Setting the rotation

August 24th, 2013

In preparation for the opener, the Rainbow Warriors narrowed the rotation at each of the positions. The rotations should hold through the first game, but it also does not mean that some players wearing the scout team's yellow won't be in white (offense) or black (defense) in the following week's practices. Some of the position scouts also might play on special teams against USC.

• No surprise, but for this week, the quarterbacks are Taylor Graham, Sean Schroeder and Jeremy Higgins. But Ikaika Woolsey might be used as the holder.

• As many as nine receivers might play against USC. Expect Chris Gant and Marcus Kemp to get most of the work at X, and Vasquez Haynes and Keith Kirkwood to split time at Z. Scott Harding is the top inside receiver. All five are considered to be starters.

• With Joey Iosefa likely to miss the USC game, there will be a newcomer at running back. The leading candidates are Faga Wily, Steven Lakalaka, Diocemy Saint Juste and Willis Wilson. Don't count out Jason Muraoka, who has been wearing a white jersey.

• Craig Cofer has practiced as a tight end and defensive end. It appears there is a greater need for him at defensive end this week.

• Last year, it was Ne'Quan Phillips and Marrell Jackson breaking into secondary rotation as true freshmen. This year, it's corners Barry Higdon, Kwamane Bowens and Anthony Pierce, and safety Trayvon Henderson.

120 Responses to “Setting the rotation”

  1. WarriorNY:

    What happened to Tony Grimes? I haven't heard anything about him for some time. Is he hurt or somethign?

  2. Stephen Tsai:

    Grimes has been used mostly on special teams. He's a candidate as a returner.

  3. Stephen Tsai:

    For some reason, I always forget about Trayvon Henderson. And then every time there's a scrimmage-like drill, No. 39 will make a big play, and I have to scramble through my notebook.

  4. chopsueyboy:

    Good Morning Tsai-kos!

  5. WarriorNY:

    Thanks for the answer. Much appreciated. Good luck to all in the rotation...

  6. Boolakanka:

    Aloha from the big apple!

  7. Ipu Man:

    Lucky 7...

  8. PurpleMaple:

    Besides Wily and Lakalaka, the big guy from KITV liked No. 42. I will be looking to see how he does. But as primary RB, I like No. 4.

  9. Bugaz:

    It's apparent that recruiting is getting better with the show of first time Warriors being named above to have significant roles. On top of that injuries to others such as KT and Tupai could have added to the list as new comers. Add in 4 star BCS transfers and recruiting is moving in the right direction.

  10. d1shima:

    Great Morning All!

    Happy Monday!

    Rotate yer way to (pronounced "tuh" according to UKU's mo'opuna) victory, Warriors!

  11. Bugaz:

    Isn't Trayvon Henderson the guy that got MVP at an Oregon camp? He should be a good one.

  12. tom-warriornation:

    UNLV Oct. 12 road game

    $55 each for 50 yard sideline seats
    $30 for great endzone seats
    UH ticket office price is $60 (for near endzone seats most likely)

    Sit safely with a 200+ other diehard Hawaii fans all including former UH MLB Gonzo, the leading tackler on the Von Appen team--he is still built like a brick house!

    only 6 tickets left.

    Email me:

  13. d1shima:

    There certainly is a case that can be made for recruiting success as The Blog Host continues to report on Freshmen and other newcomers making a steady climb up the depth chart.

    I will keep in mind that these players will be playing against arguably the same caliber athletes who have been in their system for 2-3 years.

    Nonetheless...Let's Go Bows!

  14. papajoe2:

    Good morning everybody!

  15. d1shima:


    Thanks for your hard work in ensuring that Travellin' Tsaikos and other fans have access to fairly priced tickets.

    I can't begin to tell you how many times I was on the verge of e-mailing my ticket request as I teetered on making the final decision to follow the team this season.

    But alas, it wasn't meant to be and I will be in Hawaii cheering them on this season.

    GO Bows!

