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Mack charts course


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POSTED: Wednesday, June 03, 2009

For the most part, the Hawaii football team's summer depth chart represents a starting point in the race for the starting jobs.

As expected, senior quarterback Greg Alexander and center John Estes will enter fall camp in August as the leaders at their positions.

As for the rest of the offensive skill positions, a slash is the predominant punctuation as the top line at all four receiver spots and running back are shared.

“;Things are still wide open except for quarterback and center — unless they don't come in ready to go,”; Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said, “;but they're both working their tails off.

“;The good thing is there's good competition and that's what's going to make us better.”;

Greg Salas, a starter at wide receiver last season, practiced at slotback in the spring and will continue in that role entering the fall. He's bracketed with Jon Medeiros at H slot and with Kealoha Pilares at the Y slot, and figures to see time at multiple spots.

“;Salas can play both outside and inside,”; McMackin said. “;He gives us a big target and can make the tough catches when he's inside.”;

The coaches have mentioned the possibility of using a rotation of eight to 10 receivers and Rodney Bradley — who joined the team in the spring — and Royce Pollard will go into the fall as the leaders at the wideout spot Salas held last year. The speedy duo of Malcolm Lane and Jovonte Taylor share the top spot at Z receiver.

Leon Wright-Jackson and converted quarterback Inoke Funaki are the top running backs.

The first-team offensive line held form this spring with Aaron Kia and Laupepa Letuli at the tackles and Ray Hisatake and Raphael Ieru at the guards.

While Alexander returns as the incumbent quarterback, Brent Rausch and Shane Austin enter the fall sharing the backup role.

The most significant shift of the summer is senior Brashton Satele's move from middle linebacker to defensive end.

The value McMackin places on speed on defense led to the decision to move the 255-pound Satele to the front four.

“;The most important aspect to a defense is speed,”; McMackin said. “;We want to get all of our fast players on the field and our best 11 on the field. Brashton isn't being moved because he got beat out. At both ends, you need speed.”;

Moving Satele to the spot opposite John Fonoti — the unit's lone returning starter — elevates Mana Lolotai into the starting position at middle linebacker after a strong spring.

Injuries forced linebacker Blaze Soares to miss all of last season and spring practice, but he's been medically cleared and shares the top spot at stub linebacker with Corey Paredes. R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane holds the other outside linebacker job.

The defensive tackle rotation will be led by Vaughn Meatoga, Tuika Tufaga and Rocky Savaiigaea.

Jeramy Bryant and Tank Hopkins are the top cornerbacks, with Kenny Estes moving into a starting spot at free safety and Mana Silva at strong safety.

Spencer Smith and junior college transfer Aaron Brown, who will enroll in summer school next month, are expected to contend at strong safety as well.

“;The advantage we have is ... every day they're going to be going against one of the best pass offenses in the country,”; McMackin said.

“;The first games are going to be crucial, but I believe we have guys that are talented and are going to do well.”;

Going camping

Registration continues for UH's series of summer camps. The Warriors coaching staff will run three camps, starting with the Kids' Camp (ages 5-12) on June 13 and 14. The fee is $40.

The Skills Camp ($80) for receivers, defensive backs, quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends will be June 16-19. The Big Man's Camp for linemen ($60) is June 22-24. Both are open to youths ages 13 and up.

For more information, contact the UH football office at 956-6508 or by e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

WATCH YOUR BACK

Quarterback Greg Alexander leads the depth chart for the Warriors going into fall camp:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
OFFENSE
» X (wide receiver): Rodney Bradley/Royce Pollard, Mike Tinoco
» H (slot): Jon Medeiros/Greg Salas, Ryan Henry
» LT: Aaron Kia, Clayton Laurel.
» LG: Ray Hisatake, Austin Hansen.
» C: John Estes, Matagisila Lefiti.
» RG: Raphael Ieru, Brysen Ginlack.
» RT: Laupepa Letuli, Adrian Thomas.
» Y (slot): Kealoha Pilares/Greg Salas, Dustin Blount.
» Z (receiver): Malcolm Lane/Jovonte Taylor, Daniel Lofton.
» QB: Greg Alexander, Brent Rausch/Shane Austin.
» RB: Leon Wright-Jackson/Inoke Funaki, Jayson Rego.
DEFENSE
» LE: Brashton Satele, Elliott Purcell/Cameron Allen-Jones.
» LT: Vaughn Meatoga/Rocky Savaiigaea, David Hafoka.
» RT: Tuika Tufaga, Haku Correa.
» RE: John Fonoti, Alasi Toilolo.
» STUB: Blaze Soares/Corey Paredes, Paipai Falemalu.
» MAC: Mana Lolotai, Jake Heun.
» BUCK: R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane, Po'okela Ahmad.
» CB: Melvin Hopkins, Lametrius Davis.
» SS: Mana Silva, Spencer Smith.
» FS: Kenny Estes, Richard Torres.
» CB: Jeramy Bryant, Lewis Walker.