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Dimude, Green hit ground running


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POSTED: Friday, August 14, 2009

Alex Green decided to do a little scouting on the competition.

After he committed with the Hawaii football team, Green heard of another junior college running back heading to Manoa and did a quick search on the 'Net.

“;I saw his highlight tape on YouTube,”; Green said of his first glimpses of Chizzy Dimude. “;He was good, so I've got to step it up.”;

The duo finally met when they arrived for summer school last month and have bonded in fall camp while absorbing the nuances of playing running back in the run-and-shoot.

“;The running, I feel like it's natural. You see the hole, you hit the hole,”; said Dimude, who juked through the defense for a couple of big gains during yesterday's practice.

“;Blocking-wise I've got to get used to everything, get used to the schemes.”;

Dimude and Green have been working behind seniors Leon Wright-Jackson, Inoke Funaki and Jayson Rego, the most proficient blocker of the group, so far in camp.

Both were productive runners in junior college, offering big-play potential from the backfield. Dimude ran for 700 yards and 11 touchdowns at Laney College last season, while Green led Butte College to an undefeated season with 1,037 yards and 14 scores.

“;I've been impressed with both Alex and Chizzy,”; running backs coach Brian Smith said. “;I compare them with Leon as far as being a similar style of back. They have a lot of the same attributes. Some of the fundamentals have to get better, more on the protection side than running. They're both accomplished running backs, but they can both get a lot better in their protection.”;

A bruise on Green's right knee kept him out of practice for two days, but he returned to the competition yesterday wearing a brace. Funaki stayed out of contact drills to rest an ailing shoulder.

“;(His knee) hurt a little at first, but after I started rolling it started feeling good,”; said Green, a childhood friend and junior college teammate of UH cornerback Lametrius Davis.

Coming from offenses that highlighted the running game, both newcomers are adjusting to their roles in UH's pass-first system. While the scheme doesn't offer the frequency of carries, the defense's concern with the passing game presents opportunities for big plays.

“;It is different, but at the same time you don't see the same defenses you see in the I formation,”; Green said. “;You might have one or two linebackers and you can make one move and you can have a 50 or 60-yard run instead of a 4- or 5-yard gain.”;

Earlier kickoffs for WAC games

Kickoff times for UH's home Western Athletic Conference games have been moved up an hour to 5:05 p.m.

The time change allows the visiting teams — Fresno State, Boise State, Utah State and New Mexico State — to catch late-night flights back to the mainland after the games, saving those schools a night of lodging.

“;Our intention is to revert back to the 6:05 p.m., kickoff when everyone's budget gets better in the next year or two. However, if we receive positive feedback from this switch, we may consider keeping the 5:05 p.m. kickoff in the future,”; UH athletic director Jim Donovan said.

Fresno State head coach Pat Hill raised the topic at the WAC Football Preview in Salt Lake City last month, saying the earlier departure would help the cash-strapped school save some money.

Donovan said the time change was agreed to after consulting with the facilities staff and Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan, and the other schools were offered the same option.

Henry hangs in there

Ryan Henry shouldn't be a forgotten man among the UH slotbacks after his performance yesterday.

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound junior hauled in two diving catches against deep coverage in 7-on-7 drills.

In the 11-on-11 period, he caught a swing pass and showed some creativity by dodging backward from a tackle and cutting along the sideline for a nice gain.

“;They just threw the ball my way today,”; said Henry, who redshirted last season. He's played behind Greg Salas and Jon Medeiros at “;H”; receiver.

“;Every day gets a little frustrating at times, but I just gotta go in there looking to prove myself day in and day out ... I really don't have that much time to waste,”; he said. “;That's why I was just getting amped after the plays because I'm just trying to show the coaches what I can do to try to get on the field.”;

Short yardage

Freshman receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann returned to practice yesterday. He sprained his ankle before the start of camp and sat out most of the first week. ... Freshman defensive end Alema Tachibana has been added to the fall camp roster. The Kahuku graduate attended yesterday's practice.

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Brian McInnis contributed to this story.