  16. 808 stunna:

    #9. Completely agree with the influx of new talent. It at least gives us hope for the upcoming years even if we take our lumps now. Most exciting to me would be the size and speed we have added to the skill positions.

  17. Pomai:

    Well with 5 days left till kickoff I really believe we can win:
    UH vs USC
    38    -    14    Pomai

  18. Sean:


    I would like to add:

    Warriors 31 spoiled children 28

    Go Rainbow Warriors!!!!!

  19. kev-1:

    I can't imagine Grimes is happy about being primarily a special teamer. I thought he was highly sought after by our staff and expected to be a big time contributor this year.

  20. azwarrior22:

    Season opening upset special...

    Warriors 33 Rubbers 20

  21. WarriorNY:

    UH - USC
    24 - 14


  22. Warrior Dave:

    Geez so much spam for breakfast this morning. GO WARRIORS!!!

  23. RedZone:

    Panthers waived Pilares.

  24. AlaWai:

    God Bless & good wishes to Kealoha. Hope another team gives him a chance. Its a tough business.

  25. tommui:


    Sorry to hear about Kealoha Pilares.

    GO BOWS!

  26. Old School Dave:

    Will RB Levi Wilson, the San Mateo JC transfer, be added to the roster on Monday when school starts?

    Got a good vibe about this team in Coach Chow's 2nd season. Players seem to know what to do, where to go, how hard to work, and what's expected of them.

  27. kev-1:

    Tough break about Pilares. I really thought that being behind Steve Smith was great for him, as he could be the same type of receiver, but he never really progressed from a returner. There has been little talk of him in terms of making the team this year. It is hard to get let go while injured too. I hope he hooks up somewhere.

  28. Former UH Athlete:

    The only thing that worries me is that every skill position on offense will be a first time starter outside of Cofer. I wouldn't be surprised to see some nerves the first few drives by one or more of these guys.

    As long as the defense keeps USC at bay tough through 1 quarter, I think it'll be a competitive game vs USC.

  29. A-House:


    UH 23 SC 17

    I believe, I believe!!!

  30. A-House:

    IH UH prevails, no work for me on 8/30/2013!

  31. A-House:

    eh, good neighbor!

    what happened to the sun? tradewind? coolness?

  32. A-House:

    I hate to see me go, I hate to see me go,
    Why the heck I'm waiting for,
    I need a jump start then I can go.

  33. lava:

    I can not imagine that anyone here honestly believes UH has a chance of even competing with USC. Aside from love for the home team, what have we seen on the field?

    To date, every game day has just delivered confirmation of why teams passed on Chow.

    For the sake of ST, Bobby C, Robert K, Jim L. and all of the great people that follow every down, I hope the team is more entertaining this year, but I don't see it this week.

    I hope I'm proven wrong.

  34. el burro sabio:

    Harding and Gant got a few starts last year. Haven't heard Moleni's name mentioned recently.

  35. JLO:

    ST will all players dress for preseason game on Thursday?

  36. kawika49:

    Lava fai lava already

  37. Bigislandkurt:

    Wasn't Grimes Edwards' heir apparent?

  38. d1shima:


    56 - 14 d1shima


  39. Pomai:

    UH vs USC
    23    -    17    A-House
    24    -    14    WarriorNY
    31    -    28    Sean
    33    -    20    azwarrior
    38    -    14    Pomai
    56    -    14    d1shima

  40. Pomai:

    I love me some Warriors but I think d1 still thinks JJ is da coach!! LOL :) :)

  41. HiFlyer:

    Pomai 28 - 24

  42. oldie:

    Morning Tsaikos!

    Set up the DVR for Thursday. 247 or 1247 on Oceanic.

    Go Bows!

  43. kev-1:

    POMAI if you will . . .

    UH 17 USC 28

  44. kev-1:

    #43 BIK . . . that's what I thought too.

  45. Na Koa Mike:

    Photos are up for the training table fundraiser. Thank you again for all your support.

  46. OC Warrior:

    My head says 17 - 45 USC but my heart would like 45 - 44 UH with the difference being a blocked PAT by JHT.

