Hawaii football: Dayton Furuta named Doak Walker preseason candidate; Warriors complete offseason training

Dayton Furuta was named as a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top college running back. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

On a busy Wednesday, running back Dayton Furuta was named as a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award.

The award goes to the college football’s best running back. Ewell Doak Walker II played at Syracuse, and was the 1948 Heisman Trophy winner. He played six seasons of professional football.

Furuta, a senior from Mililani, rushed for 459 yards last season, his first as a running back.

The Warriors had their final organized conditioning drill and player-run practice this morning on the grass soccer field. But the workouts might not have ended. Several players vowed to continue working out leading to July 25 reporting day for training camp.

Center Kohl Levao
Cornerback Rojesterman Farris II
Right wideout JoJo Ward
Right slotback Cedric Byrd
Offensive linemen Ernest Moore and Micah Vanterpool
Right tackle Eugene Pryor
Left tackle Ilm Manning
Quarterback Cole McDonald
Running back Fred Holly III
Running back Miles Reed
Rush end Zach Rattner
Running back Hekili Keliiliki
Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro
Quarterback Justin Uahinui
Wideout Jonah Panoke
Wideout Mekel Ealy and cornerback Zach Wilson
Defensive tackle Samiula Akoteu
Nose tackle Blessman Taala


  1. burro sabio July 17, 2019 11:07 am

    Ekahi, Ichi, Uno, One, Foist.

    JoJo Ward is pushing a lot of weight for a WR. And some of the linemen have their hands really low on the sleds.

  2. Kekoa July 17, 2019 11:18 am

    ST ~ Major compliments on your action photos! They show the effort & determination the Warriors are putting out for each drill.

  3. sackkabooya July 17, 2019 11:43 am

    Furuta looks skinnier, Ealy looks nicely tall and long-limbed. Keliiliki looks like an “H” and Miles Reed is a “blur”. Nice pics.

  4. Inyoface July 17, 2019 12:46 pm

    Eugene Pryor looks like he would be a good nose tackle with those legs.

  5. H-Man July 17, 2019 1:14 pm

    Great pics. Much thanks to ST. Linemen look physically impressive. Actually, all the players do. Can’t wait for the Arizona game. Go Warriors !!!

  6. H-Man July 17, 2019 1:17 pm

    One small mistake in one of the captions. I should be Zach “Ritner,” not Rattner.

  7. Da Punchbowl Kid July 17, 2019 2:29 pm

    Looking good. Looking REAL good.

    I can’t get over how much bigger and more athletic these guys are.

    Love the shot of the other QBs chasing Cole.


  8. boolakanaka July 17, 2019 2:47 pm

    In a previous post, some media pundits said that our oline is a weak part of our team—-they could not be more wrong. We return almost everyone, we have several transfers that were former D1 starters, and we got 2-3 very capable backups. Honestly, it’s one of the strongest O lines I’ve seen in the last 10 years….

  9. tom-warriornation July 17, 2019 11:53 pm

    Great to hear boo!

    Come join our Road Warrior group at games at UW and UNLV; and sit with other UH fans and families of our current players at the 50 yard line right behind our beloved Warriors!

    Our group is 300+ at UW and 500+ at UNLV; and come join our tailgates and meet your fellow diehard fans!

    Email me: tomkitaguchi@yahoo.com

  10. tom-warriornation July 17, 2019 11:57 pm

    yes awesome pics as usual ST; keep them coming!

    Which new and returning players have been impressing you so far?
    We 411-hungry and diehard fans want to know!

  11. PONO July 18, 2019 7:00 am

    Lots of potential for this team. O-line looks deep with some potential NFL talent. Cole is a known quantity and the RB group should be steady but maybe not flashy. I still think the WR corp is unknown with only Byrd and Ward coming back. Would be nice to have a bigger outside threat like Ealy emerge. Ta’ala, Hune and Akoteu are a nice rotation on the D line interior.

  12. A-House July 18, 2019 7:28 am

    surprised to see Furuta on watch list as nation’s best running back

  13. islandman July 18, 2019 9:36 am

    Updated MBB locker room:

  14. azwarrior22 July 18, 2019 9:59 am


    Regarding your baseball article, if my memory serves me right, I believe that…

    Vince Reilly: He had a unique dual role as the starting center fielder and right-handed closer for Thousand Oaks High this past season. He is expected to initially pitch for the ’Bows. His fastball — one of his three pitches — touches 90 mph.

    …comes from the same school of one of our all-time pitchers for the Bows, Chuck Crim.

  15. Andrew July 18, 2019 10:34 am


    Me too. He was very effective but I felt as the season went along, the play calling got way too predictable to the point where the opponent knew exactly when they would call a running play with Furuta and he wasn’t as effective anymore. The quality of opponents at the end of the season were much higher than the beginning, so they weren’t able to get away with the same things that they did earlier in the season. I hope this year, they change things up a lot more with the play calling so that we aren’t able to guess what the play is before it happens. If the fans can figure it out, the opposing coaches can see it from mile away

  16. kahuna July 18, 2019 11:37 am

    Somebody nominated him to kind of reward him for his hard work and toughness. I honestly doubt he will be anywhere near being close to being a finalist. He was not even the top returning RB in terms of yards. But good for Dayton for the recognition.

