Linebacker sits out of Warriors' practice
Freshman Brashton Satele, a candidate for a starting spot, is nursing a bruised thigh
Brashton Satele, a candidate to start at outside linebacker for Hawaii this fall, sat out of yesterday's practice and might miss another day or two with a right quadriceps contusion.
The injury occurred on Monday, the first day of contact with helmets and shoulder pads. It's the type of injury more likely to occur when full pads aren't being worn.
"I took a helmet to my thigh yesterday, it's a deep-tissue bruise," Satele said. "It'll get better. I'm just taking mental reps and everyone's still learning."
The 6-foot-2, 243-pound second-year freshman is battling for a starting spot on the right side with 6-1, 230-pound sophomore Tyson Kafentzis. Sophomore John Fonoti ended spring practice atop the depth chart, but is out for the season with academic issues.
Amani Purcell, a junior transfer from Penn State, could enter the picture later this month after he completes a summer school class.
» Like Reagan Mauia, Siave Seti came to UH as a defensive tackle. Like Mauia, Seti is now a fullback. A full-sized fullback.
Seti is 6-feet and 281 pounds. Last year he weighed 311. Mauia, who ran the ball a few times last year, has lost 70 pounds since last fall and is listed at 296.
Jones said both are in the offensive backfield to stay. Mauia, a senior, is expected to play quite a bit this fall as starter Nate Ilaoa's backup.
Seti, a transfer from West Los Angeles College, is a junior. He does have some experience running the ball, in the goal-line offense for St. Anthony's High School in Long Beach, Calif.
Jones is excited about Seti's potential.
"He's lost a lot of weight, he's priding himself in learning the system, and he's learning how to block," Jones said.
As did Mauia, Seti left a crowded nose tackle situation where he wasn't getting much playing time.
"Coach Jones saw me running to the ball, pursuing to the ball nonstop and he wanted me to try running back," Seti said. "It's been great so far."
After switching over, Mauia rushed for 59 yards and one touchdown in 12 carries last year without really knowing what he was doing. Now he's helping Seti learn the position.
"He's coachable, real coachable. He opens his eyes and ears and just absorbs everything I tell him," Mauia said. "(Third-string running back David) Farmer told me the other day, 'Man, it feels good all the guys are coming to you to ask you.' Before I used to go to Farmer all the time and Nate Ilaoa. Now I understand the system so I can answer a lot of the questions myself."
» Junior inside linebacker Timo Paepule mixed it up with aplomb during yesterday afternoon's practice, making the most of his repetitions. Paepule seems to show up well in contact every camp, but doesn't get a huge amount of playing time during the season.
He's behind two sophomore starters, Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard. Also, freshman Blaze Soares is an up-and-comer.
But Paepule manages to keep a positive attitude.
"It's been a long battle, about three years. I felt bad because I wasn't here a lot this summer because I was in California on family things. It's not an easy job, trying to battle for a position for three years. But school's important, too, and family, and God keeps a smile on my face," he said.
Jones said Paepule's biggest role this year will probably be on special teams.
"Timo's been one of our best special teams players and that's probably where he'll contribute the most," Jones said.
Paepule said he'll make the most of it.
"I might not get to play that much on defense, but the times I get out there for special teams, I go all out," Paepule said. "We just didn't perform (last year on special teams). This year we got a lot of new guys. Hopefully Ross (Dickerson) is ready to run. I'm ready to block for him. Kick return, punt and kickoff. Wherever they put me man, I'm ready to play."
» Brian Wong, a veteran of the UH athletic training staff, is the new head football trainer. He replaces Eric Okasaki. Okasaki, UH head men's athletic trainer the past 24 years, is taking on more of an overall administrative role.
Wong, 32, has been involved with the school's athletic training department 13 years, since he was a student. He will be responsible for the 12-person football training staff and will also be the main contact with Jones.
"That's where it's kind of changed. In the past I was relaying messages to Coach Jones," Wong said. "Now I'm that guy, I contact him (directly)."
By nature of the job, Wong will be the bearer of bad news at times for the coaching staff regarding player availability. Wong said he's ready, having cut his teeth in a similar role as a 24-year-old with baseball coach Les Murakami.
Jones said he looks forward to working with Wong in his new position.
"I'm glad that he got the opportunity to advance," Jones said. "He's done a good job here and earned it."