice, he has a say on where he wants to play.

Chow said he wanted to limit the tryouts to two days each because he didn't want a lengthy stay at one position to make Koloamatangi fall too far behind at the second position.

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For now, Taylor Graham gets reps with the first team while Sean Schroeder and Jeremy Higgins split reps with the second team. For team drills, the order is this: Graham, Schroeder, Graham, Higgins. Ikaika Woolsey gets work in extended drills. Woolsey also is being used as the holder.

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It's still early, but the Warriors appear to be doing better in third-down situations. During yesterday's team drills, they converted 10 of 16 third-down situations.

3rd-and-8: 2 for 4

3rd-and-6: 4 for 4

3rd-and-4: 2 for 4

3rd-and-3: 2 for 4

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Linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams had the biggest hit, flattening Steven Lakalaka.

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