Austin power


POSTED: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some may view serving on the scout team as a chore to be endured while awaiting a shot at breaking into the two-deep.





        Hawaii backup quarterback

» Height: 6-foot
        » Weight: 200 pounds
        » Class: Sophomore (third year)
        » Hometown: Camarillo, Calif.


Shane Austin looked at the role and saw an opportunity.

Simulating an opponent's plays during game weeks may not draw raves from the fans come Saturday nights in the fall. But there are opportunities for growth while helping the defense prepare.

“;I wanted to get work going against a starting defense,”; said Austin, Hawaii's scout team quarterback for much of last season.

“;In the offseason we can do as many reps as we want in 7-on-7, but you don't really get the full look with linemen. So that definitely helped me, having a full line, feeling where the pocket is.”;

After spending much of the fall running other teams' schemes in practice, the sophomore is demonstrating his comfort in the Warriors offense this spring.

He entered the spring third on the depth chart behind Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch, and had several highlight moments in last Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage on Maui.

He connected with junior Rodney Bradley on a post route for a 48-yard gain on his first throw of the scrimmage. He also hit Dustin Blount for a 29-yard completion later in the afternoon.

“;He throws a great ball, he has good knowledge, showed some good poise and presence,”; quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich said.

“;I tell those (scout team) guys, 'You're going to go against the best defense we have every day, three days at least in a game week.' ... Having a head coach (Greg McMackin) who's on the defensive side of the ball a lot, that's a great opportunity to show him you can play.”;

Austin, a 6-foot sophomore, developed some of that composure while staring into a veteran Warriors defense throughout the fall.

“;Before everything kind of seemed blurry because everything was going so fast,”; he said. “;But now that I got all that work I feel more comfortable when I drop back. I can feel the pocket and slide up into it. ... Everything's kind of slowing down for me now.”;

Austin's father, Dave, regularly works with professional athletes on honing the mental side of the game, and has had a prominent part in shaping his outlook on his role with the Warriors.

“;He calls me pretty much every night and gets me mentally prepared for every day,”; Austin said.

“;It's been a journey, but I'm enjoying every day of it and have fun with it. I love football so much. I love coming out to practice. I enjoy every part of it.”;

While Austin spent most of last year working to help the defense improve in practice, he's enjoying competing with the other quarterbacks as they push each other to progress.

Alexander usually takes four repetitions in team periods, followed by Rausch and Austin with two each.

“;In the meeting room we're all students of the game and when I come out to practice, whenever they tell me to go in I go in,”; Austin said. “;I'm not trying to worry about reps or anything. Just trying to make each play my best play.”;