Defense mechanism

Newly hired defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa arrives in town tomorrow afternoon, but he already has been on the clock for about a week. He has spent hours evaluating videos of dozens of football prospects.

“We’re building this class,” said Lempa, who would like to add to the defensive secondary and defensive line.

The Warriors were mostly in a 3-4 base the past two seasons. Lempa, who was Boston College’s defensive secondary coach the past three seasons, is seeking to implement a versatile defense that employs four, three and, even, two down linemen. The secondary will have sub-packages featuring a nickelback and dimeback. UH did not use dime packages the past season.

FBS teams are in a so-called “dead period” for recruiting in which they’re prohibited from in-person encounters with recruits. Recruiting re-opens on Jan. 14.


  1. Mano1 January 5, 2016 9:28 am


  2. PeteJek January 5, 2016 9:31 am


  3. PeteJek January 5, 2016 9:32 am

    Are there enough prospects out there for the defense he wants?

  4. letsgowarriors January 5, 2016 9:43 am

    DEs, corners and OL.

  5. cheepono January 5, 2016 9:45 am

    once dead period ends, there’ll only be 3 weekends to host official visitors before loi day. hoping all the local kids trip the last weekend together ala the june jones method. even the ones committed elsewhere.

  6. Derek January 5, 2016 9:56 am

    Among the many needs, UH needs an effective pass rusher or two. We haven’t had a top top flight DE since Travis LaBoy.

  7. Bigwave96744 January 5, 2016 10:09 am

    #5, Mel Purcell, Ikaika Alama-Francis, David Veikune, Luke Shawley, perhaps?

  8. Luki January 5, 2016 10:28 am

    #6…those guys were good, LaBoy took it up a notch…the threat of him being in the backfield on every play was inevitable

  9. H-Man January 5, 2016 12:00 pm

    “Building this class.,,,” We will see come Feb 3rd just how this team can put together a good recruiting class. I remain a bit skeptical because they have had a combination of a slow start and were working without an overall comprehensive plan.

  10. Stephen Tsai January 5, 2016 12:25 pm

    I think D-ends are a priority.
    But Lempa said some of the OLBs are options there, too.

  11. letsgowarriors January 5, 2016 12:29 pm

    will they look to Ohio and the east coast for recruits w Lempa and Duggan on board?

  12. Tempmanoa January 5, 2016 1:30 pm

    Laboy was a good one. One of JJ’s spot on calls– Laboy was a tight end and some gave some thought to using him that way– but JJ said he would be a terrific rush end with an NFL career ahead of him (not many saw the NFL career part of it)– one of many calls like that he would make (just saw a story on his call in 2008 that Orlando Scandrick a 5th round pick was the best player drafted by Dallas in the 2008 draft- turned out to be true).

  13. Da Punchbowl Kid January 5, 2016 2:01 pm

    JJ was right about a lot of stuff. His DNA will serve Rolo well.

    These new coaches are really getting after the recruiting. Love it. Lots of energy on this staff.

    Spring practice will be interesting.


  14. Derek January 5, 2016 2:15 pm

    I remember JJ saying that Gabe Tuata reminded him of Barry Sanders. Well, Tuata never played for UH and he’s sure no Barry Sanders. Everybody makes mistakes. Lots of NFL scouts, GMs, and coaches makes bad draft picks, like the 49ers. Balke needs to go. He could have had Tyler Lockett. He picked a punter in the 5th round!!!! He picked an Illinois WR in the 1st round who turned out to be a bust.

  15. Da Punchbowl Kid January 5, 2016 2:37 pm

    I hope UH defends itself in this matter.

    If you don’t stand up for yourself, nobody else will. The NCAA likes to bully the “have-nots”, and I hope a vigorus defense will be mounted.

  16. Sangamon Keith January 5, 2016 2:51 pm

    #3 You are exactly correct although I would refine the priority to CBs, Pass Rush DEs, and blind-side OT (usually LT). Those should be the priority every year for every school according to JJ. Due to depth needs, priority for DTs is also a key focus.

  17. NorthShoreFan January 5, 2016 3:11 pm

    Guud Afternoon Tsaikos…bootiful day.

    One comment to UH….DEFEND THE ROCK!
    To NoCareAtAll….be fair..still waiting on what you going do to NC Tarheels…

  18. kapakahi January 5, 2016 3:17 pm

    Need LBs too.

