I apologize for the delay. My mother-in-law is having some medical issues. We’re wishing her a speedy recovery.
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The Warriors practiced in full pads for the first time this spring. Of note:
> Two play-making receivers — slotback John Ursua and Marcus Armstrong-Brown — are being held out of practices while recovering from ailments. No worries, UH fans, they’ll be fine. Another reason for comfort: slotback Cedric Byrd and wideout Isaia Leeth are having breakout springs. Byrd appears to be the fastest Warrior. That was apparent on his 45-yard TD on a seam route. What was impressive was his his second-gear speed. He thought he was slow into the route, but then he increased his speed to catch up to Justin Uahinui’s long pass. Leeth has several things going for him: He’s tall (6-3), physical, athletic and can cut quickly. Of his five catches in the full-contact scrimmage, three went for first downs. The Warriors did not even work on any red-zone plays, but it is apparent he will be tough to defend on corner routes.
> The Warriors entered with depth concerns on the offensive line. But two newcomers to the group — Joey Nu‘uanu-Kuhi‘iki, who moved from the defensive line, and Kamuela Borden, who spent the past two years on a church mission — have been a boost at tackle. They got additional reps the past week because Micah Vanterpool had been battling an illness. Nu‘uanu-Kuhi‘iki, as expected, is a punishing run-blocker. But he also has been skilled in pass pro. Same as Borden.
> With Kyle Gallup’s departure, there are only three true quarterbacks on the spring roster. Cole McDonald has been doing some good things (6-for-10 in the scrimmage). Jeremy Moussa has displayed a powerful arm. And Uahinui has shown he wants to be part of the conversation. He came out of Farrington’s hybrid — run-heavy concepts out of West Coast formations — but Uahinui can reach the tips of all branches of the passing tree.
> New DC Corey Batoon has introduced several formations, fronts and sub-packages this spring. One of the tools is a defensive line that doesn’t just stay put. That’s benefited a guy like Zeno Choi, an interior lineman who spent a lot of time at end last season. Choi is making use of the directives to slant and stunt. The theory is this: Make offensive lineman try to block moving targets. Meanwhile, the linebackers and nickels are filling gaps the d-line, not the opponent, are creating.
> Does anybody hit a gap harder than linebacker Jeremiah Pritchard?
> One of the more interesting battles is at nickelback. Manu Hudson-Rasmussen, Cameron Hayes and Donovan Dalton have been effective in covering spaces that were left open the past few seasons. Hayes had a pick-six in the scrimmage. In the 7-on-7 drills, Hudson-Rasmussen had a pick-six against … Nick Rolovich, who took a quarterback turn. Rolovich jokingly threatened to revoke Hudson-Rasmussen’s cost-of-attendance check.
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UH’s Oklahoma drills:
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The baseball ‘Bows have had a 4-1 Big West start before, as recently as 2016. But this one was crafted all on the road.
The ‘Bows are averaging 13.6 hits per Big West game. Jackson Rees and Neil Uskali are effective as 1-2 starters, and Dylan Thomas (9 saves) is the best closer in the league.
Regardless of today’s outcome — first pitch is at 10 a.m. Hawaii time — the ‘Bows have won the first two Big West series of the season.