UH football opens fall camp, full recap
The start of Rainbow Warrior football fall camp got underway on Friday, and we're just under 30 days away from the season opener when UH will battle the Arizona Wildcats in Aloha Stadium. There is plenty of reason for optimism about this season and what could be here in 2019.
There are 20 starters returning which is tied for the most in the nation and there were zero coaching changes for the first time in more then a decade.
"I remember being a wide eyed freshman coming in. First college practice play and I was nervous. Coming back seeing all these young guys, playing with guys where it is there last fall camp, just enjoying the moment with them every step of the way. Realizing we're going to look back at this in our old age once we get there and just remember that fall camp," Junior quarterback Cole Mcdonald said.
"Every day just kept counting down, one day closer to fall camp and coming into today everybody was hyped," Penei Pavihi said, a junior linebacker.
"Just come in here and compete. Have that passion and the will to get better," senior defensive back Roe Farris said.
"The best thing I saw was Cedric Byrd taking Chance Beyer and coaching him up or Kalen Hicks taking Steven Fiso and really coaching him up. I think that's an ownership that you like to see in a program. Really in your community, people that think about others. Trying to get the team the best they can," Rainbow Warrior head coach Nick Rolovich said.
"We're always underrated that's just how I feel. Me personally and as a team we always talk about it in the locker room. We like being the underdogs you know. People don't expect that much of us and we just go out and ball out," Pavihi added.
Cole Mcdonald was asked who has better hair between him and Pavihi.
"Penei for sure that main is fricken ridiculous. You see him running around and that thing is flowing. It's majestic. He definitely has me beat on that."
Not only the best hair but Pavihi also could be the key piece to this Rainbow Warrior defense. Last year after taking over for the injured now Detroit Lion Jahlani Tavai, the 6'3 245 pound junior linebacker stepped up big time. Tied for 2nd on the team in tackles and stepping up when they needed him most.
"We really saw Penei see that opening and walk through it. Not only as a linebacker but as an inspirational leader on the field. When he makes plays, I don't think anyone can doubt the passion for playing. Very important to him, very important to a lot of guys," Rolovich said of Penei.
"After a big season last year my mentality coming in is just forget about what happened last season. I am trying to up my game more and for that I need to be more vocal," Penei said.
Rolovich not taking credit for how good this team looks coming into fall camp giving that to the new director of football athletic performance at the University of Hawaii.
"Credit needs to go to Dwain Bradshaw and his off season program. Unbelievable hire by Tommy. He has a really outgoing personality, the kids trust him, they know he cares. He's always consistent with his energy and it's always up here. I think he's a really good addition to our program," Rolovich said.
"New drills, a lot of conditioning, mobility drills, stuff that we have never done before in the past," Farris said.