AFCA coaches rave about UH defense
During a phone interview yesterday with Jerry Glanville at the AFCA annual convention in San Antonio, a reporter tried to sum up the conversation to that point.
So you're not job hunting, but you're imparting wisdom?
"You said a truth, but then you followed it up with something not quite true," Glanville replied.
His main priority seemed to be getting his fill of good Tex-Mex food, but Glanville is also working at the coaches' convention (and not distributing résumés). On Sunday, he and outside linebacker coach George Lumpkin spoke at seminars.
Glanville said he was overwhelmed by his colleagues' reaction to UH's improvement on defense.
"There's 7,000 coaches here, and everybody's talking about how Hawaii hustles and hits. Not fans, spectators, this is coaches," Glanville said.
"It makes me very proud of the kids that every coach knows how hard they play. I told George I wish the kids could hear that."
Glanville said he isn't sure yet who will move into the two defensive end spots and free safety position vacated by departing seniors Ikaika Alama-Francis, Melila Purcell and Leonard Peters.
One thought is to move strong safety Jake Patek to free safety.
"We discussed it and may take a look at it," Glanville said. "But his coverage ability is so good, slotbacks can't get away from him. If we move him to free we lose that strength. After what he did, it makes you say don't move him. He and Mike Malala took two excellent tight ends out of the (Arizona State) game."
If Patek stays put, junior Dane Porlas, freshman Spencer Smith and sophomore Kirk Alexander become the top returning candidates at free safety.
"But Alexander's up to 226 pounds, so he might be growing into a linebacker," Glanville said. "Desmond Thomas has been working out at strong, but we could look at him at free."
The long list of possibilities at defensive end grew by one Monday when coach June Jones said sophomore John Fonoti will get a look on the line after redshirting in 2005 as an outside linebacker. Fonoti was projected to start last year, but missed the season due to an academic situation he has since rectified.
"He's got a chance to get bigger and bigger," Glanville said of Fonoti, who was listed at 6-3, 233 headed into last fall. "And he has sudden quickness."
Keala Watson, David Veikune, Fale Laeli, Amani Purcell, Karl Noa and Rocky Savaiigaea all got experience on the line last year behind the starters. Junior college transfer Ray Hisatake -- likely a nose tackle -- will also be among those contending for a spot in the playing rotation when spring practice starts April 2.