Thursday, April 14, 2005


Taking the offensive
not in Fruean’s plans

The football transfer from
Washington State is learning
all he can to stay on defense

Hawaii offensive line coach Mouse Davis walked past Renolds Fruean yesterday after practice and gave him a jovial warning.

"You'd better keep learning that defensive line stuff, or we'll bring you over to offense," Davis said with a chuckle.

Fruean smiled, but then shook his head. He has no intention of trading his green jersey in for a white one.

That's one of the reasons the Waipahu graduate transferred to UH from Washington State. The Cougars had plans for him on the offensive line.

"I prefer defense," Fruean said. "I don't like blocking. I like beating up people, not getting beat up."

So far this spring, the 6-foot-4, 267-pound Fruean has lined up at both defensive end and defensive tackle. He's getting a crash course on what's expected at all the different positions.

"We're moving him around, shopping him around, seeing where he's best at," defensive line coach Vantz Singletary said. "He's a big kid and he's aggressive. You can put him in there and he's not going to hurt you, he just needs to sharpen his reactions. He's retaining a lot of information and you can tell he likes to compete."

Other than his preference for defense, Fruean's reasons for returning to Hawaii are the typical ones.

"This is a different environment. The school was good, it's just where it was at. I missed the people from home, and I'm looking forward to playing in front of family," he said.

One relative will be a teammate. Cousin B.J. Fruean is an incoming freshman linebacker.

O-line shuffle: Brandon Eaton is a two-year starter at offensive tackle who is being groomed for right guard this season.

But Eaton has spent much of his time this week at center because of an injury to center Derek Fa'avi.

Fa'avi, who has started three years at center, had taken a surprising number of reps this spring for a veteran. But he re-injured his knee on Tuesday, and the coaches decided to put Eaton there to improve the depth.

"We want to rotate them anyway," coach June Jones said. "We always want to have three or four centers."

Davis said he doesn't expect Eaton to play center this fall unless several other players aren't available.

In addition to Fa'avi, Marques Kaonohi and Samson Satele (last year's starting left guard) are possibilities.

"We had Keith AhSoon there, too, but he looks pretty strong at tackle," Davis said.

Fa'avi was walking without a limp yesterday and should be OK by fall camp.

Jones likes additional game: The NCAA is close to approving adding a 12th game to its Division I football schedules. That means UH would get to play 13 games because of the Hawaii exemption that allows UH and the schools it plays an additional game to make up for additional travel costs. The new rule would go into effect in 2006.

"I don't see it as a problem," Jones said. "I would think it means more money for the athletic department. The kids already showed they can do it."

Because of a calendar quirk, most teams were allowed 12 regular-season games in 2002 and 2003, and UH was allowed 13. Including bowl games, the Warriors went 10-4 in 2002 and 9-5 in 2003.

USC game on ESPN2: According to the WAC Football Prospectus released yesterday, the Hawaii home game against USC on Sept. 3 will be televised by ESPN2. Kickoff time is still listed at "TBA" (to be announced).

ESPN wanted the season-opening game for both teams moved from Saturday for television purposes, but USC and Hawaii both balked at the request.

UH's home game against Wisconsin on Friday, Nov. 25 is also scheduled to be shown by ESPN2. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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