Spring ballNo one's ever accused June Jones of doing things the way other college football coaches do.
starts for UH
The Warriors get on
the field tomorrow, with questions
to answer at several positions
By Dave Reardon
Why should spring football practice be different?
The Warriors won't have a spring game this year, having gradually phased out what most programs consider the highlight of the offseason -- and what some coaches look at as a good test of which young players have made the biggest strides.
But Jones sees no reason to subject his players to injury on the artificial surface of Cooke Field. He takes an approach more like that of a coach of professional players, which he was for 15 years.
It's a philosophy that his staff -- at least the offensive assistants -- seem to appreciate.
"Like June says, if you're going to get hurt, it's probably going to be in a game," quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison said.
There might be a full-contact scrimmage or two for the younger players during the 15 practices from tomorrow to April 24 that are open to the public at UH (7-9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). But most of the work will be on individual technique and unit schemes.
The Warriors also lack a defensive coordinator, since Kevin Lempa moved on to Boston College last month after a three-season stint at UH. Jones said he will wait until after spring practice to hire a new DC.
His biggest personnel goals for the spring are to develop a solid backup quarterback for Tim Chang and identify replacements for three offensive line positions, all three linebackers and wide receiver Justin Colbert.
Jones sat down last week for a position-by-position look at the Warriors going into camp:
QuarterbackReturning starter: Tim Chang.
Big loss: Shawn Withy-Allen.
Chart climbers: Jason Whieldon, Ryan Stickler, Jeff Rhode.
Quick reads: Chang is cleared medically, but will only throw on the side. ... Rhode has quit baseball to concentrate on football.
Jones' take: "We're going to give equal reps to all of them and make a decision after spring (on No. 2). I think we've got some potential there, but some unknowns. ... Kainoa Akina's proved he can do it at the Division I level and Preston Maloney has a lot of potential."
Running backReturning starter: Mike Bass.
Big loss: Thero Mitchell.
Chart climbers: Michael Brewster, John West.
Quick reads: Jonathan Kauka's NCAA petition for another season is pending, and he will participate this spring. ... Pesefea Fiaseu has left and might not return for personal reasons.
Jones' take: "(Bass, Brewster and West) are all hard workers. They made the commitment to become blockers and they're tremendous runners. They all averaged over 5 yards a carry last year."
Offensive lineReturning starters: Shayne Kajioka (LG), Derek Faavi (C), Uriah Moenoa (RT), Ryan Santos (RT).
Big losses: Wayne Hunter (LT), Lui Fuata (C), Vince Manuwai (RG).
Chart climbers: Brandon Eaton (G-T), Samson Satele (LT), Dane Uperesa (T).
Moving man: Moenoa to RG.
Jones' take: "The biggest question mark. But I think we have some young kids that are going to be very competitive. We'll live through some learning, but as each game goes by they're going to get better and better."
ReceiversReturning starters: Clifton Herbert (Y), Chad Owens (H), Nate Ilaoa (Y), Jeremiah Cockheran (Z).
Big losses: Justin Colbert (X), Neal Gossett (Z).
Chart climbers: Ross Dickerson (H), Kanale George (X), LaMont Williams (X), Mike Akiu (Z), Bryant Stevens (Z), Daniel Inferrera (Z).
Moving man: Britton Komine to X.
Quick reads: Ilaoa misses spring recovering from shoulder surgery. ... Incoming freshman Jason Rivers might change things in fall. ... Freshman Sean Stennis transferred.
Jones' take: "Jeremiah Cockheran I think will take a real step up. Daniel Inferrera's looked much improved. Bryant Stevens has done a nice job, he's going to get an opportunity. And we're going to look at Britton a little bit out there to make sure we get the best players on the field."
Defensive lineReturning starters: Houston Ala (LE), Kevin Jackson (LE), Isaac Sopoaga (LT), Lance Samuseva (RT), Travis LaBoy (RE).
Big loss: La'anui Correa.
Chart climbers: Tala Esera (T), Abu Ma'afala (T).
Quick reads: LaBoy is out with a groin injury. ... Lui Fuga is also out as he rehabs his ankle injury. ... Incoming freshman Mel Purcell and JC transer Darrell Tautofi could also make an impact in the fall.
Jones' take: "We're pretty deep. This could be the best defensive line this school's ever had. Isaac Sopoaga will be a top draft pick. His attitude, work ethic and his ability are pretty incredible."
LinebackersReturning starters: None.
Big losses: Pisa Tinoisamoa, Chris Brown, Matt Wright.
Chart climbers: Chad Kalilimoku, T.J. Moe, Ikaika Curnan, Kilinahe Noa, Tyrone Brown.
Moving man: Chad Kapanui from S to OLB.
Quick reads: Keani Alapa has a lot of experience playing in passing situations the past two seasons. ... Moe and Curnan could play either inside or outside. ... Anipati Mailo has returned from a mission and could contend for playing time.
Jones' take: "Chad Kalilimoku has a chance to be the biggest impact player, not only on our team, but in the conference. He's a legitimate big-time inside linebacker. Tyrone Brown is a talented kid. We just need to give him an opportunity to see if he can do it."
