SB FILE / 2007
Hawaii's Keith AhSoon is moving from left guard to left tackle, where he played all 13 games last season.
UH’s AhSoon moves to tackle
Brysen Ginlack to get the start at left guard vs. Weber State on Saturday
Change has been a constant for the Hawaii offensive line.
The Warrior front was shuffled repeatedly throughout fall camp, due in part to injuries while developing versatility along the line. Now, heading into the second game of the season, the unit is adjusting to yet another switch.
With tackles Laupepa Letuli and Aaron Kia dealing with injuries, offensive line coach Brian Smith is preparing to send a new-look left side of the line into Saturday's game against Weber State.
As of yesterday, Smith planned to slide Keith AhSoon, who started at guard last week, to tackle and move sophomore Brysen Ginlack into the starting unit for the Warriors' home opener at Aloha Stadium.
While Ginlack is in line to make his first collegiate start at left guard, AhSoon played all 13 games at left tackle last season before moving to guard after Hercules Satele completed his eligibility.
"(AhSoon) played there all last year, so the move will be fairly easy for him," Smith said. "It's just cleaning up some of his technique and readjusting to some of the plays. It'll take some extra meeting time and a little extra work on the field, but he'll be fine."
Letuli suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday against Florida and Kia is playing through tendinitis in his knees, which led to a busy morning for Ginlack yesterday.
The Kahuku graduate played with the first unit at guard, and moved over to tackle when the second team was called in.
"It was tiring but it was good reps," Ginlack said. "The coaches just told me to keep going."
Ginlack played in nine games as a reserve last season and had been working primarily at guard with the second unit in camp. He got on the field last week as a blocker on the kickoff return unit.
"Bula's just kept improving all camp; now we're getting into the season and he's gotten better," Smith said of Ginlack. "He's bought into using your hands well with his punch and that's helped him a lot and I think he'll be ready to go for this weekend."
The line went through various alignments last month before settling on a lineup of Keoni Steinhoff and Lafu Tuioti-Mariner on the right side, John Estes at center and AhSoon and Letuli on the left for last week's opener. Letuli edged Kia for the starting left tackle job heading into the Florida game, but their ailments forced Smith to use some of the depth developed during camp.
"A lot of guys were in and out in different spots," AhSoon said. "It gives everyone a chance to explore and see everything. That's an advantage for them, to get a feel for everything.
"That's where it pays off, right here. You never know what might happen -- somebody gets hurt and everybody's there to back each other up."
Kia participated in the first half of practice yesterday, but was out of the team periods. He said he's been playing through sore knees since spring practice, but the pain flared up during the Florida game. Although he's been slowed in practice this week, he said he plans to be ready for Saturday's game.
"I've been doing everything I can for it," said Kia, whose brother, Micah, played with a broken hand in UCLA's win over Tennessee on Monday. "I'm just trusting in the trainers."
Defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea had the cast taken off his left arm last week and began the rehabilitation process yesterday as he works his way back from a torn triceps muscle.
"Coach just told me to be positive, but don't rush it," Savaiigaea said.
Running back Daniel Libre (sprained ankle) suited up for practice yesterday, but was an observer for most of the workout.
The Aloha Stadium parking lot opens at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, except for the lower Halawa lot (gates 3 and 4), which opens at 1:30. Alternate parking sites will be open at Ford Island ($5, free shuttle), Kam Drive-In ($5, free shuttle), Leeward Community College (free with $2 shuttle), and Radford High School (free, no shuttle).
Stadium turnstiles open at 3 p.m.
Additional details are available at AlohaStadium.hawaii.gov.