  19. z January 5, 2016 3:21 pm

    A run stopping DE would be nice to have too.

  20. cheepono January 5, 2016 3:53 pm

    we just offered a 6’6″ offensive tackle out of arizona and still in the hunt for the ex-iowa state o-tackle commit. offensive tackles have always been our achilles heel. stoked to see rolo go after legit long armed, tall tackles instead of just converting our best interior linemen. losing blake was in my opinion one of our absolute biggest losses ever.

  21. Tempmanoa January 5, 2016 4:33 pm

    Blake Muir was an extraordinary lineman and showed it as a freshman for us– Tomey called him one of the best offensive linemen he has seen here. He was a starter for Baylor at 6=5 and 315 lbs. Ben Dew another guy from down under was another tall 300 pound plus OL we could have used– he started for Houston. We could have been bowl eligible at least once by now with guys like that. Find guys like this again and patch the down under pipeline we lost with Chow.

  22. haka January 5, 2016 4:49 pm

    Per ST, Larry Tuileta gonna be a Warrior after all.

  23. HawaiiMongoose January 5, 2016 5:04 pm

    So ST, is Larry planning to play both football and volleyball? I assume so since he contacted both Coach Rolo and Coach Wade. In that case who pays for his scholarship? Wouldn’t it have to be volleyball since that is the less prominent sport according to the NCAA?

  24. haka January 5, 2016 5:11 pm

    I believe it is opposite. Football, being the prominent sport will put him on scholarship.

  25. HawaiiMongoose January 5, 2016 5:11 pm

    According to this, Tuileta gave up football at USC to focus on volleyball.

    Has he now reversed that decision?

  26. Bryson January 5, 2016 5:42 pm

    Larry to Hawaii no thanks for football at least especially with the way he carried himself during the PIAA signing event on LOI morning…

  27. 3-Prong January 5, 2016 5:45 pm

    Wow now I rememba why dey call dis da Big Island!

    Tuileta would be a great addition to the vball team.

  28. al January 5, 2016 5:53 pm

    24. A 17-18 year old should have at least a few mulligans.

    If did not play football at USC shouldn’t he be eligible?

  29. oldtimer808 January 5, 2016 6:08 pm

    #24 yes don’t be so harsh on this young man. How were you at his age? Any of our Hawaii boys that want to come back home, by all means should be welcomed with open arms. We all have made decisions in our youth that at the time seemed right but later not so. We move forward and learn from our experiences so allow this young man to learn from his.

  30. H-Man January 5, 2016 6:12 pm

    Welcome home Larry Tuileta.

  31. Bryson January 5, 2016 6:13 pm

    26 & 27 I respect a student athletes decision to attend other schools and if it doesn’t work out coming home,what I don’t respect or appreciate is when they choose to do it in a disrespectful manner both towards the University and the State…much like the Fehoko kid the other year on signing day doing the hat dance…

  32. islandman January 5, 2016 6:13 pm

    Larry has to redshirt in both volleyball and football ? He didn’t play football in 2015 and was on the football roster in 2014 but didn’t play any minutes. He played volleyball only in 2015. Can the 2014 football season be not counted towards his playing 4 years in football ?

  33. H-Man January 5, 2016 6:15 pm

    And if he’s going to play football, then he will have Fred Ulu-Perry blocking for him in 2017. That’s awesome.

  34. SteveM January 5, 2016 6:20 pm

    Anyone planning to attend the UH football game in Sydney, Australia or at Michigan? If so, please email me your logistical info for the get-together and party planning table at:

    If on a Panda tour, please specify which one.

  35. islandman January 5, 2016 6:36 pm

    Oh, VB players don’t have to sit out a year, when they transfer.

  36. AllG January 5, 2016 7:59 pm

    Keep the local boys coming home! I think Rolo will be able to keep a lot of our local talent in Hawaii. He knows the culture and can connect with them as he too played for UH not too long ago. Hopefully is true that K. Noa also wants to come back and hopeful Cal does the right thing and grants him his release.

