First, there is the tattoo. It is smack in the middle of linebacker Brenden Daley’s chest.
“The hands are roughed up to mean hard work,” Daley said of the design, which took nearly eight hours to administer. “That’s the world in your hands to make a beautiful life. That’s what it means. Each and every day.”
Then there is the size — 6 feet 5 in cleats, maybe 230 pounds without pads. Yet, Daley is quick and moves well laterally.
When Greg McMackin was hired as head coach in 2008, he sought the flexible, speedy defense he ran at Miami, the Seattle Seahawks and, in 1999, with the Warriors. That UH year, he relied on Jeff Ulbrich, a hybrid linebacker/rush end to create havoc from several points.
For McMackin’s first UH recruiting class, in 2008, he signed Jake Heun as the hybrid. But an injury kept Heun off the field that year. Paipai Falemalu was supposed to fill that role last year, but injuries and circumstances led to him becoming a full-time defensive end. Since then, Siaki Cravens, Art Laurel and T.J. Taimatuia were added to the mix as hybrids. Now there is Daley, a transfer from Ventura Community College.
During a recent 5-on-7 drill, Daley made a leaping interception, then ran and ran and ran …
Linebacker Aaron Brown raced up to Daley, and they both made a leaping body bump in celebration.
As an exhausted Daley walked toward the sideline, Brown ordered him back on the field. No rest for the weary. Daley did not object.
“I’m in Hawaii,” he would say later. “I love it out here. Know what’s better? The weather. I can train all day, all night.”
Before arriving in Hawaii for the first summer session, Daley trained on his own in California, focusing mostly on “explosive” weight-lifting techniques.
Daley said he chose UH because of McMackin and assistant coaches Brian Smith and Tony Tuioti.
“I felt they were standup people, standup guys,” Daley said. “I fell in love with this place from the start.”
Because he is enrolled in summer session, his UH football scholarship kicks in. California junior colleges do not offer football scholarships.
“I’m on a meal plan,” he said. “I love it. Coming from a (junior college) to this, it’s truly paradise.”
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Mo the Magician: Juggling Mo
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Happy birthday to Royce Pollard.