Adam Leonard was in on a team-high 114 tackles for Hawaii last season, and his fellow sophomore, Solomon Elimimian, was next with 89.
Both were starting inside linebackers for the Warriors last year, as UH's base defense was a 3-4 set under Jerry Glanville.
Now that the two-year defensive coordinator has left to be head coach at Portland State, spring practice, which starts tomorrow, might mean adjustments for players like Leonard and Elimimian. If Hawaii plays a 4-3 more often, it likely means a shift to the outside for one of them.
It's probably going to be Leonard, who was talked about as a candidate for outside even before Glanville's departure.
"I don't know quite yet, but I do think the coaches will want to take a look at me outside," Leonard said. "Learning experiences are always good, and to be more versatile is always good. The one thing I do know is we've got a lot of good athletes at linebacker."
Greg McMackin -- the UH defensive coordinator in 1999 -- appears to be the prime candidate to take over the defense, and he prefers the 4-3 alignment. McMackin will be an observer when camp starts, the way Glanville was two years ago before state hiring requirements were met and he officially became an employee.
Head coach June Jones could not comment on the opening, but did not deny that McMackin is a candidate to fill the job.
Jones said he sees a smooth transition on both sides of the line, even though UH is losing center Samson Satele and tackles Tala Esera and Dane Uperesa on offense and ends Ikaika Alama-Francis and Melila Purcell on defense.
"I think we have guys on campus that are going to be able to fill in. They're just waiting for their chances," Jones said.
The guards are set, with John Estes and Hercules Satele returning starters from the unit that allowed Colt Brennan time to pass for record-breaking stats.
Aaron Kia, Laupepa Letuli, Keoni Steinhoff and Keith Ah-Soon are the top candidates at tackle, while Lafu Tuioti-Mariner's work at center has changed plans to move Estes into Samson Satele's former spot.
Newcomer Kealoha Pilares and Jason Laumoli will get long looks at running back to replace Nate Ilaoa and Reagan Mauia, Jones said.
Greg Salas will be a strong contender for the one open receiver spot, Jones said.
"He's got it all," the coach said of Salas, who redshirted last year.
Malcolm Lane and Dylan Linkner are among the others who will get a chance.
Jones added that he's seriously considering using All-WAC slotback receiver Davone Bess as a punter to replace four-year starter Kurt Milne.
"He was a good punter in high school and we had him do some in practice last year," Jones said.
Kicker Dan Kelly is another possibility at punter.
There will be the usual amount of position switching. C.J. Hawthorne moves from cornerback to receiver, and Erik Pedersen shifts back from linebacker to safety. Ray Hisatake, a defensive tackle in junior college, will try offensive tackle this spring.
Defensive backs coach Rich Miano said Pedersen is among a slew of potential replacements for four-year starter Leonard Peters. A new scheme could figure in here, too, as UH might be moving away from the free and strong safety paradigm back to left and right safety.
"Jake Patek's the No. 1 guy, and I think he'll do a great job," Miano said. "We've got Dane Porlas, Kirk Alexander, Desmond Thomas and Erik Pedersen. (Freshman) Kenny Estes is big, fast and athletic, but very raw. I don't know if we can expect him to play right away, but he's a Leonard Peters kind of guy."
Hawaii Spring Football, Unit-by-Unit
Returning starters in bold.
Keith Ah-Soon (6-1, 294, Jr.), Kavan Bannigan (6-6, 376, Jr.), John Estes (6-2, 290, So.)
, Brysen Ginlack (6-1, 296, Fr.), Paul Harmon (6-1, 273, So.), Ray Hisatake (6-4, 320, Jr.), Raphael Ieru (6-3, 340, So.), Daniel Johnson (6-4, 297, So.), Lucas Kennard (6-1, 254, Fr.), Aaron Kia (6-4, 283, So.), Laupepa Letuli (6-3, 287, So.), Joey Lipp (6-3, 261, Fr.), Nathan McKay (6-2, 280, So.), Daniel Otineru (6-1, 303, Jr.), Hercules Satele (6-2, 288, Sr.)
, Larry Sauafea (6-2, 313, Sr.), Keoni Steinhoff (6-3, 269, Jr.), Adrian Thomas (6-5, 340, Fr.), Lafu Tuioti-Mariner (6-0, 279, Jr.)
Aaron Bain (5-9, 183, Jr.), Davone Bess (5-10, 195, Jr.)
, Mitch Farney (5-11, 188, Fr.), Jason Ferguson (5-5, 170, Sr.), Ryan Grice-Mullins (5-11, 179, Jr.)
