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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Thursday, August 31, 2000



Kapanui back in QB race

It was what Chad Kapanui wanted all along.

Earlier this week, the University of Hawaii freshman shifted from linebacker to quarterback. It's unlikely he will be under center this season, unless a series of injuries befalls the front-runners. Head coach June Jones even hinted Kapanui might redshirt.

"We wanted to look at him at quarterback," Jones said after yesterday morning's workout. "He's got a real nice arm and is the right kind of person. We're going to spend some time with him over there and see how he does."

Jones said Kapanui didn't express interest at returning to that side of the football. It was something Jones wanted to do because of the former Roosevelt High standout's natural ability. He has the strongest arm of any quarterback on the team.

Kapanui spent a majority of yesterday's practice visiting with quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison. Kapanui opted not to stay home over the summer, instead, playing baseball on the mainland. He also didn't take part in two-a-days, which has put him way behind the other contenders.

"I really wanted to be a quarterback," Kapanui said. "They got me back there. I'm glad. I've still got to get comfortable with the system. But I'm way behind. I hardly get any reps.

"I wanted to play there since the first of the year, but the coaches wanted to look at me at linebacker first. I enjoyed playing linebacker because I felt like I could play right away.

"I never thought I would get back at quarterback. I already was looking past that and getting ready to play defense. The only thing is I'm kind of mad because I could have been working out this whole camp and maybe I'd be ahead right now."

The top three continue to be Nick Rolovich, Timmy Chang and Mike Harrison. Several sources close to the team confirmed yesterday that they believe Rolovich has moved into the top spot and will likely be named the starter, but Jones wasn't revealing his hand.

"We'll make that decision over the weekend," Jones said. "And next week, we'll be on our way."

Fenderson awarded scholarship

When talking about Warrior running backs, it's not often that James Fenderson is mentioned in the same breath as Afatia Thompson and Avion Weaver.

But the coaches and players on the team know how valuable this senior from Long Beach (Calif.) Community College is to this program. He might not carry the football that often, but keep a close eye on him during special teams because he's usually the first man down the field on punts and kickoff coverages.

"You should have heard the ovation from the team when we announced he was getting a scholarship," Jones said. "That tells you a lot about the guy right there."

Fenderson, who played his high school ball for Mililani, had only two carries last year in the SMU game for 22 yards. He also managed 12 tackles and figures highly in special teams coach Dennis McKnight's plans.

"I've said this before, but he's the best special teams player I've been around," McKnight said. "The only thing I regret is this is the last year we have him in the program. It would be nice if we could have had him another year or two."

Fenderson spent three years at Long Beach, so he didn't have a redshirt year available to him. He walked on last year.

"He is a true team player," Jones said. "You need that kind of guy in your program. We're very happy for him."

Back to Aloha Stadium

The Rainbows held a final workout at Aloha Stadium yesterday afternoon.

"We just want to get in there and get the guys comfortable with the place," Jones said. "It's different practicing out there than up here on campus."

Colbert takes charge

Wideout Justin Colbert took control of the left wideout position and will be the starter for the Sept. 9 game with Portland State.

Jones said Jamal Garland and Neal Gossett are also in the mix and will see playing time this season. Colbert is a shifty wideout, who caught two passes for 7 yards last year.

"He's been the most consistent over there," Jones said. "He's what we expected him to be."

Injury update

Defensive backs Nate Jackson and Feiamma Armstrong didn't suit up yesterday. Jackson is still bothered with a sprained foot and Armstrong is out with a hamstring pull. Armstrong was expected to practice yesterday.

By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

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