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Moniz makes move up chart


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POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The season is still more than a week away and the competition at his position continues. But in some respects Bryant Moniz has already accomplished one of his top objectives.

“;My goal coming into camp was just to prove that I belong out here, that I can still play,”; Moniz said.

The Hawaii sophomore has certainly held his own heading toward his first Division I season, positioning himself to earn the job of backup quarterback.

Moniz, part of the three-way battle to earn the spot behind starter Greg Alexander during fall camp, split the backup repetitions with junior Brent Rausch during yesterday morning's practice. Moniz and Rausch are bracketed on the depth chart released yesterday, with sophomore Shane Austin fourth.

During the team periods, the rotation had Alexander taking four snaps, followed by two each for Rausch and Moniz.

“;It's a big responsibility,”; Moniz said of the backup role. “;In the game you never know what can happen, you're always one play away. You have to be just as ready as everybody else.”;

Moniz had impressed the coaches with his progress during spring practice and fall camp and elevated his profile with a solid performance in a scrimmage last Friday, throwing the lone touchdown pass of the day.

“;He's got a great feel for the game,”; UH head coach Greg McMackin said. “;Throws the ball, quick release, knows the offense, very smart, very fast. He gives us another dimension. He's definitely somebody we think can win games for us.”;

Moniz graduated from Leilehua in 2007 and played one season at Fresno City College, where he threw for 2,268 yards and 18 touchdowns as a freshman.

The birth of his daughter nearly 15 months ago contributed to his decision to return home. He was invited to walk on with the Warriors. He seemed to be a long shot to see playing time this season, but his performance in practice has nudged him ever closer to the field.

“;With every completion, confidence grows and you become more comfortable,”; Moniz said.

The Warriors' latest depth chart has the slot receiver positions still “;slashed.”; Greg Salas and Jon Medeiros top the list at H receiver. Junior Ryan Henry joins Kealoha Pilares on the top line at Y receiver. Salas and Pilares were first in the rotation during yesterday's practice.

Rodney Bradley and Jovonte Taylor remain the leaders at the outside receivers.

Mana Lolotai is the first middle linebacker with Brashton Satele out for the season with a shoulder injury. R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane remains the top Buck linebacker, with Corey Paredes and Blaze Soares competing for the job at Stub linebacker.

In the secondary, Mana Silva is the leader at free safety, with Spencer Smith and Aaron Brown sharing the top line at strong safety. Jeramy Bryant continues to hold down one cornerback spot, with Tank Hopkins and Lametrius Davis bracketed at the other.

The lines have remained fairly constant throughout the preseason. Sophomore Liko Satele and freshman Paipai Falemalu have risen to the second team at the defensive end spots.

Captains picked

The Warriors voted on team captains yesterday, with three seniors earning the honors.

Center John Estes was selected as a captain for a second straight year. The defense is represented by linebacker R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane and defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea.

“;I think we have a strong senior class and those three are great representatives,”; McMackin said. “;They're strong selections.”;

McMackin said another game captain will be selected to join the trio each week. He said the team also voted to continue the tradition of performing the Ha'a before games.

Roster expands

The Warriors' roster grew to 119 players with the first day of classes on the Manoa campus. Included in the additions were transfer defensive linemen Josh Manupuna (Portland State), Kaniela Tuipulotu (Arizona) and Kamalu Umu (Charleston Southern) and defensive back Gary Nagy (BYU).

They will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

A Star-Bulletin All-State safety coming out of Kahuku, Nagy redshirted at BYU in 2007 and played in one game last season. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after he sits out this fall.

Tuipulotu, also a Kahuku graduate, started seven games at Arizona last season and will be a junior next season. Manupuna, a Kamehameha product, played in nine games for PSU.

Umu is originally from Kapaa and graduated from Saint Louis. He played at Arizona Western before transferring to Charleston Southern last year. He had 14 tackles and an interception in 12 games with the Buccaneers.