  37. David J. January 5, 2016 7:59 pm

    GO WARRIORS! Hawaii needs some fast 345 lb. Linebacker and lineman. But they must be fast just like Alabama and SEC teams. But look at this one!. The TE for Baylor he is 6’6 and 410 lb. and fast. I like what the quarterback from Tennessee had said on their website. “Man those guys over 300 lb. in the NFL runs like a running back! . That what UH needs to really hit. I really hope that? When Hawaii wins a game not by three or seven!. I would to see them win by the old UH ways by 20 or more! . Because you have to remember this Hawaii fan? The new coach for UNLV had given you people a chance by winning small in Las Vegas!. He could made it 60 points or more against you warriors!. Because, I remember? When he was a head coach at Bishop Gorman. They’re beaten Basic High school 93- 6!. It could happen to you Warriors!

  38. cappie the dog January 5, 2016 8:01 pm

    How many tickets are alotted for Hawaii fans?

  39. warriorfan January 5, 2016 8:06 pm

    Spring semester doesn’t start till the 11th, but the season for the Mens volleyball team starts Thursday, is Tui Tuileta going to join the team for this season?

  40. oldtimer808 January 5, 2016 8:45 pm

    #35 You lost me again with your jumbled up grammar and out from left field comments.

  41. cappie the dog January 5, 2016 9:18 pm

    I remember when Jim Sweeney’s Bulldogs put up 94 against New Mexico.

    Hawaii probably could have up 90+ points in that 2001 finale against Brigham Young. June Jones and then-QB Nick Rolovich’s finest moment.

    Men’s Basketball RPI: #80

    We’re the avocado, sprouts, and tomato in a Northwestern and San Diego State sandwich.

    BPI: #65

    It’s the analytic that ESPN uses to measure the true value of each team.

    College Mid-Major Poll: #19

    Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology: #4 Louisville vs. #13 Hawaii

    That’s just too funny.

    C’mon, AD Matlin. Challenge ’em.

    If Issac Fotu was in the starting five(with apologies to Mike Thomas, I like you, Mike), Hawaii would be in the AP and Coaches’ Top Ten polls, respectively.

  42. cappie the dog January 5, 2016 9:24 pm


    6’6 and 410 lbs. are good metrics for a sumo wrestler.

  43. leron January 5, 2016 9:47 pm

    There was more to the story on Tuileta’s last minute flip, as there was some sort of dispute with Chow and Tui’s Dad which set the whole chain of events in motion. Up until that point, I believe Tui has his heart set on staying home.

  44. kev-1 January 5, 2016 9:50 pm

    Just my opinion here, nothing personal against the student athlete, but I don’t think Tuileta is better than the QBs we currently have on roster. I would welcome him to the team and into the competition, but I just never saw his passing as D1 level. His throwing reminds me of Higgins.

    However, the kid is a phenomenal athlete. I’m sure that is always welcomed.

  45. 808 January 5, 2016 10:01 pm

    #35, “Hawaii needs some fast 345 lbs Linebacker and lineman”

    I can see a lineman at 345 lbs.

    Lol, But a linebacker? Would he be able to cover a RB out of the backfield in the flats?

    Good point though. UH could use the services of taller, bigger, faster LB’s and linemen.

  46. MAKA January 5, 2016 10:03 pm

    We all have to remember, all who want to come “home” had talks with coach Chow. Is it possible that they saw something in their talks with Chow that made them not want to stay home?

    Maybe they saw the handwriting on the wall 4 years before anyone else?

    The truth is, anyone that had offers from other schools made the right decision, for the most part, by going to mainland schools. Was a very wise decision.

    So now maybe the culture changes, and want to come home.

    I say “WELCOME HOME” any and all, who want to return to their family. I am sure your family is just stoked to have you home, so should we.

  47. cheepono January 5, 2016 10:05 pm

    all for local boys returning home to rep hawaii by playing for uh but tuileta was a walk on at usc. hardly breaking news worthy. ulu-perry, veikune, makani, rasmussen, etc all scholly players at their respective mainland schools that didn’t diss uh the way tuileta did. if he can afford usc tuition as a non-scholly athlete, def don’t need one from uh. rather give it to sj2, which if he commits would be the second qb of this class and he’d be competing for immediate playing time.

  48. kapakahi January 5, 2016 10:22 pm

    Always good to have the local boyz returning to play for the Home Team……BUT hoping that Rolo decides against offering a scholarship Tui in the 1st year back.

