Warriors open spring with crowded O-line
Keith AhSoon started all 13 games at left tackle for Hawaii last season, but the senior will open spring practice Monday one spot closer to the center.
"We're going to give him the first go at left guard," offensive line coach Brian Smith said yesterday. "If for some reason he doesn't pick it up there, we can move him back."
Either way, it will be crowded at left tackle. Ray Hisatake, Aaron Kia and Laupepa Letuli will get plenty of spring reps there.
"We'll try to find the best of those three to play there," Smith said. "We want to create some competition."
The rest of the first line to start camp includes All-WAC performer John Estes at center, Lafu Tuioti-Mariner at right guard, and returning starter Keoni Steinhoff at right tackle.
Coach Greg McMackin has stressed that nothing is set -- except, perhaps, Estes at center -- and the starting lineups could look a lot different Aug. 30 at Florida than they will Monday at the Manoa grass practice field.
At running back, Leon Wright-Jackson and Daniel Libre are both considered first string headed into camp even though it is a one-back offense.
"Put a slash between their names," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "Same thing with Dave (Farmer) and Mario (Cox) as the second group."
Lee said Libre and Wright-Jackson will both see some duty at slotback this spring, but not extensively.
Cox wasn't even on the team a few weeks ago, serving a second suspension for not meeting off-field team standards. But the talented junior had a sit-down with McMackin, and so far Cox has done what is necessary to be a candidate for playing time in the fall.
"I want him to get reps. He might be in contention here," Lee said.