An inspirational workout partner joined some Hawaii football players yesterday. Only two days after becoming a Denver Bronco, Ashley Lelie was at UH, stretching and running with his former Warrior teammates.
Lelie back in HawaiiRolovich to try out with Dallas
to work out
By Dave Reardon
"It's time to get in shape," said Lelie, who arrived in Hawaii late Sunday night.
On Saturday, Lelie became the highest-drafted player in UH history, as the Broncos chose the third-team All-American wide receiver in the first round with the 19th pick of the draft. On Sunday morning, he caught a plane from South Carolina, where his parents live, to Denver to meet Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and staff, fellow draftees and the area media. By late Sunday night he was back in Hawaii.
"It feels great, it's all like a dream come true," said Lelie, who plans to remain in the islands to work out until May 3, when he reports for his first minicamp.
Lelie said he also plans to be in Hawaii on Memorial Day weekend, when he will sign autographs at a card show here.
Lelie said he doesn't know what kind of salary and signing bonus his agent, Ray Anderson, is negotiating for him with the Broncos. The signing bonus alone will likely be between $2 and $4 million, and Lelie's contract will probably be for at least $1 million a year for five years.
Tide of possibilities: Alabama is definitely interested in filling the vacancy created by Virginia's pullout from UH's 2003 schedule. Even if that doesn't happen, Charlie North, who schedules the Crimson Tide's games, said Alabama wants to find a way to play at Hawaii, anyway.
"We're flexible and open-minded," said North, the team's football operations manager. "We have to wait and see what's going to happen. I can't speak for coach (Dennis) Franchione, but we were out there with TCU (where Franchione previously coached). It was a nice trip for the youngsters and a tough ballgame."
At issue is if Alabama will get its NCAA probation lifted a year early and is again eligible for postseason play. If that happens, the Tide can't play UH, as it must be available for the SEC championship game.
UH is also working with Washington State for a future home-and-home series.
Souza to Colts: Punahou School and Northwestern offensive lineman Mike Souza signed with the Indianapolis Colts and reports to minicamp Thursday.
"I think it's going to be an excellent opportunity for me. It's not too bad when your skill players are Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison," Souza said. "The offensive line coach said he plans to use me in a bunch of different spots, including snapping."
Souza struggled with injuries through much of his career with the Wildcats, but said he is healthy now.
Fast times at Manoa: Wide receiver Justin Colbert and safety Sean Butts posted some good 40 times last week, according to UH secondary coach Rich Miano. Colbert ran a 4.41 and Butts a 4.42.
Both are entered in Saturday's Hawaii's Fastest Human 100-meters race.