UH's Jones pencils in April 15 spring game
The football coach plans to move Satele from guard to center
Hawaii football coach June Jones said he will reinstitute a spring football scrimmage after going without one last year ... maybe.
Jones -- not an advocate of full-contact practice in general -- said he won't make a decision until assessing the overall health of his team during spring practice, which begins March 21. But for now, the schedule says "spring game, April 15."
"It depends on injuries," said Jones. "If we do it, it will be the same format we've done in the past."
That means offense against defense, with big points for interceptions and sacks to make the scoring competitive, and the set-in-stone first-stringers playing just a few downs.
Spring practice dates are March 21-24 and -- following spring break -- April 3-8 and 10-13 and 15. The practices are generally from 7 to 9 a.m. at the UH grass practice fields and are open to the public at no charge.
Jones said he and his staff haven't determined goals for spring practice yet, other than the obvious ones of indoctrinating new players and beginning to fill positions for next season.
"We haven't set anything down yet," Jones said. "We still have to do our year-end player evaluations, which we'll be doing the next two weeks."
He has already talked about some position changes.
All-conference senior Samson Satele will shift from left guard to center.
Satele considered skipping his senior season and entering the 2006 NFL Draft, but informed Jones he will remain.
"Samson told me he's going to stay," Jones said. "He's probably one of the best, if not the best, offensive lineman we've had here."
Satele told Jones that graduating this December was one of the major considerations in not leaving for the pros early.
"He's close to getting his degree and wants to complete his education," Jones said.
Last June, the Kailua graduate said he would consider entering the draft early if projected as a high-round pick.
Satele, who received second-team All-WAC mention as a freshman and sophomore, will replace four-year starter and team MVP Derek Fa'avi at center.
Starting tackles Tala Esera and Dane Uperesa also return next season, along with quarterback Colt Brennan, who led the nation in passing yardage, and all four starting receivers.
Starting running back Nate Ilaoa also returns if the NCAA grants him an extra year because of injuries.
Veterans Marques Kaonohi, Hercules Satele and Larry Sauafea will get long looks at guard, as will promising freshman John Estes.
Freshman Adrian Thomas has arrived from Australia, and will enroll at UH this spring. He has the size to potentially play anywhere on the line at 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds.
Senior defensive tackle Reagan Mauia will continue at running back after playing there the last two games of the 2005 season. Mauia, who played at around 320 pounds last year, will need to lose some weight to vie for serious playing time in the offensive backfield, Jones said.
Sophomore slotback Davone Bess may get some reps in the defensive secondary, but Jones said no major shift is planned that would take away from the WAC Freshman of the Year's offensive productivity.
"We might look at him in some nickel situations," Jones said.
Senior cornerback Kenny Patton will be tried at wide receiver, but will still probably play some defense, the coach also said.