Warriors will host Oregon St. in football
University of Hawai'i receiver Davone Bess erased any doubts — loudly — about the significance of playing Oregon State in the 2006 regular-season finale.
"Oh, yeah!," Bess yelled. "I'm juiced. For real, I'm juiced. I'm really excited about this. I can't wait."
Yesterday's announcement that UH will host the Pac-10 Conference school on Dec. 2 was particularly meaningful for Bess, who had signed with the Beavers in 2003. But legal problems kept Bess from joining OSU that year. After being released from a juvenile detention camp in September 2004, Bess received a renewed scholarship offer from the Beavers.
"I thought about going there, but after I took my trip to Hawai'i, that changed," Bess said. "I knew Hawai'i is where I wanted to go. Everything seemed right for me in Hawai'i. It's going to be fun to play against Oregon State."
Oregon State is the Warriors' 12th game — and fourth non-conference opponent — for the coming season. NCAA rules allow the Warriors to play 13 regular-season games in 2006. The other non-league foes are Alabama, Nevada-Las Vegas and Purdue.
UH athletic director Herman Frazier has said he would like the Warriors to play the maximum number of games.
Oregon State, meanwhile, announced in a news release that a rematch will be played in Corvallis, Ore., in 2007 or 2008.
"This is good for our program," UH coach June Jones said. "I think any time you play the Pac-10, the kids get fired up, and the fans really enjoy it. Our kids will play hard, and it will be good for them to play at home."
Oregon State and UH have been intense recruiting competitors in the past three years The rivalry boiled in 2004, when the state's top high school offensive lineman, Jeremy Perry of Kahuku High, signed with UH but did not submit his letter of intent. Instead, he ended up committing to OSU.
What's more, Mike Cavanaugh, who coached the offensive line during Jones' first six years as UH head coach, is now the Beavers' line coach.
"I can't wait to see coach Cav on the opposite side," UH cornerback/receiver Kenny Patton said. "It's going to be weird."
John Estes, a freshman who is competing for a starting job on the UH offensive line, said he is looking forward to a reunion with a high school classmate, receiver Anthony Crosby, and Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh recruited Estes to UH. A few weeks after Estes signed last year, Cavanaugh accepted the OSU job.
"I was actually surprised," Estes said. "He said he was only leaving if he went to the NFL. I guess that was untrue. I'm past that. I'm looking forward to spring practice."
Cavanaugh declined to comment on his return in December, saying, "The AD and the head coach do the talking. I have no comment. You're talking to an assistant coach."
Cavanaugh said he and his family will visit Hawai'i during spring break. "I'm looking forward to that," Cavanaugh said.
Reached later on his cell phone, Cavanaugh said he could not talk, citing an eye infection.
"It will be interesting to coach against him," said Vantz Singletary, who coaches UH's defensive line. "Mike is a good friend. He was my next-door neighbor for six years. I miss him, and he'll always have a dear spot in my heart."
COACHES RECEIVING INTEREST ELSEWHERE
Singletary and Keith Bhonapha, a former UH defensive back and graduate assistant coach, have received job inquiries.
Singletary said he has been contacted about openings at Purdue, Louisiana State and the NFL's Houston Texans. Singletary was raised in Houston.
Singletary also said he has been approached about the possibility of serving as a coaching intern for the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers this summer.
Bhonapha recently completed his third — and final — year as a GA.
He is one of three finalists for the job as director of football operations at Boise State. The school will bring in Bhonapha for an interview.
If he is hired at Boise State, Bhonapha said, "it's going to be different looking across the field at UH. That's life, I guess."