DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Eight Heisman winners gathered at yesterday's Hula Bowl practices at Aloha Stadium: Rashaan Salaam, Charles White, Billy Sims, Mike Rozier, Dick Kazmaier, Andre Ware, Howard "Hopalong" Cassady and George Rogers.
Manupuna sees an opportunity
Vaka Manupuna survived a tumultuous five years at Colorado. They included recruiting and sex scandals he wasn't involved in and ended with a 70-3 loss to Texas in the Big 12 championship game, a 19-10 loss to Clemson in a bowl game and coach Gary Barnett's dismissal.
The 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive tackle from Saint Louis School didn't lose his sense of perspective through the down times.
"Coming out of high school we'd been through a lot of stuff, so I was ready, trained for that," said Manupuna after yesterday's Hula Bowl practice at Aloha Stadium in preparation for tomorrow's 2 p.m. game.
One NFL Draft predictor has Manupuna ranked as the 34th defensive tackle, which would probably have him being picked in the late rounds. He'd like to up his stock with a good showing at the Hula Bowl this week.
"I've got to consistently make plays and keep my motor going, going toward the ball. I might lack on height, but the heart is there," Manupuna said. "This is my 10th year of playing football, and everywhere I've been the coaches told me I have good feet. I feel like I could play outside, play contain. But just one side, not the whole field."
He said he is pleased that Brian Cabral, another Saint Louis graduate, was retained on the Buffaloes staff by new coach Dan Hawkins.
"Coach Cabral was there when the school was built," Manupuna said of the former CU linebacker.
Heis-men: Aloha Stadium was bursting with some of the greatest talent in the history of college football yesterday, as eight former Heisman Trophy winners appeared.
Hopalong Cassady (1955, Ohio State), Dick Kazmaier (1951, Princeton), George Rogers (1980, South Carolina), Mike Rozier (1983, Nebraska), Rashaan Salaam (1994, Colorado), Billy Sims (1978, Oklahoma), Andre Ware (1989, Houston) and Charles White (1979, USC) posed for photographs. Each of them, along with former Oakland Raiders star safety Jack Tatum, shared some inspirational words with the West players after practice.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nevada running back B.J. Mitchell shook hands with 1978 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims yesterday.
Most of them had been to Aloha Stadium before for previous Hula Bowls, Pro Bowls and games against Hawaii.
Glanville "recruiting": Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville took in the West practice at Aloha Stadium, along with head coach June Jones and former Warriors defensive lineman Tony Akpan.
"I heard it was a big recruiting weekend, so I thought I'd come over here and pick up four or five of these guys," he said jokingly. "Especially the three I already had."
Glanville was referring to his former players, linebackers Kila Kamakawiwo'ole and Tanuvasa Moe and safety Lono Manners. But he had a hard time finding Manners.
"He changed his number from 15 to 14," Glanville said.
Build it and they will jump: Tonight's "Livin' It" motocross and skateboarding exhibition at the stadium in conjunction with tomorrow's game got a boost from Hula Bowl alumnus Doug Vaioleti.
Vaioleti, who does TV color commentary for UH football games, is a carpenter by day. He usually builds houses, but the company he works for, Real Builders, was called in to help construct the "Livin' It" course this week.
Vaioleti was an All-WAC offensive lineman in 1992, when UH won the conference championship and the Holiday Bowl.
He had mixed results in the 1993 Hula Bowl.
"I gave up a sack, but I snapped the winning field goal by Jason Elam," Vaioleti said.
Public relations: Sports information directors from around the country assist at the Hula Bowl each year. Kevin Trainor, an Arkansas SID and assistant athletic director working this year's game, has a family tie to the Hula Bowl; his brother is Kendall Trainor, a Razorbacks kicker who played in the 1989 game.
Kendall Trainor, who helped Arkansas beat UH 38-20 here in 1987, was a first-team All-American in 1988.
Two players have fathers in high places. East receiver Kyle Smith of Youngstown State is the son of San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith. West offensive lineman Brian Ferentz played under his father, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.