CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
UH defensive line coach Vantz Singletary put Travis LaBoy, left, and Marco Chavez, middle, through a drill during yesterday's practice. Watching, from left to right, are Lui Fuga (99), Garrett Dearing, Isaac Sopoaga and Abu Maafala.
Hawaii safety Leonard Peters remained hospitalized yesterday after a collision in practice Monday bruised his kidney and spleen.
Kapanui fills in
for injured Peters
By Dave Reardon
Peters will be kept under close observation at the hospital for several days, but his injuries do not require surgery, UH coach June Jones said yesterday.
"He didn't have to have an operation, so that's a positive," Jones said.
Peters, a 6-foot-1, 174-pound freshman from Kahuku High School, came into fall camp No. 1 on the depth chart at strong safety. Sophomore Chad Kapanui (6-0, 205), who was putting up a strong fight for the starting job anyway, moved into the top spot with Peters' injury.
Jones said it is possible Peters could be back before the season opener Aug. 31 against Eastern Illinois.
Minor slump: Something had to give a little at some point. After two days of four crisp practices, the Warriors hit the wall -- if ever so briefly -- yesterday morning. But they recovered quickly with a sharp 2-hour effort in the afternoon.
"On the third or fourth day it starts to get a little dragging. That's kind of how we were for a minute there," Jones said. "But that's normal. I think our concentration was good all the way through (in the afternoon). Hopefully, we'll just keep getting better."
The defense shined in team drills involving the top players in the morning. In one 10-play sequence, the offense completed 3 of 8 passes for 12 yards. Kelvin Millhouse intercepted a Tim Chang pass and Lui Fuga snuffed a Jeff Rhode to Thero Mitchell swing pass for no gain. The lone bright spot for the offense was Mike Bass scampering for two long gains.
"We just weren't really sharp (in the morning)," Jones said. "Legs are sore, arms are sore."
But Jones was smiling at the end of the afternoon session.
"That was a lot better," he said.
Shuffling around: Second-team right tackle Ryan Santos was with the offensive scouts yesterday, but that doesn't mean the sophomore from Mililani was demoted.
"We were a little short of tackles, some of the vets are rotating in on scout teams because we're short guys," Santos said. "I don't mind helping the defense. It gives them a better look and gives me a better look, too."
Santos entered last spring No. 1 at right tackle when Uriah Moenoa, who started there last fall, was moved to center. But another shuffle moved Moenoa back to right tackle and Santos back to the second team.
Line coach Mike Cavanaugh said he still has high hopes for Santos, and the 6-5, 320-pound Santos has by no means given up on himself.
"There's plenty of time. He says nothing is written in stone. I'm looking forward to continuing competing, giving it everything I've got," Santos said. "So far I'm having better practices than I did in the spring. I'm feeling pretty good so far."
Patton pending: Cornerback Kenny Patton is one of the most impressive true freshmen early in camp.
"Kenny Patton, to me, he has the chance to be our best recruit at corner," defensive backs coach Rich Miano said. "Great jumping ability. Real good footwork, he has great hands. He's conscientious. He wants to learn. He just has to get a little stronger and a little bit faster. He has so much upside."
The 6-foot, 170-pound Patton has played corner for only one year. UH has three cornerbacks who started games last season in Hyrum Peters, Abe Elimimian and Millhouse, so Patton might be redshirted.
"I have a lot to learn. It's all about alignment and assignment," he said. "You gotta do what they tell you to do, what you're assigned to do."
Short yardage: Former UH quarterback Michael Carter was among yesterday's practice visitors. ... Jones said the Warriors "will hit a couple times" when asked if the team will scrimmage before the season starts. Starters usually see very limited action, if any, in UH's full-contact scrimmages. ... Today is the first day with full pads. ... Starting right inside receiver Gerald Welch rested a sore hamstring yesterday, but said he would likely return to drills today. ... Linebacker Chad Kalilimoku, an All-American in junior college last year, is adjusting to his new level and has made several of the biggest hits in camp. "It's much harder than JC, but I'm getting used to the calls and stuff. No fatigue, the coaches have us trained and conditioned well. I feel ready to go." ... The morning practices, beginning today, are scheduled to start at 8:30 and end at 11:30. The afternoon sessions for today through Friday go from 3:45 to 5:15.