Linebacker Lance Williams is bigger, faster and stronger than he was three years ago. It is a testament to hard work, maturity and, perhaps, being a part of the grayshirt process.
Two decades ago, Al Beaver, who was a defensive line coach at the time, received a commitment from offensive lineman Kaulana Noa. The deal was Noa would delay his enrollment a year to allow himself to develop physically. Noa, in essence, became what is now regarded as a grayshirt. Noa started every game of his UH career, then played in the NFL.
Since then, the Warriors have used the delayed enrollment for players who need at least a semester to improve physical or academically. The risk is the players become free agents after the fall semester starts. That’s how UH recruit Tyler Gray ended up at Boise State, but also how UH was able to get former Fresno State recruit Tui Unga.
The Warriors stuck with Dejon Allen for a year, and now Allen has developed into one of the Warriors’ top offensive linemen. The Warriors’ best lineman, Ben Clarke, started his UH career as a grayshirt. When Norm Chow was named UH head coach in December 2011, he honored the grayshirt commitments he inherited, a list that included Clark, Williams (who was a co-captain last season) and quarterbacks Ikaika Woolsey and Justin Alo.
Here are some notable delayed enrollees in the program’s history:
> Long-snapper Luke Ingram
> Punter Mat McBriar
> Defensive tackle Mike Iosua (who initially was at military prep academy)
> Running back Joey Iosefa
> Defensive end Melila Purcell III
> Slotback Jason Ferguson
> Quarterback Inoke Funaki (who delayed his enrollment, then went on a church mission)
> Safety Leonard Peters
> Slotback Kealoa Pilares (who initially was at the Air Force Academy’s prep school)
> Offensive lineman Adrian Thomas
> Offensive lineman Clayton Laurel
> Linebacker Art Laurel
> Defensive back Richard Torres
> Safety Kenny Estes
> Linebacker Mana Lolotai
> Linebacker Blaze Soares
> Slotback/point guard Miah Ostrowski
> Defensive lineman Marcus Malepeai
> Offensive lineman Blake Muir
> Fullback/tight end Justin Vele
Wideout Rick Taylor spent his grayshirt semester as a volunteer at his alma mater, Nease High in Florida. He broke down films and, during free time, ran pass patterns for Nease’s quarterback … Tim Tebow.
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Well, today is Friday, and that’s usually when UH announces moves. Then again, UH could wait until next Friday, which leads into spring break, when the school basically shuts down
In my opinion — and I do understand nobody really cares what I think — UH shouldn’t hire an AD until Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya are interviewed. It doesn’t matter if it’s already a done deal. The committee members can doodle or play games on their cell phones during the interviews. At worst, they can steal ideas; at best, you know, maybe one of the two would make a terrific AD.
I understand that neither meets one of the desired requirements of three years college athletic administration experience (or something like that). But if that requirement applied two decades ago, there is a committee member who probably wouldn’t have been hired for the current position, either. The thing is, there are many ways to run the state’s most visible department. But you don’t know if you’re missing out unless you listen to all.