Defensive backsReturning starters: Abraham Elimimian (CB), Kenny Patton (CB), David Gilmore (SS), Leonard Peters (SS), Hyrum Peters (FS), Kelvin Millhouse (CB)
Big loss: Sean Butts (FS).
Chart climbers: Brown Faavae (S might also play LB), Patrick Jenkins (S), Lono Manners (FS), Gary Wright (CB), Omega Hogan (CB), Cameron Hollingsworth (CB).
Moving man: Lamar Broadway from CB to SS. ... Hyrum Peters -- the defense's top player last year -- comes back from a knee strain.
Quick reads: Another unit where incoming freshmen (CB Ray Bass and S Viliami Nauahi) will get a look.
Jones' take: "Brown Faavae has real instinctive skills, like Pisa, acceleration to the football being one of them. Kelvin Millhouse is a big-time corner who can bump and run. Hyrum's been working hard and looks like he's back to normal."
Special teamsReturning starters: Justin Ayat (K), Chad Owens (PR, KR). T.J. Moe (LS).
Big loss: Mat McBriar (P).
Chart climbers: Kurt Milne (P), Clifton Herbert (PR), Michael Brewster (KR), Jeff Rhode (H), Chad Kapanui (H).
Jones' take: "The only special teams we work on a lot this spring will be punting."
UH Depth Chart
WR (X) 87 Kanale George (6-2, 193, Jr.) 81 LaMont Williams (6-0, 163, Fr.) 86 Denny Flanagan (6-0, 179, Fr.) 80 Mark Tate (6-1, 212, So.) WR (H) 2 Chad Owens (5-9, 177, Jr.) 84 Britton Komine (5-9, 184, Jr.) 82 Ross Dickerson (5-10, 174, Fr.) LT 64 Samson Satele (6-2, 289, Fr.) 72 Dane Uperesa (6-4, 305, Fr.) LG 77 Shayne Kajioka (6-3, 308, Sr.) 66 Brandon Eaton (6-3, 301, So.) C 59 Derek Faavi (6-0, 266, So.) 67 Phil Kauffman (6-1, 283, Jr.) 60 Marques Kaonohi (6-1, 252, Fr.) 75 Chad Kahale (6-1, 337, Sr.) 61 Lyle Castro (5-11, 251, Jr.) RG 69 Uriah Moenoa (6-3, 327, Jr.) 75 Chad Kahale (6-1, 337, Sr.) RT 72 Dane Uperesa (6-4, 305, Fr.) 71 Ryan Santos (6-5, 320, Jr.) 66 Brandon Eaton (6-3, 301, So.) 76 Jonathan Ekno (6-5, 300, Jr.) WR (Y) 21 Clifton Herbert (5-8, 157, Sr.) 4 Nate Ilaoa (5-9, 204, So.) 38 Gerald Welch (5-7, 204, Jr.) 7 See Poumele (5-9, 179, Jr.) WR (Z) 19 Jeremiah Cockheran (6-0, 193, Sr.) 83 Mike Akiu (5-8, 164, So.) 85 Bryant Stevens (6-2, 182, So.) 31 Daniel Inferrera (6-0, 189, Fr.) 30 Michael Miyashiro (5-6, 147, Jr.) QB 14 Tim Chang (6-2, 191, Jr.) 8 Jason Whieldon (6-1, 187, Sr.) 12 Jeff Rhode (6-5, 243, So.) 11 Ryan Stickler (6-2, 218, Fr.) 16 Preston Maloney (6-1, 186, Fr.) 9 Kainoa Akina (5-11, 193, So.) 13 Kyle Rice (6-1, 196, Jr.) RB 1 Mike Bass (5-6, 158, Jr.) 20 John West (5-10, 180, Sr.) 6 Michael Brewster (5-6, 176, Jr.) 43 Jonathan Kauka (6-0, 209, Sr.) 42 Corey Donahue (6-1, 223, So.) 40 Justin McClain (5-11, 218, Fr.)
