DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nathaniel Nasca began his career at Azusa Pacific and has trained with Bryan Clay.
Wideout Nasca recalls workouts with Clay
Running against Division I cornerbacks is one thing.
Lining up beside a guy considered a favorite to claim the title of "world's greatest athlete," that's just a little bit different.
Hawaii receiver Nathaniel Nasca has experienced both.
Before transferring to UH, Nasca began his career at Azusa Pacific, the school where decathlete Bryan Clay spent his college career and where he continues to train.
"He's The Man out there as far as track goes," said Nasca, who'll be tracking the Castle graduate's progress at the Beijing Games this week. "He's out there every day; he's training all the time.
"I worked out with him the last time I was there. I ran against him a couple times. The guy's an amazing athlete."
For now, though, Nasca is trying to work his way onto the field with the Warriors, even if it means learning a new position.
A slot receiver so far in camp, Nasca moved outside to right wide receiver for yesterday's practice. With Malcolm Lane nursing an injury, Nasca and redshirt freshman Royce Pollard rotated at the spot.
"I think he's got speed and we need some help on the outside," UH offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "He might be one of the fastest guys on the team.
"(It's) different when he's running an out (from the outside) than from inside. We have two more weeks. So, he'll get it. He'll be a threat. I think he can be great on the outside."
Nasca said the reads on the outside are less complicated than in the slot and coaches envision him stretching the defense with his speed.
The right wide receiver position remains an open competition with Lane, the leader entering camp, out of action at the moment. Daniel Lofton, who had been playing on the left side behind Greg Salas, has also missed practices with a tender hamstring.
"I think they've already fallen way behind," Lee said. "And these other guys, Royce and Joe (Avery), they're already picking it up. So they've got their work cut out for them if they ever get back. We can't play with them at half-speed. We gotta move on and go with the guys we can count on."
Nasca is listed as a senior, but could petition for another year of eligibility for a year he sat out due to a torn hamstring while at Azusa Pacific.
Growing up a Florida State fan, Spencer Smith
dreamed of playing against Florida in The Swamp. Days like the one he enjoyed yesterday certainly can't hurt his chances.
Smith, a sophomore from Marietta, Ga., came up with two interceptions and broke up another pass during 7-on-7 and team drills.
"I've just been trying to make more plays out there, so I can make the trip to Florida and if they need me, they can trust me to be able to go in and make plays," he said.
Special teams might end up being Smith's ticket to Florida. He's playing on the kickoff, kick return and punt return teams.
He said he'll have quite a few family and friends wanting to attend the game if he makes it, but for now, "I just want to make the trip," he said.
"If I make it then I'll worry about tickets. But right now tickets are the last thing on my mind."
Individual game sales begin
Tickets for individual home games go on sale tomorrow. Prices have been reduced in the north end zone and UH is introducing "Family Pack" and "WAC Pack" packages.
With the purchase of two adult tickets, the Family Pack offers a free student ticket for every student ticket purchased (maximum of 12 total). The WAC Pack includes all four conference home games. Group rates are also available.
Tickets will be available online at HawaiiAthletics.com, at the Stan Sheriff Center box office and all other UH ticket outlets. Season tickets for students go on sale on Aug. 25.
Elimimian tweaks an ankle
All-WAC linebacker Solomon Elimimian
missed yesterday's practice with a "slight" ankle injury.
Coach Greg McMackin said he'll be back tomorrow. Tyson Kafentzis played with the first team yesterday.