Last year, Norm Chow and Hawaii didn't decide on a starting quarterback until early August, when he tapped Ikaika Woolsey to start the year under center for the Rainbow Warriors. That lasted all of a few games before Chow began cycling in Taylor Graham and Jeremy Higgins into the offense, before both were injured, bringing Woolsey back up to QB1.
This year, he's looking to avoid making a similar mistake.
It was announced earlier today that Hawaii had named Max Wittek as the No. 1 Quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors when camp opens this fall. Wittek took most of the reps at starter throughout spring practice, was voted co-captain by his teammates, and was named to Phil Steele's preseason All-Mountain West Conference's First Team.
Wittek was expected to compete with Cody Kessler for the starting QB job at USC his Senior year, but he decided he would transfer somewhere else for his final year. His original plan was to graduate early from USC and then transfer with two years of eligibility left, due to the NCAA's exemption of the one-year sit out rule for transfers who have already graduated from their previous school.
However, Wittek did not meet the degree requirements to graduate this spring, and would have to take classes the fall semester to graduate from USC. Now, he will have to sit out the 2014 season with one year of eligibility left in 2015. He was courted by Hawaii and Texas this spring to bring his talents to their programs, but the Longhorns cooled off their interest after Wittek's graduation issue came up later this spring. He joined UH as a walk-on last August.
Ikaika Woolsey, Beau Reilly, and Aaron Zwahlen are all expected to get extended reps this fall.
Woolsey started 12 of 13 games at quarterback last season, passing for 2,538 yards, completing 50% passes, and throwing 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Reilly originally signed with Colorado State coming out of high school in 2011, but then went on a two-year church mission. He asked for his release from CSU upon his return, and joined Hawaii in 2014.
Zwahlen, a former ESPN 300 and Elite 11 quarterback, returned from a two-year church mission of his own last month, and is already enrolled in summer classes at UH.
Hawaii opens the season Friday, September 4 at home against Colorado.