It will be a homecoming of sorts when kicker Nino Alibegic of Independence (Kan.) Community College joins the Warriors as a walk-on this summer.
Alibegic was born in Idaho, moved to Hawaii in the fourth grade, and moved back to Idaho just prior to his freshman year at Rocky Mountain High School.
It was the summer before his senior year when Alibegic and a Rocky Mountain player were kicking around a soccer ball. Head coach Scott Criner asked Alibegic to join the football team. The Grizzlies won Idaho’s 5-A championship in 2015.
The following year, Alibegic and his half-brother, defensive tackle Tristan Nichols of Saint Louis School, enrolled at Arizona Western. A year later, Alibegic transferred to Independence. Nichols, who had made a verbal commitment to the Warriors, remained at Arizona Western and recently signed with Nevada.
Alibegic will earn his associate’s degree at the end of this semester, and join the Warriors for the July 25 start of training camp. He will have three years to play two UH seasons.
Alibegic said he chose UH because of the coaches, the emphasis on special teams (newly hired Michael Ghobrial works solely with the specialists during practices) and a chance to return to Hawaii (his mother and step-father live here).
Alibegic said he can comfortably convert from up to 53 yards. He said he has focused on attempts up to 40 yards in recent training.
“I cannot wait to come in and get to work,” Alibegic told the Warrior Beat.
Alex Trifonvitch, Ryan Meskell and Michael Boyle also are competing at kicker for the Warriors.