At the end of yesterday’s shambattle game, defensive end Alema Tachibana grabbed a volleyball and soared for a dunk.
The scene proved two things:
• Tachibana, a freshman from Kahuku High, is very athletic.
• He also is very thin.
“I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, proteins,” Tachibana said. “It’s not working.”
Tachibana, who is 6 feet 2, said he weighs 200 pounds — his playing weight as a Kahuku senior.
“I want to get up to 220,” said Tachibana, who will compete at defensive end although he might be a better fit physically as an outside linebacker.
But the coaches note that Melila Purcell III and Ikaika Alama-Francis both weighed about 205 when they first joined the UH football team. Both filled out, and both are now in the NFL.
“There’s hope,” Tachibana said.
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Tachibana’s Kahuku teammate, Paipai Falemalu, has made a significant recovery from surgery on his right shoulder.
Falemalu is able to compete in agility drills and light weight lifting.
But he will be restricted during spring practice, which opens March 30.
“I’ll just run and learn my plays,” Falemalu said.
He said he initially suffered the injury in high school.
“I thought it was a little sore, but I kept playing,” said Falemalu, who will be a second-year freshman in the fall. “When I got here, they told me I tore something.”
He was diagnosed with a torn labrum.
Falemalu, who weighed 215 at Kahuku, is now up to 242. He said he hopes to tone up, but not necessarily drop a lot of weight, this summer.
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Running back Leon Wright-Jackson has always been one of the hardest-working players. When he’s not participating in footwork drills, he’s exercising. Here he is doing push-ups during what was supposed to be a rest period: