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


Monday, March 12, 2001



UH Football

Few changes for
rest of spring

The second half of spring for the University of Hawaii football team will be remarkably similar to the first half.

Warriors associate head coach George Lumpkin said after this morning's workout that a few more of the veterans would see more playing time, but the goal remains to develop the depth on both sides of the ball.

"We've got a lot of guys on defense playing different positions, so we need to look at them in game-like situations as much as we can," Lumpkin said. "Some of the veterans will see a few more snaps at certain postions, but right now our goal is to be consistent."

Senior safety Jacob Espiau returned to his spot after seeing limited practice time the first two weeks. He played some in the scrimmage on Saturday, but today, he worked with the first unit most of the morning.

"I played the first six plays of the run phase of the scrimmage and some with the first unit later on," said Espiau, last year's leading tackler for the Warriors. "I thought we were sloppy, but we'll get there. We're looking at a lot of guys right now."

Injury update

Defensive linemen Mike Iosua and Travis Laboy remained sidelined at this morning's practice on the grass fields. Iosua has missed a week of workouts with a sprained ankle, but said today he would be back on Wednesday.

He and cornerback Hyrum Peters, who has missed most of the spring with a hamstring pull, ran around the field to help rehabilitate their respective injuries.

Laboy woke up last Saturday morning with a bad bout with the flu. The defensive end didn't take part in the Saturday scrimmage and was still sidelined today. He, too, is expected to be back at full speed on Wednesday.

Hawaii did receive a bit of good news. Wideout Tafiti Uso returned to practice today after missing two weeks with a sprained shoulder. He was able to catch a couple of passes, but the shoulder remains sore. The UH training staff expects him to be ready for this Saturday's second scrimmage.

Wideout Kanale George dislocated his shoulder last week. He will be out from eight to 12 weeks. The former St. Louis School receiver was second on the depth chart behind Ashley Lelie. His X-rays for any broken bones were negative.

Chang an uncle

Quarterback Tim Chang left practice in a hurry last Saturday to get to the hospital for his sister's delivery. UH assistant coach Dan Morrison said she had a difficult delivery, but gave birth to a baby boy yesterday.

"He did a good job of staying focused for the scrimmage, but we let him go right away because of the complications of the delivery," Morrison said. "He's an uncle now."

Thompson, Weaver still waiting

Running back Avion Weaver attended Saturday's scrimmage and said he remains hopeful he'll receive a medical hardship for a knee injury he suffered on the 11th play of the fourth game last season with Texas Christian.

Afatia Thompson is also petitioning for an extra year. He was a nonqualifier out of high school, but is on track to graduate in four years, according to running backs coach Wes Suan.

"We're planning not to have them, but it would be great if we did," Suan said. "We probably would be looking at the younger guys anyway in the spring because we know what those two can do. We're still waiting to hear from the NCAA. All the paperwork is in."

Had Weaver been injured in one of the first three games, he could have used the redshirt year that's available to him and come back for a senior season, no questions asked. But he blew out his knee in the fourth game, which means he needs special dispensation from the NCAA.

"My knee feels fine," Weaver said. "I'm just waiting to hear the news. I'm doing a lot of conditioning, that kind of thing. Because I have a redshirt year, I think that helps me a little bit. I'm hoping to hear something as early as this week."

Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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