Quotes from training camp

About advice he got online, LT Aaron Kia said:
“Let my haters be my motivators. Somebody told me that on Facebook. I like that.” (HA)

About the scrutiny the OL (especially the tackles) is under after giving up an NCAA-record 59 sacks last season, Kia said:
“As an o-line unit, there’s always pressure. I try not to think about that. If you think about that, you lock out everything else. If you focus on one thing, you can’t get whole game in your mindset.” (HA)

About how he will play better this season, Kia said:
“People always judge me without knowing what I was going through.” (HA)

HA Note: “Last year, his first as a starter, Kia endured tendinitis in both knees. He was told the condition was a result of overuse of the patellar tendon. Kia said the pain started in his right knee, and when he over-compensated, it began to affect his left knee. And then back to his right knee.”

About the pain in his knees last season, Kia said:
“It went back and forth.” (HA)

HA Note: “Rehabilitation was complicated because Kia, who weighed about 275 pounds at the end of last season, wanted to gain weight. He focused on intensive leg-strengthening workouts combined with weight training to improve muscle mass. He said the pain has alleviated in his knees. He also now weighs 293 pounds.”

About the pain in his knees, Kia said:
“It still hurts. I feel like an old car trying to get rolling down the hill. Once I start rolling, I feel great. The beginning part of practice I have to knock the rust off and work the engine.” (HA)

About how his mother (who had a heart attack last week) is back in her Salt Lake City home and resting comfortably, Lewis Walker said:
“She’s doing a lot better.” (HA)

About how the team helped comfort him, Walker said:
“The coaches and my teammates were there for me. That’s how it is anytime anyone has a problem. It’s comforting.” (HA)

Walker said that the practices:
“kept myself busy.” (HA)

HA Note: “Walker, a second-year freshman, is competing as the No. 2 right cornerback behind Jeramy Bryant. Walker, running backs Inoke Funaki and Chizzy Dimude, and wideouts Royce Pollard and Jovonte Taylor are competing for jobs as kickoff returners.”

About the kickoff return position, Walker said:
“It’s wide open right now.” (HA)

HA Note: “Two junior-college transfers — Lametrius Davis of Butte and Tank Hopkins of Navarro — are competing for the left cornerback’s job. They have been alternating on the first team.”

About learning to play in zone coverages after playing strictly man-to-man at his JC, Lametrius Davis (who was at safety in the spring but is a CB now) said:
“Saturday was my first practice, and I made little mistakes here and there. Today was better. I feel more comfortable in my coverages. It was a big day, I feel.” (HA)

About what he learned from being David Veikune’s backup last year, Elliot Purcell said:
“A lot of stuff. Just his motor, just his hustle, he was always hustling to the ball. I’m trying to emphasize that this year, always running to the ball.” (HSB)

About how the playing time he got last year makes him more confident now, Vaughn Meatoga said:
“(Last year’s experience) makes me a lot more confident on the field. Especially since we don’t have that much experience on the line with only John returning, I feel like I’m obligated to step up and try to lead the guys.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Meatoga trimmed down to 290 in the offseason while maintaining his strength. Rocky Savaiigaea also returns in better condition after training in Arizona over the summer.”

HSB Note: “Freshman Geordon Hanohano and junior college transfer Zach Masch rotated in with the second unit yesterday. UH head coach Greg McMackin places heavy emphasis on the tackles in the 4-3 scheme, relying on them to hold the point in the middle of the line to free up the linebackers to make plays.”

About the importance of the tackles in their system, Mac said:
“I call our defensive tackles ‘gold’ because they’re so important in our package. We can’t run this package without good tackles.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Along with Purcell, Cameron Allen-Jones and Victor Clore are among the contenders at left defensive end. Freshman Paipai Falemalu moved to the line from outside linebacker to open camp last week, adding speed to the line.”

About their DEs, offensive tackle Laupepa Letuli said:
“All of them are giving us a good run for our money. We have to do the same thing and just make each other better.” (HSB)

About their inexperienced DL, DL coach Dave Aranda said:
“Everyone’s got the right mind-set, everyone’s smart, they all worked hard in the offseason. We’re all set up to do it; now we just have to do it. All of our guys can tell you what to do and when to do it. But going against an experienced offensive line like ours, and going under a fast pace in team (periods), doing it in those conditions, that’s a whole other thing.” (HSB)

About how the DL pressuring the QB would help their inexperienced secondary, Aranda said:
“We’re working toward that ideal. Any time we can get a four-man rush, like we did last year at the end of the season, I think were going to be successful. Our goal is to be able to rush four guys and get pressure, but we’ve got a long way to go.” (HSB)

About missing his family while staying at the dance studios during camp, Elliott Purcell said:
“It’s tough not seeing my family. After practice I’ll run with (his son, Taimane) and play with him. That’s the only time I get with them because we’re in meetings all day.” (HSB)

About how several players missed practice or left early due to summer school classes, Mac said:
“I told our guys class is more important than practice.” (HSB)

About being #1 in the rotation on the right side (Jovonte Taylor has been #1 their but had a class yesterday morning) after practicing on the left side before yesterday, receiver Royce Pollard said there are differences in technique:
“but overall I practice to play both sides. … Anything to play.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Sophomore Austin Hansen practiced with the first unit at right guard in place of Ray Hisatake, and freshman Drew Uperesa saw action on the left side when Raphael Ieru had to leave. The second summer session ends on Friday. The players then have a break from the books until the fall semester begins on Aug. 24.”




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