Wednesday, August 23, 2000
The left wideout spot for the University of Hawaii remains wide open, even more so considering the recent injuries to Jamal Garland and freshman Mark Tate.
spot wide open
Warriors wide receivers coach Ron Lee said yesterday the two injuries hurt the chances of those players being in the starting lineup on Sept. 9, but conceded they would be part of the mix once they return.
That loss proved to be Justin Colbert's and Neal Gossett's gain as they moved to the top of the depth chart this week.
Both have the chance to be starters, but neither has stepped up to claim the position as their own.
"I think all of those guys have a chance to be our starter," Warriors head coach June Jones said. "We're kind of evaluating it as we're going along. Jamal and Mark got hurt, so that sets them back, Justin and Gossett are doing well. They probably know it better than anyone."
As a freshman last year, Colbert caught two passes for 7 yards, while Gossett redshirted. Garland didn't have any receptions last year, concentrating mainly on punt and kickoff returns.
Tate was one of Jones' promising recruits from San Diego, but suffered an ankle sprain and won't be back until next week.
"They're all battling for that spot, we just don't have that complete guy yet," Lee said. "Some of the guys run good routes, but they're dropping the ball."
Such was not the case a year ago when Dwight Carter lined up at left wideout. He set two receiver records last season, catching 77 passes for 1,253 yards and nine touchdowns.
This year's featured receiver will likely be Ashley Lelie, who lines up at right wideout. But Hawaii still needs a reliable receiver on the left side of the football.
"Replacing a player of Dwight's abilities won't be easy," Lee said. "But all of those guys are very capable. We still have two weeks to see if someone can gain the kind of consistency we need.
"Neal and Justin are young. Jamal still needs to work on his routes, and Tate is a guy who might have come in a little out of shape. But he'll be a good one for us."
Garnier goneSenior linebacker Chris Garnier was not invited back to the team after being suspended by Jones last spring for unspecified reasons.
Garnier would have been a senior had he been invited back to the club. He is the student body president and may have been too busy to be a member of the team.
Jones offered no reasons for Garnier's departure. The Poway, Calif., resident joined the program in 1996. He finished with 32 tackles, including a career-high 14 last season.
Roster expanded to 123Jones said yesterday the Warriors' roster will expand to the maximum of 123 players once everyone has cleared the necessary requirements of the NCAA.
Utah State transfer Travis Laboy already has been given a jersey number, as has Stanford transfer Tafiti Uso. Uso didn't practice yesterday because of an illness.
Both players have to sit out this year in accordance with NCAA rules.
Australian kicker Mat McBriar was introduced to the team on Monday. The punter from Melbourne reportedly has a very strong leg.
Rosehill still waitingSenior Olen Rosehill left practice yesterday with a cut on his hand, but was expected to be on the field today. He is waiting to hear from the NCAA on his appeal for another season.
Jones said that matter hadn't been resolved for the former Waiakea High standout. Rosehill came in for only one play last year and is hopeful he will be granted a sixth year of eligibility.
Injury reportThe X-rays on Nate Jackson's left foot were negative, Jones confirmed. The talented free safety sprained it on a pass play during yesterday's workout. He is listed day to day.
None of Hawaii's injured players returned to practice yesterday. Jones said he hoped most would be back in the lineup by next week.
By Paul Arnett