Hawaii long snapper earns scholarship
Casual Hawaii football fans didn't notice Jake Ingram's contribution to the Warriors' effort last year, but coach June Jones did. With Ingram as long snapper the last half of the season, UH's special teams, beleaguered early in the season, did not suffer a bad exchange or a blocked punt.
The walk-on sophomore, who goes into fall camp as UH's starting long snapper, has earned a scholarship, Jones said yesterday.
Ingram, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound Mililani graduate, worked out on the defensive line as a freshman last fall, and snapped in relief of starting outside linebacker and three-year starting snapper Tanuvasa Moe.
Moe has completed his eligibility.
"Snapping is all (Ingram) will do," Jones said. "He's too valuable to get him hurt doing something else."
Ingram's scholarship will start in the spring 2007 semester because players who do not receive initial scholarships are not eligible until they are in school two years.
"I just did (snapping) as something that would make the team need me," Ingram said. "T.J. (Moe) helped me out a lot."
No cuts yet: Jones had originally planned to pare his post-spring-camp roster down this month to make room for new arrivals coming in August. But he will instead wait until a couple of weeks before players report Aug. 3.
"We let each of the guys know what they need to do before then," Jones said.
Limbo continues: Jones said he is getting frustrated about the lack of feedback on the appeals of four UH players for additional eligibility, including starters Leonard Peters (safety) and Nate Ilaoa (running back).
"But we've done everything we can do, so we just have to wait and let it sort itself out," Jones said.
Off to Samoa: Jones left for Samoa yesterday. He and assistant coach Jeff Reinebold will be there meeting with high school coaches and evaluating prospects. They return Monday.
It will be the first trip to Samoa for Reinebold, who considers himself Polynesian at heart.
"I'm very much looking forward to it," said Reinebold, who purchased a lava lava for the trip. "I sat down with my Samoan language teacher to talk about their culture. I don't want to be the ugly American. One thing they told me is I might be asked to dance, so Saafi Maeva (father of former UH linebacker David Maeva) showed me a couple of steps."
Current UH players from Samoa include starting defensive end Mel Purcell, defensive tackle Larry Sauafea, and offensive lineman Keith Ah Soon.