This week, several Warriors were told they would not be on the 105-player roster for training camp. Several also were told they would not be invited to rejoin the football team Aug. 22, the first day of the fall semester, when rosters are allowed to expand.
But UH has decided not to announce the cuts because they are written in chalk. Head coach Greg McMackin said some spots might open — academic deficiencies, personal issues — and that cut players might be recalled. UH also cites three cases:
• Chris Williams: Several years ago, he was told he was cut. But Williams refused to listen. He kept working out. A spot opened, and he made the team, working primarily on special teams. Williams earned his degree, and now is the Warriors’ video coordinator.
• Justin Clapp: He was told he would not be on the 2010 summer roster, but would be allowed to join the team on the first day of the fall semester. But every day, he worked out and studied videos. Again, a spot opened. Clapp was summoned — as a special-teams player. This spring, he emerged as a No. 2 slotback.
• Tall, skinny guy: A walk-on receiver from a high school that didn’t win a game his senior year? Uh, sure. He was on the cut list. But then he kept getting better. And faster. An NFL scout timed him at 4.3 seconds over 40 yards just after his sophomore year. He had a breakout junior year, after which he declared for the NFL draft. He became UH’s highest-selected draft pick, at No. 19. Ashley Lelie is back at UH as a student assistant coach, and set to earn his bachelor’s degree in August.
* * * * *
Instead of lunch, John Hardy-Tuliau and Tank Hopkins spent their break between classes studying videos. No wonder they are listed as the Warriors’ No. 1 cornerbacks.
* * * * *
Light summer reading? Not UH’s defensive playbook.
Of course, when McMackin was defensive coordinator, he embraced the technology. He kept his playbook on a flash drive. Maybe that should have been the motto: Warriors save TDs and trees.