The summer’s quarterback competition has increased with the arrival of Kevin Spain, who begins a mid-term class tomorrow.
Spain, a recent graduate of Paradise Valley High in Arizona, joins Bryant Moniz, Shane Austin, Brent Rausch, David Graves and Cayman Shutter as participants in offseason training on the Manoa campus. Second-year freshman Corey Nielsen is training on the Mainland for another week.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Spain, who is about 6 feet 3 and now weighs 200.
Spain weighed 190 last season, and his goal was to reach 210 before his arrival. “I didn’t want to get chunky,” said Spain, who then mused, “I’ve got beach season, too.”
Spain attended Paradise Valley for only a year, a school whose football team operated a run-oriented offense. “We ran the old 1950s’ Wing-T offense,” he said.
But he threw well at his previous school and in camps, earning a recommendation from Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson, a close friend of UH head coach Greg McMackin.
Spain decided to focus only on football-related training during the spring semester, opting not to play other sports. He studied a power point of the Warriors’ four-wide offense.
He also is prepared for several scenarios, including redshirting this season. “I’ll hope for the best,” he said. “I would rather be more prepared than to come out here and get whupped on right away. I’ll do anything. I just want to play.”
He said he will not return to Arizona until after the season is over. “I want to make this my home,” he said.
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As part of the’ offseason conditioning program, the Warriors — led by conditioning coach Tommy Heffernan — train on the beach every Friday. You’d better set the alarm early to watch them. First drill is at 6:30 a.m.
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Several years ago, a player told us about a halftime speech that went something like this:
Coach: The other team thinks we’re going to switch to a man defense, but we’re going to counter that by staying in a zone.
Player: You mean our strategy is not to do anything?
Somehow that reminds me of the WAC’s plans. The exit door is open, so you have to figure more teams are willing to leave than to come.
So what are the options? It’s, what, a two-year process for a Division I-AA team to upgrade? And nobody is going to upgrade without a guarantee of league membership. Lure away a school from another conference? Not without lucrative incentives.
The deal is this: the WAC needs to expand, if not to be relevant, but at least to protect against future poaching.
So it’s time to aggressively recruit North Texas and something called Texas State.
Or the WAC could remain in a zone.