Let’s start things off with a bang with the most important position on the football field. The Warriors have six quarterbacks on the roster highlighted by returning starter Brayden Schager. He is back after putting on about 15lbs of muscle to help him handle the rigors of a full year. He continues to learn the Run N Shoot(RnS) concepts and has seen improvement in his deep ball placement earning the name “Schager bombs”. Competing for the backup spot is a tightly contended race between Joey Yellen and Jake Farrell. Both of these QBs have been here for at least a year and are familiar with personnel and have had the summer to work on RnS concepts with the skill position players. Our guess is the nod goes to Farrell if Schager goes down but having two experienced QBs waiting in the wings is not a bad situation. Rounding out the QB group is Jonah Chong, a transfer from Nevada who figures to run the scout team with true freshman John-Keawe Sagapolutele. Dalen Morris is an interesting QB who is experienced and has a lot of potential in the ground game coming from Navy. There is rumored to be a special package for him to use his running ability in short yardage and goalline situations.
Jonah Chong, Jr
Jake Farrell, Jr
Dalen Morris, Grad
John-Keawe Sagapolutele, Fr
Brayden Schager, Jr
Joey Yellen, Sr
The running back group is young but is an electric group with all types of skills and sizes. Entering camp Tylan Hines and Nasjzae Bryant were penciled in as starters depending on the situation. Hines playing the primary back and Bryant coming in for short yardage situations and passing downs where more pass protection is needed. Bryant got nicked up in camp and was a spectator in the latest scrimmage. Derek Boyd II, a promising young back who redshirted last year was also lost for the season during camp with a lower body injury. Those injuries have opened the door for Jordan Johnson, Landon Sims and David Cordero to take more reps during camp. Cordero brings physicality to the run game and Johnson is a smooth runner that possesses explosive bursts through the holes. Sims has moved to the group from the tight end position and brings a bit of power with soft hands coming out of the backfield. A surprise addition to the backfield is Solo Vaipulu who has taken reps as the big back reminiscent of Reagan Mauia, Wes Keliikipi and Avion Weaver. He brings obvious help in the pass blocking scheme but he has also shown some quick feet when given the ball. Rounding out the group is local boy Brock Hedani out of Iolani who figures to play a prominent role on the scout team preparing the defense for future opponents.
Nasjzae Bryant, Sr
Derek Boyd II, RsFr
David Cordero, So
Brock Hedani, Jr
Tylan Hines, So
Jordan Johnson, So
Landon Sims, So
Tight Ends / Slots
In the traditional Run n Shoot offense there are an abundance of small quick slots who are able to run away from linebackers and safeties. However, in the red zone when the field compresses is where the Run n Shoot can sometimes struggle with a lack of spacing and big targets. HawaiI’s Head Coach Timmy Chang time in Nevada showed him how valuable the right type of Tight End could be in a spread offense especially in the red zone. The inside receivers are a mix of the old school jitter bugs who are quick in small spaces and bigger traditional tight end types of targets. Koali Nishigaya and Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala have emerged as two of the more reliable guys who fit the mold of the smaller slot receivers of the past. Nishigaya, coming from Saint Louis Schools has a ton of experience in the Run n Shoot offense so it’s no surprise he’s finding a lot of success. The bigger slots have been led by Greyson Morgan who is emerging as one of the starters if they go with a big slot. Steven Fiso and Devon Tauaefa have also displayed a lot of potential to exploit matchups with smaller corners and ability to run past backers and safeties. Oakie Salavea, the transfer from Colorado has a ton of raw potential and is learning the ropes of the Run n Shoot and Travion Williams is a former basketball star that possesses tremendous athletic ability that coaches hope translate to the football field.
Carlito Capanang Jr, Sr
Nick Delgadillo, Fr
Steven Fiso, Sr
Kalanikau Kamakawiwo’ole, Sr
Kila Kamakawiwo’ole, Sr
Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala, Sr
Greyson Morgan, Jr
Koali Nishigaya, Jr
Chad Owens Jr, RsFr
Oakie Salavea, Fr
Devon Tauaefa, RsFr
Travion Williams, Jr
The X and Z positions is loaded with talent that reminds folks of big physical receivers in the mold of Ashley Lelie, Dwight Carter and Jason Rivers. This group of receivers is very young but they have the potential to be electric with the combination of size and speed that they possess. Our projected starters are Steven McBride and Chuuky Hines who have been the most consistent players throughout the camp. McBride brings a lot of experience coming in the transfer portal from Kansas while Hines is one of the young guns who spent most of last year adjusting to Division 1 football. Jonah Panoke is a returning starter who will definitely be in the mix but he has been bit by some nagging injuries during camp. Nick Cenacle and Jalen Walthall are two other players who received playing time as true freshmen last year who are right on the heels of the starters. Pofele Ashlock and Alex Perry are also in their second year in the program and each of them brings an elite skill. Ashlock is one of the fastest players on the team and Perry at 6’5 has shown the ability to go up and win jump balls in the fall session.
