UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII FOOTBALL
Warriors try a few different looks in spring
With the season still months away, spring practice offers the Hawaii football team some time for experimentation.
So yesterday, with the Warriors in pads for the first time this spring, the sights at the UH practice field included a lineman running pass patterns and a quarterback dropping back from under center.
UH's run-and-shoot offense has the quarterback in the shotgun for the vast majority of snaps, but coach June Jones is having Colt Brennan get some work from under center this spring.
"I grew up playing under center and I know I can do it really well," said Brennan, who is back following a record-breaking junior season. "Coach Jones said he would give me some work this spring at it and see how things went and maybe put in a package that would work this fall."
Surveying the field while shuffling backward offers a different perspective than standing back in the shotgun, and Brennan is looking forward to trying a new look. He took most of the snaps under center during the 11-on-11 team period to close yesterday's practice.
"Right now we're fresh into it and today was the first time going live with it and we did all right," Brennan said. "I think it worked out pretty good, we completed some passes. It'll take some time to get used to, but it won't be a big deal by any means and I think I'll have it within a week or so.
"It is different for sure. ... There's a lot things we have to work on, it's not just dropping back and throwing it. Now I'm handing the ball off differently, different steps. But all that stuff, I think I can handle it pretty easily."
Cameron Allen-Jones, a 6-foot-2, 265-pound sophomore listed as an offensive lineman, also found himself trying something a bit different yesterday, running patterns from a wing position with the first unit during the team period.
Allen-Jones, the younger brother of linebacker C.J. Allen-Jones, played some tight end for the scout team last fall to help with the Warriors defense's preparation.
"It's my first day actually being in there with the team learning the plays and stuff," Allen-Jones said. "I'm just trying to get used to it. ... It's real different, I just have to get used to running routes."
His natural ability has already impressed some of the veterans.
"Not too many big linemen can catch the way he can," junior receiver Davone Bess said. "He's got big, bear-claw hands."
"Coach thinks Cameron could be a really good candidate for that job and he's shown he's got some good hands and good ability," Brennan said.
"I think he shows a lot of potential and it's fun just to try something different."
Coaching adjustment: With the UH defense going to a 4-3 alignment, the coaching assignments have also been altered.
Cal Lee, who coached the inside linebackers last season, is now in charge of the entire linebacker corps. George Lumpkin focused on outside linebackers last season and is now working with defensive ends, several of whom were linebackers in the fall.
"It's a minor adjustment," Lee said.
Lee has a veteran group to work with as the linebacker unit returns largely intact. The first unit yesterday was led by Solomon Elimimian inside and Adam Leonard and Blaze Soares at the outside spots. Most of last season's reserves are also back in the mix.
"The thing is they're all good football players," Lee said.
"We didn't lose anyone to graduation so everybody comes back and if we just keep getting better from last year to this year, it makes us a better ballclub."
Coming up: The Warriors are off today and resume practice tomorrow and Thursday. All practices run from 7-9 a.m.