A long, long time ago, the Utah basketball team was looking for a way to defend Chris Gaines, Hawaii’s Harden-esque guard. Gaines was a dual threat with smooth driving lay-ins and an accurate outside shot. Instead of matching eyeball-to-eyeball with 6-foot-3 Gaines, the Utes summoned 5-9 Jimmy Soto. Soto held Gaines in check with hand-checks, swiping moves and just being an irritant. Soto played the man, not the ball, and Gaines never got into a rhythm. The Utes won the game.
Afterward, Soto revealed his nickname was the “Gnat.”
This past Saturday, the football Warriors were able to befuddle Colorado State’s youthful offensive line with their own undersized defender — Kaimana Padello. Padello, who is optimistically listed between 6 feet and 6-1, used his off-the-edge quickness to force the CSU blockers to scramble. Padello is difficult to block cleanly because of his quickness, strength (365-pound bench press) and elusiveness. Padello drew three holding penalties, according to unofficial stats.
UH football has a history of innovation, from muddle huddles to the “Bumbai-You-Learn” option play to super-sized backs to Scott Harding‘s bi-footed punts. Padello, a junior, is the latest headache for opposing offenses.