By Stephen Tsai
Mack Richards, a multi-skilled receiver/returner from Utah's Alta High, has accepted a scholarship offer from the Rainbow Warriors, according to his father, Bill Richards.
Richards will be on a delay route to Manoa. He plans on serving a two-year church mission after his Alta High graduation in June. After that, he will join the Warriors in time for the 2016 season.
Richards is a little taller than 6-1 and weighs 190 pounds. Despite an injury, he finished the 100-meter sprint in 10.9 seconds at Utah's state track meet this past spring.
Richards has 125 catches and 26 touchdowns in his Alta career, including 62 receptions for 1,096 yards and 13 TDS this past season. He also scored on four returns — two each on punt and kickoff returns.
Richards and UH receiver Ammon Barker, who redshirted in 2013, were Alta teammates in 2012.
Richards had been in "conversations" with Washington State, Oregon State, Utah State, Utah, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and Arizona.
"(Hawaii coaches) came really early," Bill Richards said. "They came last year. Coach (Lewis) Powell has developed a good relationship with Mack. They understand missions. He's planning on serving a mission after graduation. And they like to throw the ball. As a receiver, that's a big thing."
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Coach Norm Chow confirmed that the quarterback competition is wide open for spring training, which opens in April. That means Taylor Graham, who started three games before suffering a shoulder injury; Ikaika Woolsey, who started two games, and Jeremy Higgins, who started a game in 2012, will get equal reps for most of spring training.
There is a possibility Graham will have surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. If he were to undergo a procedure, he would be ready for the start of spring training.
The Rainbow Warriors are expected to sign Punahou quarterback Larry "Tui" Tuileta, who can't put his commitment in writing until Feb. 5. (He could not sign during the early period for volleyball, which he also will play, because his UH scholarship will be covered by football.)
But Tuileta is preparing to be a Rainbow Warrior. He told the WB he has cut his long hair.