    Totally different situation from Fred Ulu-Perry Jr…….an absolute blue-chip local prospect coming out of HS (with multiple scholie offers)……who experienced considerable game action this past true frosh season in a Big 5 conference……so deserved a scholie agreement……..whereas Tui only had UH’s scholie offer……..and hasn’t experienced live football game action for 2 straight years…… his current talent & skill level is unknown & unproven.

    Also might create an expectation for returning local players that they will all be granted scholies their 1st year back……so might take initial scholie offer out of HS for granted……..since not risking much by signing with a mainland program if UH will be waiting to grant them a scholie if & when they choose to return to UH.

    Hopefully Rolo makes his decision to offer scholie offers to returning local players should be handled on a individual case-by-case basis. Whereas offering Ulu-Perry Jr. a scholie agreement was a no-brainer, Kanawai Noa would be a better candidate for a scholie offer…….since he too has already demonstrated his worth/value at a Big-5 program…….than Tui.

  49. kapakahi January 5, 2016 10:26 pm


    Rasmussen was an invited walk-on his two (2) years [2013 and 2014 seasons] after returning back from Colorado…..and gained his scholarship in his 3rd year back (this past 2015 season).

  50. el burro sabio January 5, 2016 10:38 pm

    If Larry was a walk-on would he not be able to play football immediately like Charles Clay transferring from SMU?

  51. clyde January 5, 2016 10:45 pm

    Tuileta was the best Hawaii high school athlete in the class of 2014, and now he’s not newsworthy or scholarship-worthy? I can see your points if this is strictly about football, but Tui was the national player of the year in volleyball, and that’s where his impact at UH will likely be.
    Who knows what Rolo and/or Wade have in mind, but when a talented local kid wants to return home to play for UH, he should be welcomed not scrutinized. One thing for sure, the kid is a proven leader and winner, and that has to count for something.

  52. kapakahi January 5, 2016 11:17 pm


    Not saying that he’s not scholarship-worthy……but JMHO not his 1st year in football. Even Wittek was a walk-on his 1st year.

    Definitely scholarship-worthy in MVB.

    Can only play both sports if a walk-on in both sports or on football scholarship. Cannot play football if on MVB scholarship.

  53. Hilorain January 5, 2016 11:18 pm

    As Rolo has said “the culture must change” for our best local talent to stay home.

    We, as fans, friends, family, must ask prospective recruits “you going play football at UH?” vs. “where you going play football.”

    It may seem like the same thingg, but the recruits need to hear UH every time the question of recruiting comes up. A prospect should feel like they are disappointing us if they go away. In no way am I suggesting we ostracize them if they leave but we should not celebrate when they leave, even if it’s to a Power 5 school.

    Celebrate them when the commit. Celebrate them if they come home. Let’s change the culture.

    Live Aloha, Play Warrior!!

  54. ai-eee-soos January 5, 2016 11:18 pm


    GO WARRORS !!!


  55. kapakahi January 5, 2016 11:30 pm


    The Aussie pipeline (what brought OL Adrian Thomas & Blake Muir) to UH was mutually broken off under Chow…….and re-directed to Georgia Tech & Baylor……but hopefully gets re-built with the assistance of former UH OL Paul Manera.

  56. Da Punchbowl Kid January 6, 2016 12:29 am

    What’s wrong with one of the state’s best athletes coming home? Keep the door open to any and all who wish to return. UH has been blessed by many turn arounds and second chances.

    Welcome back Tui!

  57. mileHIwarrior January 6, 2016 5:39 am

    Yeah…I no mind if players come back if things no work out. I’m sure whatever or however Tui handled things a couple years ago will be remembered. He’ll have to earn his keep I would think. Get ready to work Larry!

  58. Old School Dave January 6, 2016 6:19 am

    Interesting spring ball, coming up. Positions are up for grabs. Lots of players will be fighting for jobs in order to impress the coaching staff. I hope there will be a number of players working out on their own before official off-season workouts begin on Jan 25.. QBs, WRs, DL, & LBs will be of particular interest.

  59. Old School Dave January 6, 2016 6:21 am

    Pac NW and Canada recruiting needs to be opened up, again. There are many good players up there (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver BC, areas).

  60. Stephen Tsai January 6, 2016 7:24 am

    New post:

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