UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII FOOTBALL
Leonard takes his talent outside in UH's scheme
Adam Leonard is getting used to life on the edge.
Leonard was Hawaii's leading tackler last season playing inside linebacker in the Warriors' 3-4 scheme. With new Hawaii defensive coordinator Greg McMackin switching to a 4-3 alignment, Leonard is making the adjustment to the weakside outside linebacker.
"I'm making those early mistakes, but learning from it," he said. "I'm feeling real good about playing outside. I think it's kind of a good change for me. I get the opportunity to learn a new position and get some versatility. So I'm enjoying it."
Leonard led the Warriors with 114 total tackles, broke up nine passes and intercepted one last season.
He's been joined on the first unit by Blaze Soares at the strongside linebacker and Solomon Elimimian inside this spring.
He said playing on the weakside in the 4-3 means having to engage offensive linemen less often than playing inside.
"You get the opportunity to roam and put yourself in position to make plays," he said.
"We've got two gaps and that's it. If they do this, it's this gap, if they go the other way, it's the other gap. It's easy to read and almost makes it look like a blitz, how fast we hit the holes. There's a lot of different stuff we can do from the 4-3, and the nickel package we got, so I'm just thankful for the opportunity to step up and make more plays."
Former UH standout and current St. Louis Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa made a similar switch late in his career and posted 129 tackles in 2002 on his way to first-team All-Western Athletic Conference and team MVP honors.
"I heard he had 20 tackles against Alabama," Leonard said. "I'm hoping I can do something like that one game."
When the NCAA altered its timing rules last year, June Jones
was among the coaches who railed against the impact they might have. So the Hawaii coach was pleased to see those rules thrown out after just one season.
Under the new rules approved by the NCAA last week, the clock will stop on change of possessions and won't start on kickoffs until the ball is touched by the receiving team.
"I knew last year it didn't make much sense, so I'm glad somebody else realized it," Jones said.
The rules were changed last year in an effort to shorten games. The clock ran during change of possessions, and on kickoffs it started as soon as the ball was put into play. The changes reduced the number of plays run in a game and often altered late-game strategies.
Though the rules tended to cut down on the plays teams were able to run, they didn't do much to cut into the Warriors' production. UH smashed the school records in scoring with 656 points and yardage with 7,829 last year.
Monteilh moving up
Former cornerback Keao Monteilh
appears to have found a new home at safety. After starting the spring on the second unit, Monteilh has been practicing with the defense's first team alongside Jacob Patek
Monteilh sat out last season and has bulked up since his freshman year, when he started four games at corner, and came up with an interception during yesterday's team period at the end of practice.
"He's doing well," cornerback Gerard Lewis said. "We just want the best players on the field."