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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 4, 2006

UH gets two-way player from Germany

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i football team proved it will go to great distances roughly the length of 128,498 football fields in pursuit of talent.

"We're global," UH coach June Jones said in announcing the signing of 6-foot-2, 185-pound running back/receiver Malcolm Lane of Hanau High School in Germany. "We try to look everywhere."

"I'm glad they found me," said Lane, who competed in a league for military dependents. "I follow college football, and I'm a big fan of Hawai'i's offense. I can't wait to be a part of it."

Lane was named to the 2005 All-Europe All-Star team as both a running back and cornerback. He rushed for 1,742 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. In the Division II championship game, he ran for 272 yards and five touchdowns. As a cornerback, he made two interceptions, returning both for touchdowns.

"He's very impressive," said Dan Miles, who is head coach of an America All-Star team based in Europe.

Miles, who also coordinates a football combine, said Lane has been clocked sprinting 100 meters in 10.2 seconds. "He's that fast," Miles said. "I timed him myself."

UH coach June Jones said Lane has been consistently timed at running 100 meters in 10.4 seconds and 40 yards in 4.4 seconds.

Miles produced Lane's highlight DVD, which was distributed at the coaches convention in Dallas. UH assistant coach Jeff Reinebold, a former development director for the NFL's European division, received a copy. Miles and Reinebold had worked together previously.

"I looked at the tape and thought, 'This is a no-brainer,' " Reinebold recalled. "If he's as fast as he looked on tape, we had a great prospect. ... The kid checked out. To get a good one this late is pretty good."

Jones offered Lane a scholarship. Lane signed the letter of intent last week, and faxed a copy to UH on Saturday.

Reinebold said the competition level in Europe is "OK. He played against good players. He's certainly not playing against Saint Louis or Kahuku every week."

But Reinebold noted that All-Pro defensive lineman Michael Straham and NBA great Shaquille O'Neal played in the same league. "They certainly were great players," Reinebold said. "You can only downgrade a guy so much based on the competition level. He'll make a big step, of course, just like any high school player will make a big step coming into our program. That's what you pay the coaches for."

Miles likened Lane to former All-Pro running back Eric Dickerson. "He's tall, and he can see the holes," Miles said.

Jones said Lane is best suited to play wideout. "He's a big, fast, athletic kid who fits what we do," Jones said. "He's got good hands."

But Reinebold said he also envisions Lane as a cornerback. "Everyone is looking for a tall corner with long arms and speed," Reinebold said. "He gives us a lot of flexibility."

Miles said: "Wherever they put him, they'll be pleased. He might be that diamond in the rough they're looking for."

CLEARED TO PRACTICE

Two of the Warriors' leaders, offensive lineman Samson Satele and defensive left end Melila Purcell III, finished school assignments and attended practice yesterday. After a four-day mandatory orientation period, they will be allowed to practice in pads on Friday.

"I can't wait," said Satele, who turned down a chance to apply for this month's National Football League draft. Satele is making the move from left guard to center, where he will make most of the blocking calls.

Andre Taylor, who was put on the inactive list because of academic and personal problems, also is set to rejoin the Warriors. "Grade-wise, I'm good," said Taylor, who was the Warriors' leader in kickoff and punt returns last year. "The other stuff I cleared up, too."

Jones and Taylor are scheduled to meet this morning. "Hopefully, he'll be reinstated," Jones said.

Taylor, who transferred from Santa Rosa Junior College last summer, was a wideout before moving to cornerback late in the season. Taylor will remain in the defensive secondary.

"He'll get a chance to show what he can do out there," Jones said.

Strong safety Brad Kalilimoku aggravated a pulled left hamstring and did not practice.

IT WORKS FOR KIMO

Yesterday's rare sunshine did not produce a mirage. The Warriors indeed were practicing a 4-3 defensive alignment.

The Warriors used that scheme in Jones' first six seasons as UH head coach, changing last year to defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville's pet 3-4 blitzing formations. The 4-3 is back, but only in short-yardage or obvious running downs involving two tight ends.

In the 4-3, Michael Lafaele and Keala Watson are the interior tackles. Both platooned at nose tackle last season.

In the base 3-4 this season, Watson will play left end. Unlike last year, the Warriors are aligning heftier defenders at ends, a strategy employed by the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Watson has been told to emulate Kimo von Oelhoffen, who started for the Steelers and now is with the New York Jets.

"I'm watching a lot of film of Kimo," Watson said. "I'm trying to mirror him doing what he does. He's just a beast. He looks like a nose guard at end. I need to be like him to beef up our run defense."

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.