  47. mo808:

    Good Morning Folks!

    Healing prayers for the wounded players, and protective prayers over all the rest!
    Only 5 days left to BEAT USC!! Go RB Warriors!

  48. mo808:


    UH - USC
    35 - 23

  49. DaMenehune:

    Pomai UH 14 usc 42
    I neva get it right yet!

  50. Inyoface:


  51. Inyoface:

    I don't see SC scoring that much. No starting Qb after fall camp?

  52. SailorBlue:

    Morning all ~ with the first game comes the first TAILGATER! WAHOO! As reminder, the Tgate will be at Rainbow Bay Marina Cabana A. As always the plan is for the early crew to arrive at 9 AM or so for set-up, grill crew to fire up about 10:30 and clean up to begin about 3:30. And don't forget that we will be back after the game to clean up any leftovers. All Tsai-kos are welcome to attend. If you like to debate on the blog (any many of you do), please come on down and debate in person. Feel free to e-mail me at jboster(at)yahoo(dot)com with any questions or if you need the 'password'.

  53. 808souljah:

    Is there afternoon practice today?

  54. Dino:

    Pilares had an impressive over the middle grab in the 2010 game, outrunning 3 USC DB's, getting to the sideline, then into the end-zone. his NFL caliber speed was evident. that play still stands out in my mind that we can compete with USC.

  55. d1shima:


    No. Bob Wagner. ;-)

  56. tom-warriornation:

    Thanks d1shima for your words of support. This is my 3rd year of doing road game tickets; this is not easy and sometimes I feel like not doing it anymore, but I know I need to keep doing this, to bring the best road game experience to all our fans, like sitting right behind our Warrior bench (as opposed to getting UH tickets in the worst end zone sections). I know our team will also get jacked up seeing so many fans sitting so close to them; right team?

  57. Rodney:

    Imua warriors!!
    Warriors 13 Trojan 10

  58. Pomai:

    UH vs USC
    17    -    28    kev-1
    23    -    17    A-House
    24    -    14    WarriorNY
    28    -    24    HiFlyer
    31    -    28    Sean
    33    -    20    azwarrior22
    38    -    14    Pomai
    56    -    14    d1shima

  59. Ran:

    When is Sunday's practice hours

  60. Ran:

    Let reality set in:

    USC 42 Hawaii 14

  61. gobows:

    dino - usc was gassed in '10. they won the game, but they got their okole whipped.

    fyi - grimes suffered from multiple burns last year. real talented athlete, but not a d1 corner.

  62. Buffoman:

    #73 I agree with the observation of Grimes. He was not at the level as Edwards at corner. Phillips and others seemed a better fit at corner.

  63. Derek:

    I don't know if our Rainbow Warriors will win on Thursday, but I do like them to cover the spread, which is anywhere from 21 to 22 1/2. If people like Hawaii to win, maybe the way to go is take the moneyline. Personally, I don't know what's going to happen. Going in, Graham hasn't played in a game since high school. Maybe he'll play well, but those are pretty long odds. I hope our defense will keep the score down and we get some breaks. I think if Hawaii wins, it will be a close game. If we lose, we'll lose by 17-21 points. So, I do like the points at 21 1/2 or more. The last I saw the money line was at +1,200.

  64. Inyoface:

    How can SC score over 40 this year? They barely did it last year at their house with Barkley and this years UH defense is way better.

  65. Whats up:


    Warriors 17 USC 41

  66. boolakanaka:

    75-Derek, unrelated Warriors question, but was checking if you knew the line for Harvard v. U of San Diego (I know totally obscure and random game to ask about..)....thanks in advance.

  67. mix plate:

    Does anyone know if there will be any live streaming of the USC game? I'll be in Colorado for business then and I'm desperate to find a way to watch the game while I'm there...

  68. eMpTy:


    UH 24 USC 21
    Wishful thinking. Can Happen...

