Uncle Jesse

July 20th, 2014

"I'm like the uncle who shares," Jesse Sapolu said.

Sapolu is just like any other uncle who was a center/guard for the San Francisco 49ers for 15 seasons, won four Super Bowl championships, and appeared in two Pro Bowls.

This summer in California, like the previous two years, Sapolu provided tutorial sessions for UH center Kody Afusia and right guard Dave Lefotu. (Sapolu and the two players met through Sapolu's son, London Sapolu, a former UH center.)

During a visit to Hawaii, Sapolu stopped by the Warriors' unsupervised workouts and offered advice to the UH linemen.

Sapolu's sessions focused on two points: 1) Be prepared and, 2) be prepared to adapt.

Sapolu said offensive linemen need to know the basics and this basic premise: Defensive linemen and pass rushers are not built alike. He cited the difference in blocking 6-foot-1 John Randle and 6-6 Leon Lett

"I can't play them the same way," Sapolu said. "(Lett) is 6-6. I can't reach him automatically. When people say it's a game of inches, it's more than the first-down marker. You have to move your game around to give yourself an edge."

Sapolu explained how he approached certain situations and matchups.

"I never want to say: ' I did it this way, so you should do it this way,'" Sapolu recalled. "I just want to let them know why I approached it this way or that way."

He also emphasized remaining confident, even if a pass-rusher gets through. He said every offensive lineman has been beaten on a play. "People who make it to the NFL," he said, "have been beaten the least. If you get beat, don't lose your confidence."

Training days

July 19th, 2014

The Warriors' first practice will be Monday, Aug. 4.

The tentative weekday schedule calls for weight training or conditioning drills in the morning, practice beginning at 2:15 p.m., and meetings/video reviews in the evening.

The afternoon start accommodates the players enrolled in Summer Session II classes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Practices are expected to return to 7 a.m. starts on Aug. 25, the first day of UH's fall semester.

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Let's supposed a normal person wanted to lose a few pounds.

Normal Person would cut down on carbs, order a mini plate lunch instead of a regular, and walk a little more every day. Then Normal Person would remove his keys, wallet, pocket lint — heck, strip down to his Hanes — before stepping on the scale. (For legal and aesthetic purposes, it works best to use a scale in your locked bathroom.)

Normal Person would not announce his diet plans. He would just do it.

Why can't UH officials act like a Normal Person?

What's with all the grand-standing about hiring freezes and potential budget cuts? Why is there a declaration from atop the Hamilton Library steps every time a UH official has a fiscally responsible idea? If there's no money to hire a student worker, don't hire one. Every business has hiring freezes and budget cuts. If people were being fired, that would be Hamilton-step newsworthy. Hiring freezes and budget cuts? Not so much.

The problem with financial plans, like diets, is they're difficult to maintain. Just let us know at the end, not the starting line.


July 18th, 2014

Training camp opens in two weeks, but the following are no longer with the Warriors:

> Bubba Poueu-Luna, wideout/kickoff returner — After earning three letters in his first four years, he opted to retire from football and focus on academics. He did not participate in the recent spring training.

> David Griffin, offensive tackle — After transferring from Mesa College in January 2013, Griffin played in five games, making two starts, at right tackle last season. He underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason. Griffin is expected to transfer to a lower-division school in Texas … to play basketball.

> Hunter Hughes, quarterback — He gave it the old college try. At the walk-on tryouts, he qualified for a berth as a scout quarterback this past spring. Unfortunately for Hughes, he did not earn an invitation to training camp.

> Max Broman, running back — Similar to offensive lineman Brendan Urban, Broman learned the steep price of paradise for a non-scholarship, non-resident student.

> Cesar Fermin, cornerback — He did not meet the requirements to transfer to UH this past January or this summer. He still is working to complete his associate degree.

> Dustin Elisara, fullback — He was granted a medical retirement, and remains on scholarship, although his playing career appears to be over.

> Michael Lafaele, announcer — He joined Iolani School as an assistant coach, preventing him from working as a pre-game analyst for OC Sports' telecasts of UH games.

Meet the staff

July 17th, 2014

The Warriors have completed their coaching staff.


> Donovan Raiola — He's a Wisconsin and Kamehameha Schools graduate who was a member of seven NFL teams during a six-year career. Raiola and Dean Chung have run clinics for o-linemen. He was a Kamehameha assistant coach the past two years. He will help o-line coach Chris Naeole.

> Feso'otai "Tai" Papalii — He's a 2007 Kealakehe High graduate and former UH defensive back. His father, Sam Papalii, is a long-time college and prep coach. Papalii will help Chris "Demo" Demarest, who coordinates special teams.

> Lance Samuseva — The 1999 Farrington High graduate was a UH defensive tackle through the 2003 season. Samuseva works with d-line coach Lewis Powell.

Graduate Assistants

> Bo Montgomery — He's a 2005 Kealakehe High graduate who was a defensive end at Weber State in 2005 and 2006 and a Warrior in 2008 and 2009. UH defensive coordinator Kevin Clune ran the defense when Montgomery was at Weber State. Montgomery was a recruiting assistant at Boise State last year. He will help Clune on defense, as well as have administrative duties in recruiting.

> Spencer Hagan — He played in 28 games as a receiver at California before suffering a knee injury in 2012. He retired as a player in September 2013, but remained with the Bears as a team manager last season. He will coach UH's tight ends.

> Brad Vonnahme — He was the linebacker coach at Midland University (Fremont, Neb.) the past year. He also assisted with the strength program. Vonnahme worked under Clune as a defensive administrator at Utah State in 2009 and 2010.

> Derek Deardorff — He was an NAIA All-America wide receiver at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. The past three seasons, he was a GA at Tabor in Wichita, Kan. He will assist the offense.

Warriors add kicker

July 16th, 2014

Ryan_WeeseFormer Oklahoma State kicker Ryan Weese is transferring to  UH and is expected to participate in training camp next month.

Weese received preliminary approval, although his admittance has not been finalized.

If approved, he would be a sophomore this year, eligible to compete this season, and have three years to play three seasons.

This past spring, Weese joined OSU as a walk-on after transferring from Hutchinson Community College. A player usually has to redshirt a season after transferring between FBS schools. Weese qualifies for an exemption because he was an unrecruited walk-on at OSU and initiated contact with the Warriors. Weese said he has known Chris "Demo" Demarest, UH's special teams coordinator, for several years.

Weese converted his first nine field-goal attempts last year. But his overall stats were skewed after he went  1 of 7 against Butler in a late October game in which both teams combined  to miss 10 of 13 FG attempts. "It was one of those days," said Weese, who several times was called to race onto the field with the play clock at 10 seconds or less.

Weese was a three-year starter at receiver in high school. With a soccer background, he was summoned as a kicker, too. He then attended a kicking combine where he  finished in the top five, spurring a decision to compete as a kicker at the next level.

UH kicker Tyler Hadden will be a fifth-year senior this season.

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