, C.J. Hawthorne (5-11, 161, Sr.), Marquez Jackson (5-8, 148, So.), Jett Jasper (6-1, 202, Fr.), Malcolm Lane (6-1, 181, So.), Dylan Linkner (6-0, 202, Jr.), Antwan Mahaley (6-4, 200, So.), Jonathan Medeiros (5-9, 191, So.), Jason Rivers (6-2, 192, Sr.)
, Greg Salas (6-1, 186, Fr.), Eric Shaffer (5-8, 188, Fr.), Rick Taylor (5-9, 169, Fr.), Michael Washington (5-7, 165, Jr.).
B.J. Batts (5-7, 194, So.), Cannon Berrong (5-10, 235, Jr.), Alonzo Chopp (6-0, 245, Sr.), Mario Cox (5-11, 232, So.), David Farmer (6-0, 231, Jr.), Mikhail Kafentzis (5-7, 180, So.), Jason Laumoli (5-11, 284, Sr.), David Matuatia (5-11, 233, Jr.), Khevin Peoples (5-11, 202, Jr.) Kealoha Pilares (5-10, 187, Fr.), Jayson Rego (5-9, 214, So.), Gabriel Weisbarth (5-10, 203, Fr.).
Colt Brennan (6-3, 196, Sr.)
, Inoke Funaki (5-11, 195, So.), Tyler Graunke (6-0, 202, Jr.), Bryce Kalauokaaea (6-1, 190, Fr.), Kiran Kepo'o (6-1, 218, Fr.).
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan returns for one last season with the Warriors after a record-setting 2006.
Victor Clore (6-2, 225, So.), John Fonoti (6-2, 247, So.), Jake Ingram (6-4, 268, Jr.), Fale Laeli (6-2, 285, Jr.), Michael Lafaele (6-0, 302, Sr.)
, Francis Maka (6-1, 242, Jr.), Karl Noa (6-4, 238, Sr.), Amani Purcell (6-3, 257, Sr.), Elliot Purcell (6-3, 240, Fr.), Nathan Russell (6-2, 250, Sr.), Rocky Savaiigaea (6-3, 321, So.), Siave Seti (6-0, 281, Sr.), David Veikune (6-3, 258, Jr.), Keala Watson (6-3, 328, Jr.).
C.J. Allen-Jones (6-1, 224, Jr.), Kiel Dela Pena (6-1, 221, Sr.), Solomon Elimimian (6-0, 224, Jr.)
, Guyes Galdeira (5-6, 184, Fr.), Tyson Kafentzis (6-1, 230, Jr.)
, Brad Kalilimoku (5-10, 213, Sr.), R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane (5-11, 222, So.), Micah Lau (5-9, 218, Sr.)
, Jared Lene (6-3, 222, Fr.), Adam Leonard (6-0, 236, Jr.)
, Timo Paepule (6-2, 255, Sr.), Joshua Rice (5-11, 206, So.), Rustin Saole (5-11, 239, Sr.), Brashton Satele (6-2, 243, So.), Sebastian Siaki (6-2, 208, Fr.), Blaze Soares (6-1, 224, So.).
Kirk Alexander (6-2, 201, Jr.), Josh Aufai (5-10, 190, Jr.), JoPierre Davis (6-0, 199, So.), Kenny Estes (6-0, 193, Fr.), B.J. Fruean (6-1, 203, So.), Guyton Galdeira (5-7, 163, Jr.), Davin Iwata (5-11, 197, So.), Ryan Keomaka (5-10, 173, Sr.), Gerard Lewis (5-9, 168, Sr.)
, Daniel Libre (5-8, 179, Jr.), Joseph Malabuyoc (6-0, 207, Fr.), A.J. Martinez (5-10, 179, Sr.), Keao Monteilh (5-11, 181, Jr.), Myron Newberry (5-8, 164, Sr.)
, Waikoloa Noa (6-1, 202, Sr.), Jacob Patek (6-0, 202, Sr.)
, Erik Pedersen (6-0, 197, Sr.), Ryan Perry (5-9, 175, So.), Dane Porlas (5-10, 179, Jr.), Spencer Smith (5-11, 185, Fr.), Christopher Thorpe (5-8, 191, Sr.), Desmond Thomas (6-3, 171, Jr.)
Briton Forester (5-9, 171, So.), Kenji Hollaway (5-9, 184, Fr.), Dan Kelly (6-3, 202, Jr.)
, Jeremy Shibata (5-8, 246, So.).
Source: University of Hawaii media relations