Feature on Aaron Kia and Laupepa Letuli

About #1 tackles Kia and Letuli, UH OL coach Gordy Shaw said:
“They’ve taken the coaching and taken the responsibility of holding down those positions and what it means to have good strong players there.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “They shared time at left tackle last season and played side-by-side for a stretch when Letuli moved to guard. This spring, they’re holding down positions on either side of the line with Kia at left tackle and Letuli on the right side.”

About being a tackle on the OL, Kia said:
“You’re in a unit, but you’re alone. The whole offensive line, we have a lot of responsibility. But at tackle you’re definitely working more in space.” (HSB)

Letuli said that moving to the right side of the OL felt a bit awkward at first:
“but now I’m used to it and just getting that muscle memory.” (HSB)

About trying to help their tackles out, Shaw said:
“(The tackles) get put on an island sometimes, so they have to be able to have the confidence in their abilities. We’ve tried to help them out a little bit with some of our changes in schemes to give them some help so they can be more aggressive outside or the inside.” (HSB)

About how watching Letuli go through their offseason conditioning program made him comfortable with moving him to RT, Shaw said:
“He’s got good size, he’s got excellent athletic ability and he’s a strong individual.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Kia said he’s fine tuning his game on the left side while playing next to Ray Hisatake, who is settling in at left guard this spring.”

About playing next to Ray Hisatake (#1 LG), Kia said:
“It’s cool because Pepa is very talented. Ray’s good. We communicate, work with each other. Ray’s going to be a good one.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Now that Letuli has shifted over to the right side, Shaw doesn’t plan to make many more moves, preferring to keep players in one spot and let them develop.”

About the 5 OL coaches he has had at UH (including being recruited by Coach Cav), Kia said:
“It’s tough because it’s like you get to know them and the next thing you know they’re gone.” (HSB)

About how he made adjustments to their existing package instead of overhaul the blocking scheme, Shaw said:
“They had a system they already learned and we built on that system to add a couple of things so when we get certain looks we’re a little firmer inside and the quarterback has more area inside so he has room to maneuver.” (HSB)

About how the OL is “under a microscope” now because UH set an NCAA record for sacks, Kia said:
“We’re just trying to erase that and get that sour taste out of our mouth.” (HSB)

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