By Stephen Tsai
Joyous Easter to all.
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Thoughts this Sunday:
> The coaches are sticking to their promise of not naming a No. 1 quarterback until this August. That keeps the competition fair to Taylor Graham, who continues to rehab a surgically repaired shoulder; to Beau Reilly, who has been a spectator at spring practices and officially joins in June; to perhaps USC's Max Wittek and the other FBS quarterbacks who have expressed interest in transferring to UH. It also is important that Ikaika Woolsey has made significant steps to playing as a No. 1 quarterback. It is one thing to have an open competition; it is another to have competitive competition. Woolsey is showing he can be a quarterback who can run this offense effectively. Whether he is named No. 1 or not, at least a standard is being set.
> There are at least four QBs from FBS programs who have expressed interest in transferring to Hawaii, which remains an attractive destination.
> It started as an experiment, but Ben Clarke and Kody Afusia are thriving at their new positions. Both have high football IQs and solid techniques, particularly agile footwork. Clark, who started at center during his 24-game UH career, seems like a natural at left tackle. It's an art to snapping and then firing into a block. Now, Clarke said, "I just have to focus on making plays." The past year, Afusia has emerged as a leader. He usually leads every running drill involving the linemen. Afusia has mediated disputes, unified a line that is diverse culturally and chronologically, and set a no-bitching standard. Plus, he's vocal, making him a logical choice to play center. That's also the position Afusia was recruited to play.
> In a by-the-numbers system, blitzes will originate from the edges. But defensive coordinator Kevin Clune's system is anything but predictable. And that's why yesterday's best blitzer was inside linebacker Tevita Lataimua, who had four backfield tackles, including two sacks. "If the outside guys are doing their job and keeping the guys in, then we can do our job," Lataimua said. "If we can force them to the outside, (the outside linebackers) can do their thing." Clune noted the one tendency is there are no tendencies. "We're going to bring people from everywhere," Clune said. "We're going to do a lot of different stuff. Everyone has that potential to bring pressure to the quarterback. When the time comes and your number is called, you have to make the most of it." Lataimua answered the call yesterday.
> Here's a pop quiz: Name as many DBs in 10 seconds. Time's up. Bet you forgot to name Mike Martin. This spring, Martin has filled in for injured safety Marrell Jackson, worked shifts at nickelback, and played on every special-team unit. He brings a workmanlike approach to every practice. The coaches were paying attention. Martin has been awarded a football scholarship. It goes into effect in June.
> Belated congratulations to tight end Harold Moleni and his wife. They're proud parents of 1-week-old son Genesis. "It was life-changing," Moleni said of the birth. "It was a special moment." Fatherhood, he said, "makes you want to be a better man." They chose the Biblical name because it means "the beginning." He said: "It works with our faith."
> Kudos to athletic director Ben Jay for announcing that prices will not increase for season-ticket renewals. The next step should be to start renewal sales right now. This is spring ball. There's some good feelings. And many tax refunds should be showing up in the mail right now. It would be a good strategy for the postman to be delivering renewal forms at the same time.
> I had a dream that the blog's type size got larger.