  17. kahuna July 18, 2019 11:46 am

    I pray and hope UH change their calls a little more this season and not be so predictable. I recalled the coaching saying that if the opponents drop 8 and rush three, they will run. I hope they can draw up plays where they can counter such defense with a pass plays that are similar to run plays. In other word, pass once in a while even if they drop eight to keep the defense honest.

    Might not be good percentage to pass with 8 in coverage but there should be some pass plays that can counter such defense. I’m sure JJ have seen every defense possible in his long coaching career and can give Rolo some advice on how to counter those defenses.

    Those constant runs up the middle gaining only two or three yards were very frustrating to watch.

  18. Da Punchbowl Kid July 18, 2019 12:03 pm

    As for Furuta, I think he surely deserves this watch. If he is healthy, he will no doubt be a huge factor in what is already a potent offense. The offense wi8ll be even more impressive this year.

  19. burro sabio July 18, 2019 12:03 pm

    So it’s ok to pass to keep the defense honest but not ok to run to keep the defense honest. I have to think about that one.

  20. kahuna July 18, 2019 12:54 pm

    19…Yo…I have no problem with running to keep the defense honest. I am complaining about the TYPE of running play. Like I said….too much run up the middle. Be a little creative for god’s sake. Try reverse, fly sweeps, draws, etc…

  21. H-Man July 18, 2019 1:58 pm

    I didn’t realize how special it is to be selected to the Doak Walker Award watch list. There are 73 players selected for 2019; only 3 from the Mountain West. The other two are Ronnie Rivers from Fresno St and Toa Taua from U of Nevada.

  22. Na Koa Mike July 18, 2019 3:04 pm

    Funds are needed to pay for Scheyenne Sanitoa funeral service in Hawaii. Please donate if you can.


  23. islandman July 18, 2019 3:27 pm

    21. ” University athletic departments nominate candidates for the (Walker) award and can continue to do so through October…. ”
    The Davey O’Brien Watch List has 30.

  24. Aaron July 18, 2019 11:55 pm

    Better o-line = better running game. Some of the struggles in the run game towards the end of the season were caused by fundamental weaknesses with the interior of our young and inexperienced offensive line. Things got better for a bit when they changed centers but they still struggled getting off the ball and setting their blocks. I expect better this year and they will be able to call those run plays when needed.

  25. burro sabio July 19, 2019 8:13 am

    #20 I hear you but no one can run wide without the speed. IMO I’m still not certain that the speed is there, and Ursua is gone. Running wide for the sake of running wide – that’s just trying to keep the defense honest too.
    Do you force passes downfield against 8 deep? Do you run hoping to loosen up the D? IMO a lot of people are just negative about “running up the middle” without thinking of the point in the game that it’s done and focus on instances that weren’t successful. They don’t remember all the near-interceptions as clearly as the running plays that weren’t successful. Running the ball reduces the odds of turnovers so at certain points in the game, it’s the smart thing to do even if not successful.

  26. turfwar July 19, 2019 10:00 am

    In Ferd’s story about Coolen this morning he mentioned that Eran Ganot’s contract also runs thru 2023 and he added that talks could already be underway to extend Ganot’s contract even more. Really?

  27. Captain Ron July 19, 2019 12:26 pm

    Just watched the highlights of “The Game That Hawaii Beat Alabama (2003)” at https://youtu.be/VPhY5KZe-wk.

    It still inspires. I hope they are showing the Warriors video (as well as the coaches watching them, too) of some of the special victories from our history. All games are winnable. I feel its gonna be a great season!

  28. Andrew July 19, 2019 5:22 pm


    I remember that game. It was a great win. Let’s also remember though that was a different Alabama team. Also if I’m not mistaken, they were on sanctions at the time too. Still a win against a power 5 SEC school though.

  29. sackkabooya July 20, 2019 3:18 am

    Fred Holly has to change his “center of gravity” to gain better balance like St. Juste did. Holly runs high and his balance seems to be centered around his chest/upper midriff area. Too upright. He was often easy to trip-up in traffic when heading toward open field. He just has to get centered a little lower (butt/thigh area)approaching heavy traffic, work into the open field, then get centered higher to change speed. Seven to 8 yards per carry is right there for him, you can see it. Just one more broken “arm tackle” then BOOM. So possible. So close. Gotta fix now. Can do. Going be awesome when fixed.

  30. sackkabooya July 20, 2019 3:41 am

    Miles Reed has to be schemed to get into the open field better and more often (touches) this season. I think he is still one year away from becoming really proficient at running in between the tackles. He is real quick, slippery and shifty but he is not as quick a hitter (getting to the hole) as Holly is. Was evident watching game videos. He did have a few moments that made your eyes take notice with his jump cutting, spins or shiftiness. But those moves dodged tacklers in traffic, not in the open field, so the gain was exciting but minimal. Those moves have to be displayed in space. Could alter the defensive scheme if he could cause some “worry”. He can. For sure. Just gotta figure it out. He is a weapon like UH has never had before. “Jump cutter”. Awesome “big play” potential for the upcoming season. A complete product pretty soon.

