Savaiigaea hard to stop as O and D mix it up
The Hawaii offense and defense got together for the first time this spring midway through yesterday's practice. The quarterbacks and receivers faced off against the secondary in seven-on-seven drills. Meanwhile, the lineman got after each other in one-on-ones.
"We haven't put on the pads since the Sugar Bowl, so just coming back out you feel like you're back in football again," junior defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea said. "When you start the banging, that's when all the fun comes out.
"One-on-ones is the best part. Football's a team sport, but when you go one-on-one, it's you and the O-lineman and that's it, you're representing for your line and for your defense."
Savaiigaea was tough to stop throughout the period, bulling his way through his blocker on several occasions as the defense got the best of the action early on. The offense had its moments later on, with Clayton Laurel, a redshirt freshman from Leilehua, and Lafu Tuioti-Mariner holding their ground in their duels.
"As far as a young guy goes, Clayton Laurel's got some real good feet and did a good job. He's just got to get a lot more physical," offensive line coach Brian Smith said. "He's got a ways to go in development, but he's one that stuck out to me as a kid that has a chance to be a really good football player."
Out of place?
In offense-only drills, freshman lineman Andrew Faaumu
demonstrated some versatility in simulated defense when he picked off Tyler Graunke
from near point-blank range at the line of scrimmage. The Lahainaluna graduate then recovered a fumble on a botched handoff a few plays later.
Out of the wild
, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman from Anchorage, Alaska, said he intends to join the Warriors as a grayshirt walk-on next spring. Garness, who has received all-state acclaim at Bartlett High School, also considered UNLV and New Mexico. He and his father, Jeff Garness
, have visited practice a couple of times.
"I wanted to put some pads on and get out there," said David Garness, after watching yesterday's contact.
No new injuries
Both head coach Greg McMackin
and offensive coordinator Ron Lee
were happy to report that no one was hurt in yesterday's accelerated contact.
Senior running back Dave Farmer said he expects to return "probably next week." He rolled an ankle last Wednesday in warm-up drills.
Incumbent center John Estes was held out yesterday to rest a tight hamstring. Freshman Austin Hansen worked with the first unit in his place.
"(Estes) needs the work, but we're better off keeping him healthy and getting that work in later than pushing him too hard right now," Smith said.
"It wouldn't make sense to go hard today and end up out for the entire spring," Estes said.
Junior Laupepa Letuli, a contender to be a starting offensive lineman in the fall, also remains out with a tender hamstring.
The Star-Bulletin's Dave Reardon contributed to this report