Maui News feature on Jayson Rego

MN = Maui News

Asked if he ever expected to be UH’s leading rusher, Rego said:
”Not really, no – I don’t think I would have believed anybody who told me I would be this team’s leading rusher, but, I mean, I always had faith in myself. I have been waiting my turn. It took a lot of perseverance. It is hard to explain, but it took a lot of hard work to keep pushing and never really thinking negative. Somewhere someone else has to have it worse than me. It can’t really be that bad when I am playing D-I football – a lot of people would die to do that – so I really have no complaints.” (MN)

”No way, I would have never imagined that – it was like a dream of mine to come to UH and try to make a difference. When everything started falling into place I was sort of, like, happy.” (MN)

MN Note: “Rego’s numbers are far from eye-popping – 71 yards on 13 carries, just four more than starter Leon Wright-Jackson has in the same number of attempts – but he was the leading ground gainer in Hawaii’s only win this season, with 56 yards in a 36-17 decision over Weber State.”

About his good friend, Weber State WR Cody Nakamura (who had 3 TDs the week after they played UH), Rego said:
”We spoke after the game – Cody is one of my friends. I am glad to hear he is doing really well, too. He went to Iao Intermediate, just one of a lot of guys who did.” (MN)

About how he never doubted his choice of walking on to UH, even though he could have gotten much more playing time elsewhere, Rego said:
”UH, yeah, I feel it is the right place for me. At least it is finally. Everything is finally kind of falling into the right place. When the new coaches came in, they decided to give everybody a fair shot. The new coaching staff is more fair – they said from the beginning that they wanted the best guys to play. I’m getting a lot more looks than I would have under coach Jones.” (MN)

MN Note: “A lot of that exposure has come from Rego’s dedication in the weight room. He can bench press 405 pounds and in fall camp he benched 225 pounds 27 times, a number that would be pretty good for an offensive lineman at the NFL combine. He also squats ”400 something” pounds.”

About how he worked hard during the offseason to get his chance to play, Rego said:
”Oh yes, I definitely thought about that – contributing this season. I definitely took the offseason real serious, did a lot of extra things on top of the normal things I had to do. Workout days would be like a double day for me, gym twice a day to get an extra lift in, extra cardio, stuff like that. I also ate right to make sure that the food I was putting in my body was good.” (MN)

About how he gave up rice and fast foods as part of his dietary change, Rego said:
”I focused more on fruits, vegetables and lean protein. ‘I missed rice a lot when I first gave it up – for, like, those first two months I missed it a lot.” (MN)

About how he was impressed by Rego ever since he was hired in the spring, RB coach Alex Gerke said:
”He is an absolute tough nut and has done a great job at just being a cerebral player. I will tell you, he has put his time in. I always have high, high respect for young men that come to school, pay for their own school, and work hard in the classroom – that is what it is all about. When I got here in the spring, I told the other coaches I absolutely love the kid because he is an absolute tough nut. ‘He is on damn near every special teams unit. He has just really done his job of earning his keep, so to say.” (MN)

About going to Kamehameha Oahu even as the Kamehameha Maui campus was opening, Rego said:
”I think Kamehameha (Oahu) was the right place for me. I mean, we won a state title and I really enjoyed myself there. I did miss a lot of my friends on Maui. Ever since I was little I played with the Hewahewas, my cousin is Kaluka Maiava and guys like Trenson Himalaya and Bulla Tuzon. Those are all my really good buddies from intermediate.” (MN)

About how he’s been following how his friend Kaluka Maiava has been doing at USC, Rego said:
”I never doubted him. Kaluka has always been very athletic. I kind of knew he was going to do all the good things he is doing now.” (MN)

About how he still doesn’t have a scholarship and knows that puts pressure on his parents since he also has two siblings in college, Rego said:
”I think about a scholarship, but we don’t talk about it as players, that is more the coaches’ decision. My mom and dad come to every game, they are my biggest fans. A scholarship would mean everything to me – it would mean a lot to help them out financially.” (MN)

Asked if Rego is a candidate for a scholarship in the future, Gerke said:
”You just never know. I mean, he has done some nice things, you can’t deny that. The kid has done a huge, huge job. I absolutely love him.” (MN)

About how they are running the ball more this season, Rego said:
”For sure, that is definitely a positive, running the ball more now. I feel like I am in the best shape since I have been here. When coach Gerke came in he trained us real well and he got us into top shape.” (MN)

About the importance of the SJSU game, Rego said:
”Everybody just decided that we need to take it up a notch, play with a lot of emotion, play with a lot of heart, just step up our game. Basically give it all we’ve got every day, whether it is practice or games.” (MN)

About working hard to get his civil engineering degree next year despite the demands of football, Rego said:
”I have got a lot on my plate. I usually try to get in bed by 11 at night, but there are some nights when I don’t get in bed until 2 or 3 a.m. and wake up, like, two or three hours later. I just had one of those nights Monday when I had a midterm in engineering ecomomics.” (MN)


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