Hawaii football: Stovall shows he’s ready for run-and-shoot

Melquise Stovall caught a pass at practice on Aug. 14. / Photo by Craig T. Kojima, Star-Advertiser

Melquise Stovall, like the rest of the University of Hawaii football team, was not intimidated by UH’s first two opponents just because they come from a so-called “Power Five” conference, and UH plays in a “Group of Five” league, the Mountain West.

In fact, in Stovall’s case, as a freshman he played for Cal, another school from the same conference as Arizona and Oregon State. Hawaii vanquished the latter two Pac-12 teams to get off to its third 2-0 start in as many seasons.

In 2016, Stovall caught 42 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns. He grabbed four receptions for 61 yards in his college debut, including a 14-yard touchdown. That was in Sydney, Australia — against, and you knew this if you are up on recent UH football history — the Rainbow Warriors.

In another connection, Cal upset Washington, 20-19, last week as the Warriors were beating the Beavers 31-28. Hawaii visits Seattle on Saturday as a 21-point underdog to some angry Huskies. Stovall caught 1 pass for 10 yards for Cal against Washington in 2016.

Stovall said he is happy for his former teammates, and watched a replay of the Cal-Washington game to get some tips for this week against UW.

“I was interested in seeing the things Cal did right and also the things they didn’t do right that we can learn from,” he said after practice Wednesday.

Stovall missed nearly all of the 2017 season due to injury. In the spring of 2018, he transferred to a junior college after he had been suspended from the Bears for “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to information from Cal.

He caught 17 passes for 289 yards and two TDs in six games at Riverside City College last fall.

In his Aug. 24 UH debut against Arizona, Stovall returned two kickoffs for 65 yards and two punts for 8.

This past Saturday against Oregon State, Stovall got into the game as a receiver, catching three passes for 42 yards. He also returned a kickoff 65 yards, totaling 93 yards on two kick returns and 10 yards on three punts.

Hawaii wide receiver Melquise Stovall hauled in a pass ahead of Oregon State defensive back Omar Hicks-Onu in the second half last Saturday. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

Stovall used the bye week between the Arizona and Oregon State games to his advantage, receivers coach Andre Allen said.

“He’s been doing things the right way, making good reads. He showed us he can do it. He’s always had the talent to be a big-time guy in this (run-and-shoot) offense,” Allen said. “He’s going in the right direction. … It was just understanding the offense because other guys are counting on you to do the right thing consistently. In the two weeks in practice he really showed he could do it and gained our confidence.”

Said Stovall: “I showed the coaches that I’d learned certain option routes, showed that I know the offense.”

The long kickoff return Saturday came after the Beavers’ first score, in the first quarter, and put UH in position to tie it at 7 just two Cole McDonald passes to JoJo Ward later.

“It felt good to get the momentum back,” Stovall said. “Everybody did their job and I just had to run.”


  1. Matt September 11, 2019 4:37 pm

    I’m glad Stovall decided to start a clean slate coming over here after what that Pac-12 school did to him by suspending him. But watching him in his appearance against Oregon State, it looked like he could be a trusting factor for the team, especially when he can be needed for a clutch play. He’s quite a multi-talented player, whether he’s in the special teams or receiving. He’s quite a journeyman and a good pickup from Rolo and company. I’m sure we could be seeing more of Stovall’s utilization come to fruition as the 2019 season continues.

  2. H-Man September 11, 2019 7:37 pm

    Stovall is an exciting kick/punt returner. Man, he got us jumping out of our seats cheering. Receiving? I hope he gets his chances against the Huskies.

  3. Blu808 September 11, 2019 9:51 pm

    He should get the start at the slot opposite of Byrd already. I like Sharsh but Stovall is a dynamic player with more speed.

  4. iceebear September 12, 2019 4:55 am

    The way he burst past the main group of OSU defenders on the kick return was stunning. like being shot out of a cannon. OSU looked like they were standing still in awe the way he blew through there and could not even get a hand on him. When you talk football speed and acceleration, he has it in spades. If he stays healthy and doesn’t become a head case, he could be the greatest of all time at UH and and a future NFL talent.

  5. iceebear September 12, 2019 4:59 am

    He may even have some Johnny Rogers in him.

  6. iGrokSpock September 12, 2019 8:17 am

    With the run and shoot clicking, any of the receivers could have the next really big game. Stovall will get his chances.

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