CRAIG KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Brashton Satele was named to the first team at outside linebacker yesterday. The second-year player moved ahead of sophomore Tyson Kafentzis.
Purcell, Satele get nod at outside LB
Allen-Jones and Kafentzis remain in the picture with Hawaii's opener looming
By Dave Reardon
After finally getting on the field, Amani Purcell didn't take long to make an impact for the Hawaii football team.
Purcell, who joined his teammates Friday after transferring from Penn State more than a year ago, was named to the first team as an outside linebacker by coach June Jones yesterday.
So was second-year Brashton Satele, on the left side.
Satele has moved ahead of sophomore Tyson Kafentzis, while Purcell replaces sophomore C.J. Allen-Jones, who has been out with a hamstring strain since Friday.
It was said with the "if the game were today" disclaimer, and things could change before the Sept. 2 season opener at Alabama. But the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Purcell looks like the real deal even though he hasn't been in full pads at UH yet.
"We'll evaluate that when we get to the game. (Purcell) looks like a good player," Jones said. "He learned when he wasn't around, that's a positive."
Jones said Allen-Jones worked hard in the offseason
and had a good camp. But he questioned if he would be healthy enough to play a week from Saturday.
"It's very much a concern. I would say right now he's not looking very good for the first game," Jones said.
But Allen-Jones said he is "OK," and sat out yesterday only as a precaution.
"I kind of tweaked it on Friday on kickoff. Today, just to be safe, taking it easy and rehabbing it and come back tomorrow. It should be good," he said.
Satele battled a deep thigh bruise in training camp. He said he's at about 75 or 80 percent now.
"I'm just trying to push through this week, trying to run it off," Satele said.
Kafentzis and Allen-Jones practiced at both outside linebacker positions last spring.
"The more competition we have, the better it makes us as a team," Allen-Jones said. "It's a team game, it's not an individual thing. We need everybody who can play against a good team like this.
SB FILE / DECEMBER 2005
Former starting cornerback Ryan Keomaka, right, returned to the Warriors yesterday following a suspension.
"They had me at both sides in spring ball. Right now they have me on the right. If they need me to switch over to the other side, that's fine. I can work both sides."
Purcell said he's pleased to be getting an opportunity.
"That feels good. But I have to maintain that position with the coaches. There's still two weeks, so you never know. I have to keep working hard," he said.
He said playing at Alabama will be more exciting than anything he experienced in the Big Ten.
"I'm fired up. Big crowds, away games. That's football, right there," said Purcell, who played in eight games as a defensive end for the Nittany Lions two years ago. "There were a lot (of big games). At Boston College. Michigan State, we beat them. Away game at Ohio State, that was a big one. But going to Alabama. That's bigger. I love that."
Former starting cornerbacks Ryan Keomaka and Keao Monteilh rejoined the team yesterday. Both worked out with the scout team, and Keomaka -- a special teams ace -- was on the kickoff cover team and on the punt team as a gunner.
"My goal is to make it on special teams," Keomaka said. "That's where I'll have an opportunity to play."
Monteilh needed a little time to re-acclimate.
"I'm a little rusty, but it's good to be out here," Monteilh said.
Jones reinstated the two after suspending them from spring practice for academic reasons.
It is unlikely they will break into the playing rotation early in the season at cornerback, barring several injuries. C.J. Hawthorne appears to have locked down one starting spot, with A.J. Martinez a bit ahead of Kenny Patton at the other.
Also, JC transfers Myron Newberry and Gerard Lewis are making progress. Another, Keenan Jones, is expected to compete for playing time once his transfer is completed.
Running back Jazen Anderson also returned yesterday. Anderson quit the team Aug. 12 but reconsidered a few days later.
More rest time:
Many of the Warriors' walking wounded returned to action yesterday after taking a couple of days off.
"Hopefully we're getting through it, a bunch of little strains and stuff like that," Jones said. "Now that we're on one-a-days they have more time to recuperate, more time to sleep. We should start to get everyone back by midweek."
Jones also said the Warriors have started to focus more on specific game-planning for Alabama.
"I wish we had a couple of games before we played them and we were playing at home," he said. "It's just one game out of 13 so we have to keep that in perspective."
Junior strong safety Brad Kalilimoku sat out with a tender hamstring again, and JC transfer Jacob Patek looks more and more like the starter there. Freshman inside linebacker Blaze Soares returned from a hamstring. ... Freshman free safety Spencer Smith returned to action from a sprained ankle, as has junior nose tackle Lawrence Wilson. ... Senior free safety Leonard Peters practiced with the kickoff team, and said his sprained ankle is better. Wide receivers Ian Sample and Ross Dickerson returned to activity. The Tuscaloosa News reported that Alabama star running back Ken Darby injured his knee in practice yesterday, but later seemed to be OK. ... Longtime Hawaii resident and Alabama alumnus Jim Nabors will sing the National Anthem at the Alabama game, according to former UH and UA kicker Peter Kim.