  31. A-House July 20, 2019 8:13 am


    me one of many who dislike running up da middle when 1] the defense stacks 8 within the box; 2] UH OL cannot handle the DL; 3] opponents defensive scheme is the plug the holes with their LBers; 4] UH up da middle scheme does not include any other option like a fake hand-off and throw the ball

    at the 1st Colorado game, Pilares caught a short pass and ran out of gas at the 3 yd line — then UH went up da middle for the first 2 plays against an 8 man tight in the box and got stuffed because the OL did not have the power to push the DL back or open holes where the LBs were waiting if the runner broke through — 3rd play was a short pass to the L/side WR who dropped a low, but catch-able pass — then, it was up da middle again where it was stuffed

    at the Houston Space Center, I asked Chow about up-da-middle and his response was, like ours, to keep the defense honest — run if the defensive alignment presents a favorable opportunity to make some yards

  32. burro sabio July 20, 2019 8:55 am

    Mr. A-House, as I mentioned, people notice the failed rushing attempts between the tackle boxes more than they notice other failed attempts. Last season, UH ran 418 times and i’m pretty certain that not all of the 418 were what a person would deem to be unsuccessful attempts between tackles. UH passed 545 times and converted 320, leaving 225 unsuccessful passing attempts, and who knows how many completed passes that went for 2 yards or less. Yet there are way more complaints (especially from you 🙂 ) about rushing failures than passing failures because that’s what your eyes are telling your memory to retain.
    Further, we don’t remember if a failed rushing attempt was actually successful because it set up a successful subsequent play. I believe JJ had the foresight to call certain plays just to have it on game film so subsequent opponents would see it and have to think about defending it. Play calling is an art, most of us aren’t smart enough to see the sequence and set-up in advance.

  33. winning July 21, 2019 10:03 am

    Furuta is also top heavy, needs to work on lower body. In regards to Mariota, if he had followed John Elway’s path to stardom (refusing to sign with the Colts and eventually got to the Broncos and helped get rid of Reaves as HC) he would have been better off and much more successful. He got drafted by the wrong team. Being a nice guy has not helped him a lot. I really don’t think they will improve too much this year. Better to go with another team with better coaches.

  34. winning July 21, 2019 10:15 am

    Offense is a science in football, to paraphrase a “Warrior Beat” veteran. This in addition to many comments by experienced bloggers that the O coaches need to practice “Weird Science”. However, if they ain’t got it again then you got to get new scientists and get better. Tired of the “Same Ol Same Ol”. Attendance probably reflects this mediocre entertainment.

  35. sackkabooya July 21, 2019 11:20 am


    I think it all has to do with “confidence”. Some science, some properly grouped personnel packages, some physical preparation, some mental preparation, and a lot of confidence. Confidence that you have any answer to counter what a defense can present. From both coaches and players. Like when they played at Colorado St. So confident early. They could execute anything they wanted to. So fluid.

    In the second season of this system I’m sure more of the playbook will be available (different stuff from the “same ol’ “). Plus the offensive line returns everyone so they should be more (veteran group) efficient and proficient, giving the coaches more options and the whole offense greater confidence overall. Just like the Colorado St. game. Going to be unreal when they hit that stride. Offensive line is the key. They can do it. Got speed and skill all over the place. Just need reps now. Confidence. So awesome now.

  36. sackkabooya July 21, 2019 11:33 am

    In my opinion how Furuta runs doesn’t really matter to me. Just don’t fumble. Any yards from him is just to keep the defense “honest”. His blocking is his more important facet. Twice as good as any of the other running backs and just as good as an actual lineman. If he can fix some mechanics in his running (and YAC) game then maybe he can rouse some NFL scouts. But his blocking is his value for this system. We need to develop an understudy for him. Will be a big loss when he graduates.

  37. islandman July 21, 2019 4:19 pm

    2019 Roster has been posted:

  38. Captain Ron July 21, 2019 5:44 pm

    As the full story of Cole’s injuries during last season have been disclosed, I am more impressed and very appreciative of the job he did last year. I remember some were down on him and wanted him replaced, and I wondered why he was not doing the same as earlier in the season.

    Now that the reasons are out, I will keep all this in mind before wanting to replace the coach’s informed decisions with my uninformed ones. Cole is a true warrior, as they all are. Let’s give them our full support.

    I think this is going to be a very memorable year.

  39. burro sabio July 21, 2019 10:09 pm

    Eric Rooks and Manase Time not on the fall roster.
    Mr. Tsai, is Gabriel Iniguez going to grayshirt?

  40. Stephen Tsai July 22, 2019 6:58 am

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=50292

Comments are closed.