Lobendahn invited, won't play in Hula Bowl
A knee injury cut short Joe Lobendahn's playing time at the University of Washington last month, but it didn't stop the senior linebacker from racking up postseason honors.
The Saint Louis School product capped his Husky career with all-conference second-team honors and was voted the defensive MVP and most inspirational by his teammates. Yesterday, game officials announced Lobendahn was one of three former island prep players invited to the 60th Hula Bowl college all-star game, scheduled for Jan. 21 at Aloha Stadium.
Lobendahn, who had surgery for a torn right ACL three weeks ago, will not play, but will participate in the game's festivities. He will be joined on the West roster by former Crusader teammate Vaka Manupuna, a nose guard for Colorado, and Kahuku's Bristol Olomua, a tight end at Texas Tech.
"Making the Hula Bowl was a goal when I was growing up," Lobendahn said in a telephone call with the Star-Bulletin yesterday from Seattle. "It's too bad I can't play in front of my family and friends. But I'm honored to be invited, excited to be back home and represent Hawaii as best as I can."
Lobendahn injured his knee in the Nov. 5 loss to Oregon State and missed Washington's final two games. He said his rehab is going well and he hopes to be ready for the NFL Combine in February.
Four University of Hawaii players were previously announced as invitees for the West squad: safety Lono Manners, linebackers Tanuvasa Moe and Kila Kamakawiwo'ole and guard Brandon Eaton.
The compete rosters for both the West and East teams were to be announced today.