Returning UH backs look sharp in drills
It was a sight rarely seen at the Hawaii football practice field the past nine years -- running backs taking handoffs from quarterbacks dropping back from center.
And they were pretty successful doing it, as Leon Wright-Jackson, Daniel Libre, Mario Cox and Jake Heun all took their turn jaunting through the UH defense during a 45-play team session at the end of spring practice yesterday.
All four ran for gains that would have been for at least 10 yards, with Wright-Jackson turning the left and right corners each for big chunks of wet turf.
The quarterbacks -- Inoke Funaki, Tyler Graunke and Jake Santos -- completed 15 of 27 passes, but nothing longer than 20 yards. Exciting or disturbing, depending on your perspective, the Warrior QBs were "sacked" seven times, with Keala Watson getting in twice.
Not counting the sacks, 10 running plays went for an estimated 120 yards.
"Maybe we should forget passing, just run the ball," said offensive coordinator Ron Lee. "We'll take what they give us, but we can run the ball, and they have to defend us. It was good. A lot better today than it was yesterday."
Slotback Aaron Bain led the receivers with three catches for an estimated 40 yards.
But Heun was the talk of practice, blasting past defenders Cory Paredes and Khevin Peoples on the way to what would've been at least 30 yards on a good old-fashioned draw play.
"Leon is looking good. Libre, too," coach Greg McMackin said. "But the guy who really stood out today is Jake Heun. He had some powerful runs and ran over some people. He's a big powerful tough guy. Sort of a Csonka-type guy. He's strong, powerful.
"The other guy is my man, Cox, Mario. He's done some good things too."
Lee said he expects the top four running backs will get a few downs each in tomorrow's scrimmage, which McMackin said will be played mostly by new players who need to be evaluated.