Q&A with John Estes

HA Note: “The University of Hawai’i football team today launches its campaign to promote senior center John Estes as an All-America candidate.”

HA Note: “UH is set to unveil a Web site that will report Estes’ progress this season. What’s more, Estes has agreed to post updates on his Tweeter account.”

About posting updates via Twitter, John Estes said:
“We’ll see how it goes. (School officials) asked me if I’d do it, and I said, ‘I’ll try.’ It’s going to be football-related. I have a Facebook (account), but I don’t do — what do they call it? — status updates.” (HA)

Asked about the pressure of being the face of UH football, Estes said:
“If we play well, it will be fine. But we have to win. If we don’t win, it’s not going to mean anything. The main thing is to win. But I don’t feel any pressure. Once I go on the field, the only thing I think about is winning. Everything else goes away. It’s not going to affect my performance.” (HA)

Asked about his summer training, Estes said:
“I’ve been working out every day. I lift every day. (UH conditioning coaches) Tommy Heffernan and Mel deLaura have helped me out. I work out twice a day. I’m doing drills. I’m eating well. I’ve gained weight. I’m around 300 pounds now. My freshman year I was 275. I was 293 last year, now I’m 300. It’s a good weight. I think I can get bigger in my upper body. I’m working on my upper-body strength this summer.” (HA)

About all of the OL coaches he’s had at UH, Estes said:
“If you count (Mike) Cavanaugh (who resigned shortly after signing day), it’s five. It’s six if you count (former center) Samson (Satele). I still take what I was taught when I got here. It’s set and punch. I take little things from each coach. Coach Gordy (Shaw) has helped me on run-blocking a lot this year, getting up to the next level, and hitting your landmarks. Zone-blocking and inside zone are helping me out a lot. We’ll see how it goes.” (HA)

About the NCAA cracking down on personal fouls, Estes said:
“My personal fouls are never retaliation. If somebody is going to hit me, I’m not going to hit them back. (The foul) usually means you’re hitting someone in the face during the play or hitting somebody right before the whistle. That’s how I get personal fouls. It’s never for retaliating or punching someone with a closed fist. It’s always for an open hand. You’re in the trenches. Every once in a while your hands are going hit someone. (The defensive linemen) do it to us. I had two late hits (last year). One wasn’t even a late hit. The guy just fell. The one against San Jose, the guy was standing near the pile, so I just hit him. The running back was still on his feet. Those were personal fouls. I’ve been hit a couple of times, after the whistle. I’m not going to hit back and get kicked out by an idiot. I can control myself.” (HA)

About his UH career, Estes said:
“When I came (in August 2005), I didn’t have too many expectations. Coming to Hawai’i, I knew there was a good offensive line — Samson (Satele), Derek (Fa’avi), Dane (Uperesa), Tala (Esera). I knew I wasn’t going to play right away. I wanted to learn the first year. When that spot opened up, I did good on one-on-ones. Coach June (Jones) saw that, and he put me in, even though I didn’t know the whole system. Every year I kept getting better. Hopefully this year I take the next step.” (HA)

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