  69. Dennis Halloran:

    USD-Harvard line won't be posted until week of the game

    Hate to see this but USC 56 UH 10

  70. PowderPuff:

    What a bummer about Kealoha. I hope another team picks him up.

    I say if Royden can get beat, so can USC.

  71. boolakanaka:

    87...mahalo nui! Nothing worse than petty betting between folks who went to ivy schools.....

  72. JayT:

    There's a difference between no starting QB named, and lack of talent. 37-10, Trojans.

  73. Ran:

    goods news for Greg Salas--we hope!
    Frojm the Eagles blogger:

    •Greg Salas has done a good job opening eyes and putting himself in position for strong consideration to make this roster. He has caught everything in the last three weeks, sometimes in spectacular fashion, and Salas has been a solid player on special teams. If the Eagles keep five receivers, and who knows how the numbers break down, Salas would appear to have the lead among the current players on the roster. He needs to keep it going, and Salas should expect a lot of reps on Thursday against the Jets.

  74. Ballpicker:

    Hawaii 35
    SC 28

    Go Rainbow Warriors

  75. madeinhawaii:

    What chance would either of USC's quarterbacks have as a starter for UH, if they were on the team today?

  76. NotNasti:

    95. MIH rated Cody Kessler as the #2 best quarterback prospect in 2011 and Max Wittek the #3 best quarterback prospect in 2011. Both were rated 4 star prospects. I think either of them would be starting for UH.

  77. Ipu Man:

    Sometime ago, I predicted...
    UH 41 USC 14
    Trojans put on their pants one leg at a time...
    So do Rainbow Warriors, only they do it better.

  78. Bowwar:

    I know we're underdogs and NO betting man would choose us...but, somehow, I think the gods are with us this time...UH will win in an upset 27-24.

  79. Ipu Man:

    100 for tsaikos?

  80. Jack Flash:

    Hawaii Rainbow Warriors- 20
    condoms- 17

    Let's Go BOWS!

  81. madeinhawaii:

    So... no matter whom they choose as quarterback, it will still be a step above our starter? Then I don't think whom they decide upon matters. Gotta go defend against their other weapons.

  82. kifi:

    There's really no way of knowing if either of the USC QB's could beat out Graham or Schroeder.

  83. madeinhawaii:

    Hmm... maybe there's a chink in the USC armour?

    Another concern since Lee returned from injury is the ability to complete deep passes.

    “(We are) kind of not on the page some plays,” Lee said. “Sometimes it’s the quarterbacks not being ready for what we are doing.”

  84. TKT:

    Is Ewaliko playing DB?

  85. gobows:

    i think ewaliko is perfect at safety. a smaller but faster version of leonard peters. ewaliko is very tough and aggressive.

  86. kev-1:

    IMO, Kiffin is taking UH lightly and looking at the opener as a pre-season game. He told reporters that he wants to play two QBs in the opener. You don't do that against a team you are worried about. I hope this comes back to bite him in the butt.

    Don't get it twisted, though. As much as we want to deny it, either QB that they choose will be good. UH needs to make their QB decision tough. Not fun.

  87. green tea:


  88. Former UH Athlete:

    Pomai... One more for the tally

    UH 27
    USC 34

    UH will definitely open some eyes and turn the heat up on Kiffen's hotseat. Just not enough talent in the trenches to beat USC...yet.

    The one thing that can turn the tide in UH's favor is forcing turnovers and converting the short field chances. USC's QBs are mediocre and have been throwing plenty of picks in practice and scrimmage. UH's back 7 are pretty athletic now and I think they will force a turnover or two.

  89. Kapoei Doc:

    Aloha All,

    While I like to see all this optimisim, I would be satisified with a good showing even if it is not a win. If either a win or good showing happens we are miles ahead of what most people expect.

    Go Bow-Warriors!

  90. wafan:

    Long day at the leadership meeting.

  91. wafan:

    Pomai . . .

    17 - 14, 'Bows, of course!

