Sunday, August 14, 2005


UH defensive end Nkeruwem "Tony" Akpan missed practice yesterday with a laceration on his lip that required stitches.

Purcell, Akpan sit out

Defensive ends Melila Purcell and Nkeruwem "Tony" Akpan were out of Hawaii football practice yesterday with injuries.

"Tony had a laceration on his lip. He took about 80 stitches," coach June Jones said. "Mel has a pulled groin. They'll be back in a few days."

Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville liked the job done by the guys in their places, Karl Noa and Ikaika Alama-Francis.

"They were trying to make a highlight film. Whatever (Noa) weighs (240 pounds), about 90 percent of it is heart. And that's the fun of coaching," Glanville said. "(Alama-Francis) only knows one speed. It doesn't matter who's injured, who's well, those are guys that are going to help Hawaii win."

Nose tackle Reagan Mauia, in competition with Renolds Fruean among others, improved his stock yesterday after a so-so debut with the first team Friday.

This was 69's (Mauia's) best day," Glanville said. "I'd like to welcome him to camp. I didn't even know he was in camp until today. I asked him what time he got in, like he flew in from California or something."

The 5-foot-11, 335-pound junior college transfer knew he had to get his motor going.

"My name in his mouth means a lot to me," Mauia said. "I tried to hustle today. I was real tired yesterday, it was a long day, and he told me to get moving. So every play today I was hustling."

Like Fruean, Mauia is new to the nose tackle position. He played offensive guard last year.

"You've got to be a vicious player any position you play," Mauia said. "But nose tackle's a different breed. You've got to be nasty, mean, but under control. You've got to be an animal. To play nose you have to be able to call yourself a savage."

One reason the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Fruean transferred to Hawaii from Washington State is that the Cougars wanted to move him to offense. He said defense fits his personality better, and he likes Glanville's approach.

"There's a lot of motivation in the way he teaches. Professional style," Fruean said. "He's trying to bring his experience to us and pump it up a little bit."

One thing Glanville has made clear: If you don't run, you don't play.

"He emphasizes getting to the ball," Noa said. "It's embedded in our brains so much, we just try to do it because we know if we don't he's not going to be a happy man."

Washington ready: At 5-feet-8 and 160 pounds, freshman slotback/kick returner Michael Washington is expected to become a good-things-in-small-packages playmaker in the mold of Chad Owens and Jason Ferguson.

He got to suit up for the first time yesterday. But as it turned out, he was overdressed.

"I finally got cleared," said Washington, who had to wait for the result of a TB test. "So I came out in full pads, but then I learn that I have to wait five days because of an NCAA rule. It's kind of frustrating."

He's not bummed out, he's just itching to play.

"I feel excellent. Having a full scholarship at a beautiful place like Hawaii, and with an offense that suits me. There's a lot of competition and you have to battle for a spot but I just want to go out there and show what I've got," Washington said.

Owens was one of the reasons he chose UH.

"Chad ... I saw his moves and everything, and I've got the same thing with the hips and cuts. When I came down on my recruiting trip he was my host. He showed me the offense and everything. Jason Ferguson's filling his shoes now, and to have a receiver like that showing the way is really cool," Washington said. "I was real excited about him going to Jacksonville. He's become an idol for me, Dante Hall and now Chad Owens. They're so dynamic with their size. It's not all about size, you can make up for it with speed."

Jones loved Washington's highlight tape from Aliquippa, Pa., which is in one of the nation's traditionally talent-rich areas. Aliquippa alumni include Sean Gilbert and Ty Law.

Jones said Washington, who has been timed at under 4.4 in the 40, might play right away on special teams.

"I think he'll be a kickoff return guy, Jason (Ferguson) will probably handle the punts, maybe Davone (Bess)," Jones said.

Short yardage: Freshman receiver Antwan Mahaley was also cleared to practice yesterday. ... Senior receiver Ian Sample was happy to learn his back, which he originally hurt in 2003, won't require surgery. He said it feels better, and he made a jumping catch yesterday to prove it. ... Sophomore linebacker C.J. Allen-Jones returned yesterday after nursing an ankle sprain Friday. ... The players are off today, but not the coaches. "We'll be breaking down Michigan State film," Glanville said. "The whole defensive staff will attack Michigan State, and next week we get back to Southern Cal."

E-mail to Sports Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com