LE 93 Houston Ala (6-1, 250, Sr.) 11 Kevin Jackson (6-5, 229, Sr.) 95 Reggie Maldonado (6-5, 250, Jr.) LT 97 Isaac Sopoaga (6-3, 315, Sr.) 96 Tala Esera (6-3, 265, Fr.) 99 Lui Fuga (6-1, 301, Sr.) RT 92 Lance Samuseva (5-11, 290, Sr.) 94 Abu Ma'afala (6-2, 268, So.) 79 Keali'i Aguiar (6-0, 310, Sr.) RE 1 Travis LaBoy (6-4, 249, Sr.) 30 Kila Kamakawiwoole (6-3, 231, So.) 52 Garrett Dearing (6-4, 239, So.) OLB 46 Keani Alapa (6-0, 221, Sr.) 48 Patrick Lavar Harley (6-0, 220, Jr.) 5 Chad Kapanui (6-0, 205, Jr.) 41 Anapati Mailo (6-2, 214, So.) MLB 56 Chad Kalilimoku (5-11, 243, Sr.) 45 Tanuvasa Moe (5-11, 218, So.) 55 Watson Ho'ohuli (6-1, 239, So.) 50 Lincoln Manutai (6-0, 223, Jr.) OLB 51 Ikaika Curnan (5-11, 210, So.) 29 Kilinahe Noa (6-0, 213, Jr.) 10 Tyrone Brown (6-0, 202, Jr.) 53 Isaiah Alameda (6-1, 212, So.) 25 Zachary Lee-Ho (5-7, 192, Fr.) LCB 37 Abraham Elimimian (5-10, 173, Jr.) 24 Kenny Patton (6-0, 170, So.) 28 Cameron Hollingsworth (6-0, 176, So.) SS 17 David Gilmore (6-0, 197, Sr.) OR 42 Leonard Peters (6-1, 174, So.) 22 Lamar Broadway (5-11, 173, So.) FS 33 Hyrum Peters (5-8, 188, Sr.) 15 Lono Manners (5-11, 154, So.) 9 Matt Manuma (6-1, 205, Jr.) RCB 3 Kelvin Millhouse (6-1, 205, Sr.) 27 Gary Wright (5-10, 201, Sr.) 36 Omega Hogan (5-10, 176, So.)
PUNT 25 Kurt Milne (5-11, 199, Fr.) PK 47 Justin Ayat (5-11, 205, Jr.) 26 Nolan Miranda (5-8, 162, Fr.) LS (P) 45 Tanuvasa Moe (5-11, 218, So.) LS (FG) 59 Derek Faavi (6-0, 266, So.) 45 Tanuvasa Moe (5-11, 218, So.) PR 2 Chad Owens (5-9, 177, Jr.) 21 Clifton Herbert (5-8, 157, Sr.) KR 2 Chad Owens (5-9, 177, Jr.) 6 Michael Brewster (5-6, 176, Jr.) HOLD 12 Jeff Rhode (6-5, 243, So.) 5 Chad Kapanui (6-0, 205, Jr.)
Notes: Depth chart provided by UH media relations department with information provided by football coaching staff. ... Heights and weights are from last season.
A U.S. Apache helicopter down behind enemy lines, armed Iraqis celebrating. Later, the two-man crew displayed as prisoners of war.
perspective on war
By Dave Reardon
Although those images came from halfway around the world last week, they hit close for Britton Komine. This is much more than a living-room war for the University of Hawaii Army ROTC cadet and receiver on the football team.
Komine aspires to become an Apache pilot. Striking evidence of what can happen on the battlefield has not changed that.
Britton Komine, who caught 10 TD passes last season, may move from inside receiver to wideout for the Warriors this year.
"The whole idea of war should give anyone second thoughts," Komine said. "But I thought about those things when I took the (ROTC) scholarship. Before I took the scholarship I prepared myself mentally for what could potentially happen."
Komine knows about military service. His parents are both former active duty Air Force personnel, and his mother, Bridget, is a recruiter in the reserves.
He is watching with interest and attends a monthlong leadership camp this summer. But Komine won't actually begin pilot training until after he is commissioned, after graduation from UH following the fall 2004 semester.
"My job right now is to get through school and be supportive," Komine said. "They (the soldiers in combat) are sacrificing so much more than any of us can really imagine."
The war puts football in perspective for him. But it doesn't distract Komine, UH receivers coach Ron Lee said. In fact, as spring practice starts tomorrow, Komine works on learning a new position.
He has been an inside receiver, or slotback, since his arrival at Manoa from Maryknoll High School in 2000. But the Warriors have a wealth of experienced returnees for the inside spots, and Komine could contribute as a wideout.
"Britton played a little of it in high school. He's the only one we could really move out there, and maybe move back," Lee said. "He knows the overall offense, and this is what spring ball's about, how to fill out positions. We kind of mess around with a few things and see where we can use our people the best."
Komine said he's excited about the move.
"I just think of it as an opportunity to get better and to understand the offense more, get more of a chance to play," he said. "The more versatile you are, the more opportunities you have."
He said Jeremiah Cockheran, a returning starter at the opposite wideout position, has helped him learn the plays.
"Compared to the slot, there seems to be a lot less decision-making, so it hasn't been too hard," Komine said.
He was an all-state receiver for Pac-Five, which runs a wide-open offense somewhat similar to UH's run-and-shoot. But his transition to the Warriors' schemes was not fast and easy.
"He struggled at first right out of high school learning the system, wherein now he has a great understanding of what we do," Lee said. "But he always works hard in the offseason, and it shows in how he performed in the games last season."
After limited action in 2001, the 5-9, 181-pound Komine caught 58 passes for 886 yards with a team-high 10 touchdowns last fall. Casual Hawaii fans learned his name when he grabbed eight passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-34 victory against Nevada on Oct. 12.
"He's really committed in everything he does. School, military, football, family," Lee said. "That's where it all starts. He's ready to do what he needs to do. Britton's one of those guys I feel really good about being around."
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