MIKE BURLEY / MBURLEY@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii kicker Dan Kelly practiced yesterday during the team's practice on campus in the morning.
Young cornerbacks help each other out
When there's ground to be made up in the secondary, having a study buddy can make a difference.
True freshman cornerbacks Lewis Walker (5-foot-11, 160 pounds, Salt Lake City) and Steven Christian (6-0, 170, El Dorado Hills, Ca.) have taken to comparing notes as they soak up the Warriors' coverages and various packages.
"He was pretty much the first freshman I met when I got here," said Christian, who's slotted at right corner while Walker's at left. "I'm pretty sure we're going to be growing up with that position for the next few years. We sit next to each other in meetings, everything, and during practice when we see 7-on-7 and everything, we talk, try to figure out what the coverage is and try to correlate what we're supposed to do in certain situations."
Secondary coach Rich Miano appreciates the initiative shown behind senior frontrunners Ryan Mouton and Jameel Dowling. The position is deep, with Calvin Roberts and JoPierre Davis expected to get playing time as well.
"I think one thing these guys have is they're all bright, young kids, including Kawika Ornellas (5-9, 170, Mililani HS)," Miano said. "They've gotta pick up what we do a lot faster than most people. Just physically, they gotta continue to get better and their time will come."
The corners are among just four true freshmen from the mainland on the fall camp roster, and Walker is grateful for the tutelage he's been granted during practices from the elder players in the secondary.
"Every day (for advice), no matter what, they open up (for) questions, no matter what I have to say," Walker said. "They always help me out, if they see something wrong they try to fix it. It's just kind of like another coach out there."
Walker and Christian haven't yet been notified whether or not they'll take a redshirt year, but Miano hinted toward that possibility with, "They're very good players, but these young kids are very smart, they're coachable, they're talented, and they're gonna be the future. But the future may not be right now."
Another newcomer, transfer Jeramy Bryant, has also gotten a look at corner and Chris Black, a transfer from College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif., was due to arrive yesterday. His reporting was delayed while he completed a summer school class.
Getting their kicks
The field goal unit worked together for the first time in camp, with special teams coach Ikaika Malloe
concentrating on the play at the line of scrimmage in setting up the protection and kick blocking alignments.
Meanwhile, senior Dan Kelly and freshman Brett Symonds pumped short kicks through the uprights.
"I feel the whole special teams unit is light-years ahead of where we were last year," Kelly said. "Last year was kind of a learning process getting used to (holder/punter Tim Grasso), getting used to Jake (Ingram). This year it seems like we're exactly where we left off and we're in midseason form."
Hamstring injuries kept several players out of action yesterday. Defensive end John Fonoti
remained sidelined with a strain. Linebacker Adam Leonard
and receiver Daniel Lofton
were also resting tight hamstrings, but hope to be back today or Monday.
Guard Lafu Tuioti-Mariner was out with a calf injury and running back Jake Heun didn't attend practice. He has a back injury that has kept him out of action since Wednesday. Running back David Farmer returned to action after seeing limited duty on Thursday.
The first week of camp concludes with today's practice from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The team has tomorrow off and returns for two practices on Monday starting at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.