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Proving ground


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POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2009

Although his name doesn't appear on the Hawaii football's team's two-deeps heading into spring practice, Viliami Nauahi figures to get ample opportunity to prove himself once the Warriors hit the field on Monday.

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Blaze Soares and Paipai Falemalu are listed as the top candidates at one of the outside linebacker spots on the Warriors' depth chart released yesterday. But both are expected to sit out spring practice as they continue their recovery from injuries.

UH head coach Greg McMackin said the absences will give Nauahi, a converted safety, a chance to see more reps at linebacker.

Soares suffered a lower leg injury early in fall camp last year and missed the entire season.

“;I've talked to the trainers and the doctors and he's not going to be ready for spring,”; McMackin said. “;They're hoping after spring he'll be ready to go, but we're not going to take a chance on hurting him.”;

McMackin said Falemalu, a freshman who had shoulder surgery last season, and defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea (coming off an arm injury) have been cleared, but their roles will likely be limited this spring.

Seniors R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane and Brashton Satele top the depth chart at the other two linebacker spots.

The Warriors will hold the first of 15 practices this spring beginning Monday at 4 p.m. The rest of their weekday practices and their first Saturday practice (April 4) will be from 7 to 9 a.m.

They will hold a scrimmage on Maui on April 11 and host a coaches clinic followed by an afternoon practice on April 18. Hawaii concludes the spring with the Warrior Bowl at 3 p.m. April 25 at Aloha Stadium.