Tuesday, April 4, 2000
still a toss-up
RAINBOW FOOTBALL NOTEBOOKBy Paul Arnett
The quarterback race at the University of Hawaii won't be settled any time soon.
Rainbows head coach June Jones said after yesterday's practice that he probably won't have a tentative depth chart on the quarterbacks even after the spring ends with a controlled scrimmage April 15.
"Right now, it's pretty much what it has been since we started," Jones said. "I think the two new junior college quarterbacks (roommates Jared Flint and Nick Rolovich) are starting to get a feel for the offense."
It's likely one of those transfers will be under center for the season opener with Portland State on Sept. 9. Rolovich has been slowed somewhat this spring with a busted thumb that he slammed in his dorm room door.
But Jones said that hasn't hurt Rolovich's chances of emerging from fall camp as the top quarterback. At this stage, it appears Flint, Rolovich and sophomore returnee Mike Harrison are the leaders of the pack.
"We'll have a better way of evaluating everyone once they get comfortable in their progression reads," Jones said. "We probably won't have a depth chart on them after spring.
"In the fall, we'll do our repetitions the same and probably about two weeks before the first game, we'll try to nail it down as to which guy will be our starter."
Sophomores Kevin Gilbride and Shawn Withy-Allen were the featured attractions in the controlled scrimmage before spring break. Jones said he wanted to give those guys a chance to show what they can do in a game-like situation.
Neither saw that much practice time last fall. Both were used primarily as scout team quarterbacks. Gilbride had to sit a year after transferring from Brigham Young and Withy-Allen served as an understudy for Harrison and starter Dan Robinson.
Light spring gameTo say Hawaii will hold a spring game a week from Saturday at Cooke Field might be a bit of a stretch. Jones said the final practice of spring would be more of a controlled scrimmage mixed in with seven-on-seven drills.
"It will be pretty much like we did it last year," Jones said. "It won't be a normal spring game. Instead, we'll probably run about 35 plays and see where that takes us.
"We ran about 50 plays in the scrimmage before our spring break. I saw a lot of good things, especially on defense. (Freshman defensive end) Kevin Jackson made some great effort plays and our defensive tackles really showed up. It was good."
Jackson on roadFree safety Nate Jackson will miss the next three practice sessions to go on the road with the Rainbows baseball team.
Jones originally thought the road trip to Fresno State two weeks ago would be the only sessions the junior from Waianae would miss, but such was not the case.
"He leaves (tonight) and won't be back until next week," Jones said. "But he's very familiar with what we're trying to get done, so it shouldn't be a problem."
Jackson is batting .205. The outfielder has seen more playing time of late. He has started in 11 of the 27 games he has appeared in this season.
Injury updateNevada-Las Vegas transfer Laanui Correa took part in his first spring practice yesterday, but still will see only limited practice time as he recovers from pneumonia.
The UH training staff believes it will take a few practices for Correa to get back into football shape. Jones is high on Correa, saying he believes he will be a difference-maker at UH before he's through.
The week off did Rolovich some good. His thumb is still a little sore, but he was able to take part in all the rotations during yesterday's eighth spring workout.
Ka Leo O Hawaii