Pofele Ashlock, RsFr
Nick Cenacle, So
Chuuky Hines, So
Steven McBride, Sr
Jonah Panoke, Sr
Alex Perry, RsFr
Karsyn Pupunu, Jr
Jalen Walthall, So
Maclane Watkins, Fr
Interior Offensive Line
The interior of the Warriors offensive line has the most returning experience led by team captain and center, Eliki Tanuvasa. Solo Vaipulu has logged many games at guard in his career but redshirted last year as he recovered from physical ailments.You may see Solo all over the field as he’s taken reps at the H-back position along with his usual spot at guard. Seeing Vaipulu in the backfield for an extra push on short yardage or goal line situations should be interesting to say the least. Sergio Muasau, Maurice Taala, Kauka Umimaka and Zhen Sotelo are guys who saw playing time last year when lineman were rotated or guys went down with injuries. That valuable experience they gained makes the interior line one of the deepest position groups on the team. Arasi Mose is back for his senior year and he brings experience as a player who has been in the program from his freshman year. Ethan Spencer who was a coveted center coming out of Kalaepohaku will challenge for the backup role behind Eliki Tanuvasa. A couple of walk-on freshmen in Ali Jarvis, Pat Mamaia and Naasir Tatum-Asiata will serve time on the scout team as they gain experience transitioning to college football.
Ali Jarvis, Fr
Pat Mamaia, Fr
Arasi Mose, Sr
Sergio Muasau, Jr
Zhen Sotelo, So
Ethan Spencer, RsFr
Maurice Taala, Jr
Eliki Tanuvasa, Sr
Naasir Tatum-Asiata, Fr
Kauka Umiamaka, Sr
Solo Vaipulu, Sr
The two tackle positions are the most important to keeping Brayden Schager healthy and giving him enough time to throw this offense into overdrive. Josh Atkins, Ka’ena Decambra, Luke Felix-Fualalo and Micah Mariteragi were in a battle for the two positions. Mariteragi had some lingering injuries during camp which limited his availability and it looks like Atkins and Decambra will be given the majority of reps with the first team. Felix-Fualalo will no doubt get a lot of reps in games to keep him ready. Fred Pelling has also dealt with some injuries but it looks like he’s still learning the game of football and needs some time to adjust. James Milovale is an imposing human being at 6’6 300lb but he also plans to redshirt if everyone stays healthy. Kaleb Jackson-Carter is the long freshman in the group but he may have the biggest upside and reminds some folks of Ilm Manning. He possesses great athleticism but like most freshmen will spend time with Strength and Conditioning Coach Kody Cooke in the Iron church to add some muscle to his frame.
Josh Atkins, So
Ka’ena Decambra, So
Luke Felix-Fualalo, Sr
Kaleb Jackson-Carter, Fr
Micah Mariteragi, Jr
James Milovale, Jr
Fred Pelling, So
Saturday Aug 5th at Saint Louis School
QB1 Brayden Schager looking to bring this Run N Shoot offense together before the season starts.
Former UH assistant coach Dan Morrison watches the QB group as they do their individual drills. Morrison has been helping all the UH quarterbacks with their technique and bringing his knowledge of the Run N Shoot offense to them.
Head Coach Timmy Chang on the field watching his team during drills.
Defensive backs #0 Cam Stone , #7 Meki Pei and , #9 CJ Williams look to have a breakout season for the Rainbow Warriors in 2023.
Defense(Green) was much more ahead of the Offense(White) on day one with several coverage sacks(non contact), pass breakups and an interception during scrimmages.
During drills the Offense looked good. Receivers were catching the ball and the quarterbacks timed their throws well. When it came to 7 on 7’s or full scrimmage there were many dropped balls and the offensive line couldn‘t give enough time for Schager to throw the long ball.
The offense will keep getting reps in practice and should get better. At least the receivers ran their routes fairly well. When RB Tylan Hines got his carries during scrimmage after the whistles blew he still finished the play and ran 30 yards to the end zone every time.
Senior captain LB Logan Taylor leads a prayer to conclude practice.
Las Vegas - As Day one comes to a close for the 2023 Mountain West Media Days at the Circa Resort and Casino, Hawai’i was picked to finish 10th by the media.
