UH FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Yesterday's practice: No pads, no pool
No pads didn't mean a light day on the football practice field for Hawaii yesterday.
The Warriors took a break from hitting for yesterday's two practices.
There was still enough running and technique work to keep the players' legs burning as the team endured extended 7-on-7 and team periods.
"You don't have to have pads on to get work done," defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold shouted during the workout.
Head coach June Jones concurred.
"We practice just as hard, we just didn't have pads on," Jones said. "Assignments and alignments, we do it the same as we do every day whether we have pads on or not."
Quarterback Colt Brennan said the players had a hunch the practice might end with a trip to the pool, an annual highlight of fall camp. But that didn't turn out to be the case.
"I think everybody thought we were having a pool day because we weren't in pads," Brennan said. "So everybody was working really, really hard just waiting for (Jones) to call pool day, and all of a sudden we realized he wasn't going to call pool day, so we just finished practice nice and strong. It was a good day and we were able to get a lot of things done."
Brennan turned 23 yesterday, and was hoping his birthday would pass without much fuss.
"I wanted to keep it low-key so I don't get beat up too much," the Warrior quarterback said after practice.
So much for that idea.
Seconds after the words left his mouth, offensive linemen Samson Satele and Dane Uperesa snuck behind Brennan and doused him with a bucket brimming with ice water.
"I guess I had my pool day," a soaked Brennan said.
Receiver Ian Sample
sat out part of the morning practice nursing a strained groin, but returned to work with the kickoff-return unit in the afternoon session. He said he'd have to wait and see whether he would be able to practice this morning.
"I didn't really go in there much, I'm just catching balls and jogging around just to be part of it," said Sample, who is locked in a competition for playing time with Ross Dickerson. "I hate sitting out, so as much as I can do I'll do."
Linebackers Brashton Satele and Adam Leonard sat out another day with leg injuries. Satele continues to recover from a deep thigh bruise, while Leonard has been slowed by a sore quadriceps. True freshman Blaze Soares got some prime-time reps in Leonard's absence.
"(Leonard) practiced in the first part, but it tightened up," Jones said.
Safety Brad Kalilimoku came back from a tight hamstring to participate in both workouts. Defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis also returned from a bout with the flu.
Cornerback A.J. Martinez was back in action after missing time with a groin injury, and ran with the second unit while senior Kenny Patton continued to work with the first team.
"He's missed a bunch of practice," Jones said of Martinez.
Defensive tackle Lawrence Wilson remained sidelined with an ankle injury, while Fale Laeli was back from a concussion.
Running back Nate Ilaoa (foot) also took some repetitions after sitting out a couple of days.
Patton and Dickerson were first in the rotation in the kickoff-return period yesterday afternoon, followed by Sample and Chad Mock
. But those pairings aren't final.
"We're still looking at all four of them," Jones said.
After a three-year absence, the New England Patriots are actively scouting UH this year. Regional scout Larry Cook
, a 22-year employee of the franchise, said the reason is simple.
"This year it looks like there's more depth in talent than in previous years," said Cook, who attended the Warriors' practice yesterday morning.
"It appears there may be more numbers than in the past," Cook said. "Three offensive linemen, a couple of defensive backs, a running back, a couple of receivers. A lot more names of people who might be able to play in the league to look at."
Star-Bulletin reporter Dave Reardon contributed to this report