The 400 plus players here at UH endured temperatures near 90 degrees this morning on the second day of the GPA Maximum Exposure Camp.
Lunch break lasted until 2 p.m., wisely so.
The last 30 minutes were all about special teams, particularly gunners and punt return blocking. No linemen. Guest speaker from Towson State now up.
Last night’s speakers included former UH player Keith Bhonapha, who is now a coach at Washington State. Spoke eloquently about the special culture in Hawaii, where family is valued so much.
Correction – linemen were involved with the special teams drills. From my vantage point, I didn’t see the big boys.
The linemen are on the main field while skills are on the practice fields. 7 on 7 about to begin.
Camp went past 4 p.m. or so. The 7-on-7 on the practice fields went on until around 4:30. Plenty of reps for quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs. I couldn’t shoot video of the 7s and the linemen (Ching Field) at the same time, so I stayed with the former.
No rosters, so I don’t know the names of some of the guys who stood out. No surprise: Tua Tagovailoa of Saint Louis was exceptional with every kind of pass. So disciplined, taking short targets as well as medium and deep ones. The only incompletion I saw from his throws was a drop. So not an underclassman.
He looked so smooth and precise last fall when I saw him throw at practice with four other QBs, including a certain Heisman Trophy candidate. Seeing Tagovailoa play these next two seasons will be a treat.
McKenzie Milton of Mililani made some nice throws as well, including a nice one on a deep post. Again, this is 7s so everything is relative. But timing and touch still translate and he had some nice moments.
Kalakaua Timoteo was among several players who sat out after seeing the trainer. He was outstanding at the Nike Opening in Oakland, Calif. recently. Sitting the afternoon 7s out is the smart move when injured.
Luca Vartic of Konawaena also sat after he said he tweaked a nagging hamstring injury. He is probably the tallest CB/S there so that was a bit of a disappointment. He didn’t run in Friday’s sprints either. The injury is the same one that kept him out of the state sprint finals in early May. Again, better safe.
Some of the pleasant surprises included a Kahuku WR wearing No. 8. I haven’t looked up the Kahuku roster yet, but this guy made two fantastic grabs deep and in traffic.
Also playing well was ‘Iolani standout Keoni-Kordell Makekau. I’ll get another look at everybody once I get home and load the video.
Had a feel eat time talking story with former Kamehameha standout Albert “Abu” Maafala, now a coach at West Liberty in West Virgina. Seems like just a few years ago when I had the pleasure of interviewing him for a feature story. I thought he might end up becoming a leader via politics or business, but he followed his heart and is a leader of young men on the gridiron. He seemed to be completely in his element coaching the defense.
I learned later that there will be more 7s on Sunday morning, but I don’t know if the linemen will have 1-on-1s. If they don’t, that would be a bummer.
I know Michael Eletise, Andru Tovi and Nate Herbig are among the many talented O-linemen at the camp. But I heard great things about an unheralded Punahou OL named Julius-Pedro Muasau. Former Nanakuli OL Dallas Garringer-Kaapuni raves about Muasau, noting that the senior-to-be has been outstanding in every combine and camp he’s seen. Garringer-Kaapuni also noted the strong play of Kapolei OL Toleafoa Sean Auwae.
More later, and by that I mean video and photos.