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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:02 a.m., Monday, November 19, 2001

Rolovich picked as national player of the week

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i quarterback Nick Rolovich today was named the national player of the week by two media outlets and the Western Athletic Conference's Offensive Player of the Week.

Rolovich, a senior from Novato, Calif., passed for 500 yards and a school-record seven touchdowns in a 52-51 football victory over Miami (Ohio) Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. USAToday.com and The Sporting News chose him as their national player of the week.

"He's very deserving," UH coach June Jones told The Advertiser this morning.

Rolovich started the first two games last season, his first with the Warriors after transferring from City College of San Francisco, before ceding the job to Tim Chang.

Rolovich had planned to redshirt this season, but reclaimed the starting job when Chang suffered a sprained right wrist Sept. 29. He is 6-1 as a starter this season.

Jones said Rolovich struggled last year because "he only had three weeks of practice." Jones said his run-and-shoot offense usually "takes a whole football season" to perfect. If Jones were a college player today, he said, "It would take me a whole season to learn the offense."

Jones praised Rolovich's "toughness. He has a lot of the intangibles that you can't coach. In the second half of this past game, you can't play much better than that. He's a gamer."

Jones said Rolovich's skills are comparable to those of Jim Kelly, who led the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowls. Jones was Kelly's coach when both were with the Houston Gamblers of the U.S. Football League.

"Jim struggled with our offense early, but he always won games," Jones said. "He came into his own. Rolo is coming into his own."