Warrior Football Open First Fall Camp Under Chow
By Rodney S. Yap
The University of Hawai’i Warrior football team opened fall camp Thursday, officially kicking off new head coach Norm Chow’s first training camp in Manoa.
The Warriors open their 2012 campaign in 30 days before a nationally-televised audience at University of Southern California, Sept. 1 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Nearly 100 players took the field for the first day of camp, including 30 incoming freshmen, junior college transfers, and invited walk-ons.
“We had great effort from our guys,” Chow said. “They did a nice job. They realize they are not in the type of shape we want them to be in, but they worked really hard. Like we told them before they started — and I’ll tell them every day — if we do the best we can, we’re going to be ok.”
The biggest question mark coming into the fall is the quarterback position. Among the players vying for the starting position are Sean Schroeder, a transfer from Duke, returnee David Graves and Utah State transfer Jeremy Higgins. Schroeder completed his degree at Duke in three years and is taking advantage of the graduate transfer rule which allows him to compete without sitting out a year. In all, Hawaii has seven quarterbacks looking to earn playing time.
Graves started the final two games of the 2011 season and exited spring ball along with Higgins atop the depth chart. According to Chow a starter will be named only after careful assessment.
“I’m not going to put a time table to it,” Chow said. “I’ll know. I’ve done this for a little bit. My gut will tell us when to make a decision. It may be tomorrow, it may be three weeks from now. It would be better if we did it in a hurry … but we’re not going to make (the decision) until we’re sure we’re doing the right thing.”
A total of 49 lettermen return from last season’s squad, including 13 starters. Among the top returnees is preseason first-team all-Mountain West selection Paipai Falemmalu, a senior defensive lineman from Hau’ula, O’ahu. He is joined by returning starters Mike Edwards (CB), John Hardy-Tuliau (DB), and Art Laurel (LB), who led the team in tackles-for-loss and sacks a year ago.
On the offensive side of the ball, four of the team’s top five receivers return including leading receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann and two-sport athlete Jeremiah Ostrowski. Running back Joey Iosefa, who was the team’s leading rusher, also returns.
Former Baldwin High School (2009) standout Jordan Pu’u-Robinson is the only Maui player listed (No. 85) on the team’s opening-day 99-man roster. Despite being cleared to attend school, Pu’u-Robinson is still awaiting clearance to play this year by the NCAA.
Pu’u-Robinson, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound red-shirt junior, transferred from Washington State University where he spent the last three years. The former tight end suffered an injury in 2010 and saw his first action in 2011, but as a defensive tackle.
In 10 games last year, Pu’u-Robinson started twice and finished with nine tackles, five solo, and recorded a fumble. In his first collegiate start against No. 7 Stanford, the Wailuku resident recorded a season-high four tackles.
Place-kicker Ceejay Santos, a 2010 Baldwin graduate, who transfered to UH from Weber State will redshirt this season as a result of the NCAA transfer rule. Pu’u-Robinson’s transfer was filed with “family emergency” priority. If cleared to play by the NCAA he will have two-years of eligibility remaining.
The Warriors will play their inaugural season in the Mountain West. UH was picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll, selected by the league’s 10 head coaches.
The team will hold its next eight practices in Manoa before taking its camp on the road to Pearl Harbor, where they begin two-a-day practices.
2012 UH FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
|9/1/2012||USC||Los Angeles, Calif.||4:30 p.m. PT||Details|
|9/15/2012||Lamar||Aloha Stadium||6:00 p.m.||Details|
|9/22/2012||*||Nevada||Aloha Stadium||4:30 p.m.||Details|
|9/28/2012||Brigham Young||Provo, Utah||6:00 p.m. MT||Details|
|10/6/2012||*||San Diego State||San Diego, Calif.||5:00 p.m. PT||Details|
|10/13/2012||*||New Mexico (Homecoming)||Aloha Stadium||6:00 p.m.||Details|
|10/27/2012||*||Colorado State||Fort Collins, Colo.||5:00 p.m. MT||Details|
|11/3/2012||*||Fresno State||Fresno, Calif.||4:00 p.m. PT||Details|
|11/10/2012||*||Boise State||Aloha Stadium||2:00 p.m.||Details|
|11/16/2012||*||Air Force||Colorado Springs, Colo.||7:30 p.m. MT||Details|
|11/24/2012||*||UNLV (Military Night)||Aloha Stadium||6:00 p.m.||Details|
|12/1/2012||South Alabama||Aloha Stadium||6:00 p.m.||Details|