Linkner’s hard work is rewarded with a trip to Corvallis
turned disappointment into motivation.
The senior receiver was left off the travel roster when the Hawaii football team embarked on its season-opening trip to Florida last month.
When the Warriors returned, his efforts in practice - on both offense and special teams - earned him a seat on the plane when the team left Honolulu yesterday in advance of tomorrow's game at Oregon State.
"Some people with something like that might put their head down and give up, I took it as something where I needed to work harder," Linkner said.
"Now I'm on a couple of special teams, so I'm just trying to capitalize on the opportunities the coaches are presenting to me."
Linkner has been running second at the Z receiver behind Malcolm Lane this week and is a backup on the kickoff and punt return units.
"He's moving up," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "He's a fifth-year guy and he understands what we're doing."
Linkner actually did attend the Florida game, flying over for the game and watching from the stands.
Junior defensive end Antwan Mahaley also made the travel list for this week's trip after not attending the Florida game and receiver Jett Jasper was a late addition to the roster.
Offensive tackle Laupepa Letuli, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury, did not make the trip. Letuli had hoped to return in time to compete for the starting job at left tackle, but the Warriors will likely start guard Brysen Ginlack and tackle Keith AhSoon on the left side of the offensive line.
Running back Leon Wright-Jackson
practiced for the first time this week yesterday. Wright-Jackson hurt his foot against Weber State and shared repetitions with Kealoha Pilares
as the Warriors went through their final full practice of the week. Daniel Libre
, just back from an ankle injury, also saw some time in the backfield.
Tracing their roots
As head coach Greg McMackin
returns to his home state, the trip to Oregon will take Hawaii's coordinators back to some familiar territory.
Ron and Cal Lee both attended and coached at Willamette in nearby Salem, Ore.
"I spent a lot of time in Corvallis," Ron Lee said. "I used to go down there with Skippa Diaz and Rockne Freitas. It'll be nice to go back."
A capacity crowd is expected at Reser Stadium (45,674) for the Beavers' home opener. ... Hawaii's last road win over a Pac-10 foe came in 1994, when UH defeated California 21-7.