After a 1-11 finish in Norm Chow's second year at Hawaii, the Warriors are looking to climb out of the Mountain West cellar and possibly back into a bowl game this fall. Fall Camp kicked off last week for UH, and it's been full speed ahead toward the 2014 season. Here's what went down during week one of Fall Camp:
1. Wide Receivers got really, really thin in the course of one week.
Coach Luke Matthews wideout corp looked decent from an outward glance to begin with, with three of the top six wide receivers from 2013 returning this season. The first hit came right before camp kicked off with Keith Kirkwood being granted a release from his scholarship and transferring to Temple, closer to his home in New Jersey. He was expected to be a top target this fall and the favorite to start at Z-receiver as well. No more than a couple days later, Junior Vasquez Haynes underwent shoulder surgery that would put him out for the rest of the season. Haynes was the #5 receiver for Hawaii in 2013 and was expected to start at X-receiver this year.
Can it get worse? Yes. Yes it can.
Two-star recruit Devan Stubblefield from Honolulu torn his ACL and meniscus in the second day of practice, knocking him out for the season as well. So now UH is down to one of their top six from 2013: Scott Harding. There are still plenty of options at Wide Receiver and Tight End, including Utah transfer Quinton Pedroza, who has been working at Z this week and has been looking good and could give the Warriors the size and speed they need at WR. At X, Sophomore Marcus Kemp has been impressing in scrimmage-like sessions, and could be the go-to receiver for whoever the QB is.
If season started today: X Kemp, Z Pedroza and SB Harding #hawaiifb— Stephen Tsai (@StephenTsai) August 6, 2014
2. We still don't know who the starting QB is...and that's okay
As of now, Sophomore Ikaika Woolsey has taking the majority of the first team reps for the Warriors offense, and has been looking decent compared to his two appearances in 2013. He's definitely the most athletic of the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job this fall, showing off his mobility during the annual Warrior Bowl when he broke off a 60-yard QB keeper for a score. Behind him is transfers Taylor Graham (Ohio State) and Jeremy Higgins (Utah State). Both have been working with the with both the first, and second team's this week. Graham was named the starter at the beginning of last year, but didn't have much success and was relegated to spot duty for the remainder of the season. Higgins saw some decent time in 2012, but made just one appearance last fall. Norm Chow should be announcing the starter Monday after practice, saying he wanted the weekend to review the tape of the Warriors in full pads. My vote is Woolsey, and I expect he'll get the nod against Washington to start the year.
Some other tidbits/links
- First team offense so far: X Marcus Kemp, SB Scott Harding, LT Ben Clarke, LG Dejon Allen, C Kody Afusia, RG Elijah Tupai, RT John Wa‘a, TE Jordan Pu‘u-Robinson, Z Quinton Pedroza, QB Ikaika Woolsey, RB Joey Iosefa.
- Max Wittek is joining Hawaii later this month when rosters expand
- Hawaii's *ahem* Ice Tub after their first two practices in pads