Dorsey in,
Gesser out
of Hula Bowl

Colbert and McBriar are also
invited, bringing UH's total to 8

Jones: WAC compliance impossible

By Dave Reardon

Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey, who leads the Hurricanes into the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship today, has accepted an invitation to play in the Hula Bowl Maui.

The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist joins Marshall's Byron Leftwich, Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury and Iowa's Brad Banks as quarterbacks who have committed to the Feb. 1 college all-star game at War Memorial Stadium.

"Dorsey's in the fold. You could say we've got a nice selection of quarterbacks," Hula Bowl executive director Dick Schaller said. "We kind of assumed (Dorsey) would come since (Miami's) Larry Coker is going to be one of the coaches, but it's nice to have it confirmed."

Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer could join the group, but Schaller said the USC quarterback hasn't accepted yet.

The Hula Bowl has a working agreement with the Downtown Athletic Club, which awards the Heisman, so Palmer "might at least make an appearance even if he doesn't play," Schaller said. "We don't know yet for sure."

Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser, a Saint Louis School graduate, has declined to play in the Hula Bowl because of injuries, Schaller said.

Also, with the recent additions of wide receiver Justin Colbert and punter Mat McBriar, eight University of Hawaii players will appear. Colbert and McBriar join fellow Warriors offensive linemen Lui Fuata and Vince Manuwai, linebackers Pisa Tinoisamoa and Chris Brown, defensive lineman La'anui Correa, and safety Sean Butts.

"We know Lui's injured and might not be able to play, but we hope he can still make it because he's a hometown boy," Schaller said of the Lahainaluna graduate.

Colbert, who is home in Rialto, Calif., learned of his invitation Tuesday night.

"That's a good way to start the New Year," Colbert said. "I'm pretty excited about it."

Colbert increased his stock with a team-MVP performance in Hawaii's 36-28 ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl loss on Christmas. He caught nine passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Colbert, who was a quarterback in high school, finished as UH's record-holder in receptions in a season (92) and career (212).

"I was surprised he wasn't asked a long time ago," UH receivers coach Ron Lee said of Colbert. "He's done a great job all year long, actually for four years. He's done a lot of great things, put up great numbers. If he's not one of the top receivers in the country, I don't know what. When (scouts) see his quickness, they'll see he can definitely play. All he needs is a chance."

McBriar is one of the nation's strongest punters, but did not receive much national attention because his low number of kicks did not qualify him for conference and national statistics. He averaged 44.8 yards per punt in 2002, with a long of 73 yards.

The eight UH players in the Hula Bowl will be split between the Aina (land) and Kai (water) teams this year, Schaller said.

"There are so many of them, we don't want the fans rooting for just one team," he said.

This is the first year the Hula Bowl is tied in with the Pro Bowl, which will be played the following day at Aloha Stadium.

"We're excited about it," Schaller said. "Among other things, the Hula Bowl players will be introduced at halftime of the Pro Bowl."

Tickets for the Hula Bowl can be purchased by calling (808) 871-4141.

2003 Hula Bowl

What: Annual college all-star football classic
When: Saturday, Feb. 1, 3 p.m. Hawaii time
Where: War Memorial Stadium, Maui
Tickets: $25-$32; call (808) 871-4141

Hula Bowl

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