Safety Silva in good spot on defense as UH camp opens
After the final whistle brought an end to the first day of fall practice, Mana Silva
took a couple of deep breaths and wiped the sweat off his forehead.
"It was tough," said the sophomore safety, who transferred from Oregon State. "I've got to get back in shape."
After spending a year in Corvallis, Ore., the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Silva returned home to be closer to family.
He sat out the entire '07 season, but had a strong spring despite the long layoff.
Yesterday was his first chance to continue to make an impression on coach Greg McMackin, who liked what he saw out of Silva enough to list him first on the depth chart at safety alongside senior Keao Monteilh.
"It was kind of humbling when I saw my name on the depth chart at No. 1," Silva said. "Coming out of spring I was the first, but I wasn't sure if they would still have me (there). Shows that the coaches got trust in me."
His only complaint after the first day was his cardio. McMackin had the entire team do its share of running, which caught the 2006 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate off guard.
"We don't run at Oregon (State)," Silva said. "Coach had a philosophy where we get ready at practice by going full speed."
That doesn't mean he was complaining, however.
"Over here, we're fighting Goliath. When we go to Florida, we've got to be ready."
Silva has had Sept. 13 circled on the schedule for a while, when the Warriors face his old Oregon State team, but he won't let himself look past Hawaii's first two opponents.
"We got Florida first, the big SEC," he said, before adding that motivation is never a problem. "I always get up for everything."
It shouldn't be a problem for Silva, who will play in his first legitimate game since high school if and when he takes the field Aug. 30.
"I'm just excited to get to play again," he said.
Scholarships on the way
Receiver Aaron Bain
and punter Tim Grasso
have something to look forward to when school starts Aug. 25. That's when their recently awarded scholarships kick in.
"It's a good feeling. It's like I worked this hard and it's paid off, but I just have to keep working," said Bain, who has toiled as a backup the last three years and is contending for a starting job. "I don't want to be satisfied with what I've got."
Grasso rejoined the team after spending the spring in Utah rehabbing a torn hamstring that hampered him last season.
"I just like being part of the team again more than anything," Grasso said. "I battled through it, I got it all fixed up and I'm excited to be back. It's my first practice in eight months."
Incoming freshman defensive linemen Haku Correa
and Geordon Hanohano
observed practice yesterday. They have been admitted to school but are awaiting paperwork processing. ... Defensive end Francis Maka
was denied a sixth season by the NCAA, but is working as a student-assistant as he completes his degree work. ... Freshman defensive end Alema Tachibana
said he will enroll at UH in the spring semester. ... Former UH receiver C.J. Hawthorne
signed a rookie free-agent contract with Buffalo and is in the Bills camp. "I feel if you're going to play outside you have to be fast and that's something I definitely feel I can bring to this team is speed," Hawthorne told buffalobills.com. "I feel confident about that."
The Star-Bulletin's Jason Kaneshiro and Dave Reardon contributed to this story.