2013 Hawaii Defensive Preview

Harry How

In 2012 the Hawaii defense ranked 107th for points against. They conceded 428 total points in 12 games, giving up 20 TDs against the pass and a massive 34 against the run. There are 8 starters returning and continuity will be needed to build on what was learnt.

Time to take a look at the 2013 Hawaii Warriors defense, and look over the roster for some hope that this unit can improve.

Defensive Line

The biggest problem that faced the defensive line in 2012 was size. There were far too many under sized players that failed to get any separation. Siasau Matagiese was the stand out player at defensive tackle and the incoming help of freshman Kennedy Tulimasealii will add proven size, plus he can also play nose tackle. Having Tulimasealii in the rotation will only help lessen the work load on players such as Matagiese and Moses Samia.

At end it will be junior Beau Yap, who had 10.5 tackles last year, along with Tavita Woodard who will get most of the snaps. George Daily-Lyles came on impressively towards the end of the last campaign and will be an intriguing proposition going into this year. A player that could be an interesting watch is Meffy Koloamatangi who has been told he could play at end or even tight End.

Projection:

Defensive Tackle: Matagiese, Samia, Tulimasealii, Tulimaiau.

Defensive End: Yap, Woodard, Daily-Lyles, Koloamatangi, Tulimaiau.

Linebackers

Art Laurel (51 tackles in 2012) at weakside linebacker is the stand out player in the Linebacker core. He is a genuine threat coming off the edge and combined with Yap and Woodard at Defensive End, UH has three players that can get after the QB. If these 3 can cause enough problems and Tulimasealii can be disruptive on the interior then there's real hope for the whole Defense. Jerrol Garcia-Williams is the most likely starter on the strong side with the middle seeing a rotation of Brenden Dailey, Benetton Fonua and TJ Taimatuia. Kamalani Alo has been named a team captain and should see some extensive time. The linebacking core has the potential to be dangerous is 2013. If all things click there could be a few surprises from this team.

Projection:

OLB: Laurel, Garcia-Williams, Alo.

ILB: Dailey, Fonua, Taimatuia

Cornerbacks

At cornerback the group is led by Ne'Quan Phillips (a sophomore who had two interceptions last year) and senior Dee Maggit. Tony Grimes is next in line with Anthony Pierce, Barry Higdon and Brian Clay also capable of seeing the field. Pierce and Higdon are freshmen where Clay is coming back for his sophomore year. All told, the cornerbacks should be more than capable of holding their own in 2013 forcing turnovers and being aggressive.

Projection: Phillips, Maggit, Grimes, Pierce, Higdon,B Clay.

Safeties

Most probably the strongest part of defense. The safety position is stacked with three seniors John Hardy-Tuliau (42 tackles, 3 interceptions) Charles Clay and Marrell Jackson. This gives the option to play all three on the field at the same time or shift one out to cornerback. No matter how it works out, all 3 will find themselves on the field a lot. A reason why one of the three maybe pushed to the outside is because of the loss of cornerback Mike Edwards who decided to declare a year early for the NFL Draft. Players such as Ryan Pasoquen will add some extra depth.

In Hardy-Tuliau and Phillips (CB) they have 2 players with the talent to get in front of the receiver and create interceptions.

Projection: Hardy-Tuliau, C Clay, Jackson, Pasoquen.

Kicker: Tyler Hadden

Punter: Ruben Guzman

Short Snapper: Brodie Nakama

Long Snapper: Kawika Borden

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