  92. oldtimer808:

    Pomai.....UH 27 USC 24

  93. Former UH Athlete:

    Confirmed that Kiffen will play both QB vs Hawaii. He still has not determined how many snaps each will get or who will start. Basically Kiffen is treating Thursdays game as their pre-season exhibition.

    Kiffen notified both QBs and gave them both the "you're both superstars... It's tough to pick one, so we're going to go with both of you," speech.

    If that doesn't scream that they are both equally mediocre, well that's your sign. Just shows me why most fans/alumni can't wait to see Kiffen fired.

    IMO, Kiffen has been dealt a bad hand with only 67 scholarships. Thats just not enough depth to win 9 or 10 wins per year, which is the expectation at USC. As injuries piled up throughout last year, USC severely deteriorated down the stretch. I think Kiffen gets a pass until they get their full compliment of scholarships back.

  94. Former UH Athlete:


    I 100% agree


    Just looking at the fall roster, this years team looks much better via the eye test... In the 2011 roster (Mack's 4th year) 34 players were listed under 6ft tall, 20 of which were 5'10" and under. After two years of Chow's recruiting, the numbers are down to 28 & 13 respectively. Obviously, Chow is targeting much bigger WRs, but the numbers will shift further once the last of the 5'7" RnS WRs are gone.

  95. Independent Thinker:

    Graham starts: USC 42, uh 9
    Schroeder starts: USC 38, uh 13
    Higgins starts: USC 24, uh 27

  96. Former UH Athlete:

    #93... Thanks for the Salas update. Hope he makes the team. He's got solid hands and is very reliable. He's got a good shot with all the WR injury issues ahead of him on the depth chart.

  97. 808souljah:

    What time is tomorrow's practice?

  98. el burro sabio:

    FUHA, would you really be happy with a "good showing" when you were playing?

  99. kapakahi:

    UH Depth Chart......for SC game.....

  100. kapakahi:

    SC's Depth Chart.....against UH.....

  101. Former UH Athlete:

    Just was reading up on UH great, Devone Bess... Having a strong preseason with the Browns. Sat out today's game with knee tendinitis, but the Browns have been very pleased with his reliability and leadership...

    [Bess] said. "The more reps you get the more second nature it becomes. I was fortunate enough to play for June Jones in Hawaii so he would actually teach us from the quarterback's perspective how to find the soft spots in the zone and how to read coverages in the run. It came pretty natural as I got into the league, and now I just want to help as much as possible and spread my experience to every else."

  102. Former UH Athlete:

    121. Yes I would. I am not expecting a ton of wins this year (5 or 6 wins) as the schedule is not kind to start the year. This year is all about progression. For 2013, I'm looking for the offensive playbook to expand, stretch the field vertically, improvement along the trenches, and development of last years quality freshmen (Garcia-Williams, M Jackson, NeQuan, B. Clarke, etc). Also Im very interested to see the new big bodied WRs Chow brought in this year.

    It would be unreasonable to expect Chow to turn around the program and roster in only two recruiting classes. Last years record was a direct result of 4 below average to poor recruiting years. Once the last of Jones' players finished in 2010 (co-WAC championship year) the decline in overall talent was very noticeable. Moniz noticeably declined in his senior year 2011 as the surrounding talent dropped off.

    Football programs can bounce back from a bad season, they cannot bounce back quickly from multiple years of poor recruiting. Usually you can tell if a recruiting class is going to turnout well within 1-2 years, but a poor recruiting class doesn't rear it's ugly head until better players ahead of them have graduated.

    As for beating USC, it's still a very long shot, hence the 22-23 point spread. Although USC is a bit dysfunctional right now, they still have 4&5 star talent and a ton of top 150 recruits up and down the roster. I do think UH is a live underdog as I think USC isn't taking this game seriously and they really do have issues at QB and with injuries. At last practice there were 19 players that did not participate. The top 3 RBs are banged up and will definitely not be 100% come Thursday. Plus they have to find a WR to opposite Marqise Lee now that Robert Woods is in the NFL. Other than Lee they don't have a reliable target yet.

