UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII FOOTBALL
Lewis, Newberry on right track at corners
A good day for a cornerback is usually when he goes unnoticed.
Yesterday wasn't one of those for Gerard Lewis. But the Hawaii senior had people talking for all the right reasons.
Lewis and fellow corner Myron Newberry stood much taller than their 5-foot-9 frames . Each of the returning starters intercepted passes in yesterday's practice against the Warriors offense, and the secondary put together one of its best efforts of training camp.
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"It started (Friday) when the defense started making plays," said Newberry, who was out Friday with a tender groin. "I feed off the defense and came back today to make some plays."
Newberry picked off a Tyler Graunke pass over the middle.
Lewis made at least two outstanding plays. He knocked a ball away from Malcolm Lane on a pass from Colt Brennan, and then went stride for stride on a deep ball with C.J. Hawthorne before fighting him off and making a leaping interception.
"I knew it was practice and we could do a little extra so it's all right," Lewis said. "If we stand out, we stand out as long as we get our job done."
Lewis and Newberry transferred to Hawaii a season ago from junior colleges and took over the starting cornerback duties midway through the season. Newberry started the final eight games, while Lewis started all but one during that stretch.
The Warriors hope to have more depth at the corners this year. The duo from Texas, however, has a stranglehold on the starting spots, according to secondary coach Rich Miano.
"Until somebody shows they are better than those guys, it's not even close right now," Miano said. "They are our starters and I thought it was a great practice. They are good players, but today they looked like real good players."
The Warriors recruited junior college transfers Calvin Roberts and Ryan Mouton to compete, but neither guy has yet to see the field. Senior Ryan Keomaka could also be in the mix, but also hasn't practiced yet due to academic issues.
Lewis and Newberry are both fast and good technicians, but their lack of height has been a cause for concern. Earlier this week, it seemed the offense was having its way against the starting secondary, but the group has had time to gel. Also, they realize they are practicing against perhaps the best passing attack in the nation.
"Our offense is awesome and if we're making plays against them, then it actually means something," Lewis said.
Lewis and Newberry say they don't pay any attention to the outside critics, but Miano has heard the criticism his corners have taken.
"We're going to win a lot of games with them this year," he said. "Everybody talks about how they're short and this and that and all their drawbacks, but you know what, these guys can play and they showed it."