Sports Notebook

Defensive line looking
for bodies

As of yesterday afternoon, Larry Sauafea hadn't turned in his white jersey for a green one yet. But it is official -- the second-year freshman lineman has crossed over for at least a trial period at defensive tackle.

Lodged behind young players Samson Satele and Hercules Satele at left guard and Tala Esera and Dane Uperesa at left tackle, it could be a long wait for Sauafea to get meaningful playing time on the O-line.

Plus, he's needed at defensive tackle now, since junior Abu Ma'afala left the team, JC transfer Austin Jackson did not report, and two other new DTs were getting some upper campus paperwork cleared up before they could practice.

"We wanted to look at a couple guys at different positions and he's one of them," coach June Jones said.

The 6-foot-2 Sauafea has put 20 pounds on since last year, bringing him up to 289 and close to the typical 300 for a defensive tackle.

"The coaches asked me to just try it out, see how I like it," said Sauafea, who played linebacker at Samoana High School in American Samoa. "They said I can move back to offense if I want. So far it's good. It's not bad, but I still have a lot to learn."

Kahai LaCount made a successful transition from O-line to defensive tackle last spring. He worked out on the second team yesterday behind Lui Fuga and Matt Faga.

Rerun: Yesterday's practice plan was the same as Tuesday's, Jones said.

The biggest difference was the addition of shoulder pads.

"We got a little better at what we did yesterday. We just did the same practice as yesterday, and the young kids picked it up a little better," he said.

Offensively, Jones said starting quarterback Tim Chang is "throwing the ball really well."

Defensively, second-year freshman cornerback Ray Bass drew praise.

"Ray Bass has stepped up. He had a good practice. He's worked really hard this summer," Jones said.

Watching Satele: Sophomore left guard Samson Satele is among seven offensive guards on the 115-player watch list for the Lombardi Award.

The Lombardi Award is given annually to Division I college football's best lineman or linebacker, as voted on by a panel comprised of more than 500 members, including all past finalists, all Division I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris of Oklahoma won last year's award.

Coming up: The Warriors switched to morning practices beginning today, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

The first double-day is Saturday, with a second practice from 3:30 to 5 in the afternoon.

Short yardage: A crowd of 100 watching practice yesterday included former UH quarterback Shawn Withy-Allen and center Brian Smith. ... Incumbent kicker Justin Ayat and backup punter Tim Wright worked on kickoffs. ... The Pigskin Pigout football fund-raiser at Murphy's Bar & Grill is a week from today. Auction items include one of the original 12 pennants from PacBell Park in San Francisco. Call 531-0422 for information. ... Sophomore wide receiver Jason Rivers did not practice again yesterday. Team officials declined comment, other than to say it is "just red tape and a grade posting" and Rivers will be working out with the team soon. ... Nevada running back Chance Kretschmer had minor knee surgery yesterday and is questionable for the season opener Sept. 6 at Louisiana Tech, a school spokesman said. "They think he will be out about four weeks, but he's a fairly quick healer and could be back sooner," said Jamie Klund, Nevada's sports information director. ... Also yesterday, a federal grand jury indicted former Nevada football player Rodney Landingham, who admitted he robbed two Reno banks to help support a gambling habit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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