    The one thing UH is at a severe disadvantage will be blocking the size, speed and talent of USC's front 7 on defense. USC has issues in the secondary, so there will be chances for big plays if UH's line can protect the QB.

  103. Former UH Athlete:

    Anybody else excited football is back? You just don't know how much you missed it over spring & summer until the preseason games are on.

    GO BOWS!

  104. Former UH Athlete:

    124. Can we call it a depth chart when there that many "or's" on the list?

    Or is that being too decisive?

  105. tommui:


    UH - 24

    Hope burns eternal!

  106. Konoman1:

    Have to agree with you Former uh athlete. Many people don't want to accept the fact that after JJ's recruits left there was a definite drop in talent. Everyone was so jacked up over going to the Sugar Bowl and they thought it was gonna keep us bringing in talent. Goimg to a big bowl was supposed to help us but obviously that was not the case. We failed to use the bowl as a springboard like Boise did. What happened to the big payout from the Sugar Bowl? I know that the program is headed in the right direction and I know that the true informed fans will be patient. go Bows!!!

  107. Steve P:

    I'm quite looking forward to the USC game. In the past one of the main reasons they beat us was our lack of size and speed. I believe Chow has begun to address those two issues as well as some others. All things being equal, if our speed has increased as well as size, than SC should not have as easy time playing us as they did in the past. In fact, if we can get some good QB play we could be able to stay with them. I think we might.

  108. A-joe:

    UH- 38

  109. wafan:

    Good morning from the PNW!

  110. wafan:

    Insomnia sucks.

  111. Pomai:

    Good night folks!!!!!!

    UH vs USC
    10    -    56    Dennis Halloran
    10    -    37    JayT
    13    -    10    Rodney
    14    -    42    DaMenehune
    14    -    42    Ran
    17    -    28    kev-1
    17    -    41    Whats up
    17    -    14    wafan
    20    -    17    Jack Flash
    20    -    19    green tea
    23    -    17    A-House
    24    -    14    WarriorNY
    24    -    21    eMpTy
    24    -    17    tommui
    27    -    34    Former UH Athlete
    27    -    24    oldtimer808
    28    -    24    HiFlyer
    31    -    28    Sean
    33    -    20    azwarrior22
    35    -    23    mo808
    35    -    28    Ballpicker
    38    -    14    Pomai
    38    -    24    A-joe
    41    -    14    Ipu Man
    56    -    14    d1shima

  112. nanakuli:

    What time does Hawaii practice on Sunday? Can we come down and watch or is it closed ST ?

  113. niho mano:

    I think that UH Football is headed into the right direction. Coach Chow just need more time. His recruiting bigger and faster players. One day we will be a force to be recognized. Patience is the name of the game...Go Rainbow Warriors!!!

  114. HiFlyer:

    I think ST mentioned earlier in the week that practices are closed.

  115. HiFlyer:

    Stephen Tsai:
    August 19th, 2013 at 7:26 am
    Practices in Manoa will be closed.

  116. laulau head:

    I like spam on this blog more than I like USC

    Translation: I hate USC

    BEAT USC!!!

  117. 3-Prong:

    Pomai: 31-21 fo da home team!

    ........and Let's Go Bows!

  118. 3-Prong:

    What? No respect! Kiffin proclaims that both QBs will play in the Hawaii game. What does he think this is Pre-Season!

  119. Moocher:

    i ges to kiffin we ko'olau state (hawaiian kine appalachain state)

  120. Maddog50:

    Not into predictions....I like what I have been reading and now hve a chance to see. Looking for and hoping for a competitive game regardless of what some might think. One thing for surethere will be mistakes just can not be too "gimme" scores due to errors. I think that if the offense can score 3 times...not from turnovers.....they will be in this. USC will make mistakes....we will need to convert one of those. Defense will be much more stout than in the past...looking for a good game regardless of outcome....would love to see a win...making my annual trek to a mainland game in Corvalis would love to show up with a smile on my face.....Go Warriors!!!!