Boise State was the decided favorite with 28 first place votes with Air Force second which would make them meet in the Mountain West Championship Game. Fresno State was picked third but had the second most first place votes with five. San Diego State picked fourth also had a first place vote as well as UNLV which is surprising since they were predicted to finish ninth just above Hawai’i.
Also for the Preseason Mountain West All Conference selections the lone Warrior on the list was cornerback Cam Stone.
Improvement on the field and in the win column is all you can ask for as Head Coach Timmy Chang is building the winning culture back to Hawai’i. It was only four years ago that the Warriors were the Mountain West West Division Champs and playing in the Championship game.
This year’s schedule on paper seems to be easier than 2024 or 2025’s schedule so if UH wants to get seven wins and a bowl berth this is their chance.
Warrior All Access predicts a five win 2024 season but hopes if the team comes together before conference play they can get to seven wins.
Week 0: At Vanderbilt
We aren’t sure how far along the offense will be come August 26th but if it starts clicking right away it could be a shootout.
Prediction: Vandy 31 UH 21 (0-1,0-0)
Week 1: Stanford
The season opener will hopefully be a sellout at Ching Complex now upgraded to 15,300 capacity. For a bottom Power 5 team with a new head coach it’s hard to predict how they will come out in their first game but with UH already playing one it could benefit them.
Prediction: Stanford 28 UH 24 (0-2,0-0)
Week 2: Albany
Traveling 4,951 miles to play any football game is tough especially for an FCS team. We could see an abundance of points on the scoreboard in this one.
Prediction: UH 56 UAlbany 14 (1-2,0-0)
Week 3: At Oregon
In an intimidating environment at Autzen Stadium will create some trouble for the Warriors as well as a Top 25 team they’ll be facing. This one we hope to keep it close and come out fairly healthy.
Prediction: Oregon 52 UH 17 (1-3,0-0)
Week 4: New Mexico State
Gone are the days of thinking well it’s NMSU. Head Coach Jerry Kill is doing a great job in turning around the program. After an embarrassing loss in Las Cruces last year, playing the Aggies at home might have a different outcome.
Prediction: UH 45 NMSU 35 (2-3,0-0)
Week 5: At UNLV
Playing for the Pineapple Trophy(Ninth Island Showdown) has benefited the home team as of late. Unfortunately this year the game is at Vegas. The hope is for Lady Luck to change the narrative and have Hawai’i win at Allegiant Stadium and UH fans win in the casinos.
Prediction: UNLV 35 UH 31 (2-4,0-1)
No competition. Easy win.
Week 7: San Diego State
The Aztecs are on a three game winning streak over Hawai’i but the last two contest seemed winnable. This year SDSU offense should improve but so does UH’s defense so that might make another close game.
Prediction: SDSU 27 UH 24 OT (2-5,0-2)
Week 8: At New Mexico
Being that it’s a road game for UH will not make any prediction solid but since it’s New Mexico who has been struggling more than Hawai’i, the Warriors should come out on top.
Prediction: UH 38 New Mexico 28(3-5,1-2)
Week 9: San Jose State
Homecoming for UH? Homecoming for Chevan Cordeiro? Either way this will be the last time you will see him play college football in Hawai’i. With a depleted Offensive line for the Spartans look for Cordeiro to run for his life again.
Prediction: SJSU 42 UH 35 (3-6,1-3)
Week 10: At Nevada
It was fitting that Timmy Chang got his first MW win over his previous coaching stint in Honolulu last year. No doubt Nevada has loaded from the transfer portal since then but look for another convincing win on the road.
Prediction: UH 38 Nevada 21 (4-6,2-3)
Week 11: Air Force
Since there are no more Mountain/West divisions playing one of the two predicted top teams in the league will be tough even at home. The Falcons will continue to be strong on the ground but look for Air Force to use the Air in their name in this one.
Prediction: Air Force 42 UH 28(4-7,2-4)
Week 12: At Wyoming
There’s nothing like playing at 7,220 feet. There’s also nothing like back to back wins at Laramie after Hawai’i carved up the Cowboys in 2021. This will be another tough road game after what will be already a long season health wise.
Prediction: Wyoming 31 UH 21(4-8,2-5)
Week 13: Colorado State
Making a prediction in July for a game on Thanksgiving weekend seems ludicrous. It will mark the second time HC Chang faces his former boss CSU HC Jay Norvell. While it was a low scoring loss last season for the Warriors on the road, look for a high scoring win to end the season on a high note.
Prediction: UH 42 CSU 31 (5-8,3-5)
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