Sports Notebook

Tuesday, September 17, 2002


Withy-Allen getting the reps
as UH’s backup quarterback

Shawn Withy-Allen said he always knew his time would come.

But when Jason Whieldon beat out Withy-Allen for the job of backup quarterback at Hawaii, Withy-Allen's practice repetitions with the first unit decreased.

Now, with Whieldon gone to attend to family concerns, UH has a backup quarterback in Withy-Allen who hasn't practiced much since training camp.

Yesterday, after coach June Jones announced Whieldon's departure, Withy-Allen pronounced himself ready, but rusty.

"It takes a little while to get back into the groove, not having taken any reps in about four weeks or so," he said.

UH quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison put a more positive spin on the situation.

"He's got quite a bit (of reps)," Morrison said. "Plus he got a lot in the spring and a whole bunch in summer. Plus he's been here for several years, so yeah, he's a veteran and he understands it. He's a very bright kid that stays very involved with mental reps when he can't have physical reps. So he's fine. He's a smart kid."

Withy-Allen said it was the 'mental reps' that he used to stay ready even when there weren't enough practice snaps to go around.

He paid attention to every play, he would watch the defense and try to guess the coverage before the snap. He watched things unfold from behind the play and went through decisions and reads in his mind as he saw things happen.

"You know, I just don't throw the ball," he said.

In Whieldon's absence Withy-Allen has gotten more physical work heading into this week's game at Texas-El Paso.

"One door closes, another opens," Morrison said. "And he's a great kid. He'll step up to the opportunity."

He's tight: Garrett Dearing is a marked man. The redshirt freshman walk-on from Hilo wears a red jersey in practice. When he lines up against Hawaii's top defensive players, everyone keeps track of where he is.

Hawaii has no tight end. The run-and-shoot doesn't deploy them, so UH doesn't have any. But most other teams do, and it's tough to practice for upcoming opponents without them. So for the second consecutive season, Dearing, a former high school tight end, is playing the part.

Officially a defensive lineman, Dearing runs the other team's plays with the offensive scouts. He said he "got lucky" to make the travel squad to BYU, but otherwise his duties as tight end are his claim to fame so far.

"This is an honor to me," he said. "I feel that it's an important role."

His only complaint? As the team's only "tight end," he never gets a break.

Around the WAC: After leading the nation in rushing as a freshman a season ago, Nevada's Chance Kretschmer was lost for the rest of 2002 after his first carry in Saturday's 31-28 win over BYU. The Cougars were flagged for a late hit on the play after Paul Walkenhorst and Kahuku grad Aaron Francisco hit Kretschmer out of bounds. ... Fresno State coach Pat Hill has dismissed receiver Charles Ealy for "conduct detrimental to the team."

Short yardage: Injured UH safety Leonard Peters went through some "jog-through" work yesterday, working with the defensive scout team. ... Reserve offensive lineman Jonathan Ekno went down during scout drills yesterday, and sat out the rest of the practice.

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