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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 21, 2006

Warriors add linebacker from Arizona to camp roster

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Amani Purcell

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A linebacker from Arizona has accepted an invitation to compete in the University of Hawai'i football team's training camp in August.

"I'm all set," said Sebastian Siaki, a 2006 graduate of Mesa High School.

Siaki, who is 6 feet 1 and 210 pounds, can run 40 yards in 4.7 seconds.

He will compete at outside linebacker during the two weeks of training camp.

He said his mother, brother and sister moved to Hawai'i last year. During a visit in February, his father arranged for Siaki to meet with UH assistant coach Rich Miano. After the UH coaches reviewed his highlight videos, Siaki was invited to join the team.

NCAA rules limit Division I-A rosters to 105 players during training camp. The Warriors' roster may expand on Aug. 21, the first day of UH's fall semester.

The initial plan was for Siaki to report to the team on Aug. 21. After adjusting the roster projections, the coaches invited Siaki to report for the Aug. 3 start of training camp.

Siaki, who turned down offers from Holy Cross and Northern Arizona, works out each morning with UH teammates.

HISTORY LESSON

Amani Purcell, who transferred from Penn State last year, said he needs to pass a summer-school class before becoming eligible to play this season.

Purcell is taking History 152 during Summer Session II, which ends Aug. 11. Purcell is on the roster for training camp, which begins Aug. 3.

"They said I pretty much have to finish up the class, and then go from there," Purcell said. "I'm trying to stay on top of things."

Purcell is the younger brother of UH starting defensive left end Melila Purcell III.

As a senior at Leone High School in American Samoa, Purcell was named the territory's top defensive player. He also started on the basketball team, setting the school's rebounding record.

He received several Division I-A football offers, including one from UH, before committing to Penn State in 2003. He redshirted as a freshman in 2003, and played in eight games in 2004.

He then requested and received a release from his Penn State scholarship.

"I'm happy I made the move," Purcell said.

He has two years to play two seasons at UH.

Purcell, who is 6 feet 2 3/4 and 255 pounds, is projected to play outside linebacker or defensive rush end. He cannot receive a scholarship until the NCAA Clearinghouse approves his eligibility.

"If I have to walk on, I'll walk on," he said. "I just want to play."

PASSING THE TIME

The absence of backups Tyler Graunke and Inoke Funaki leaves the Warriors with three quarterbacks for unsupervised workouts each afternoon.

Funaki is in Tonga, unable to secure a plane reservation to Hawai'i. Tonga officials have restricted travel since Prince Tu'ipelehake and Princess Kaimana were killed in an automobile accident in San Francisco two weeks ago.

Graunke is visiting family in Arizona, and won't return to Hawai'i until next week.

CAMPS AND CLINICS

Former UH basketball players Nani Cockett, Michelle Gabriel, Phil Martin and Deonte Tatum will be the featured instructors at Big Island basketball camps this weekend.

There is no admission fee.

Tomorrow's sessions at Kea'au High School are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for ages 7 to 12, and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for ages 13 and older.

Sunday's sessions at Konawaena High School are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for ages 7 to 12, and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for ages 13 and older.

For information, call (808) 961-8508.

Meanwhile, Hawai'i Speed and Quickness will have clinics tomorrow and Sunday at the UH athletic complex.

Sessions are 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. for ages 7 to 12, and 10:30 a.m. to noon for ages 13 and older.

For a $10 entry fee, each camper receives training in plyometrics and power starts, as well as fastfood coupons.

For details, call 739-5444 or log on to: www.hawaiispeedandquickness.com.

Also, former UH basketball player Phil Handy is staging a one-day clinic and a four-day camp at the Manoa Recreation Center.

Bobby Jackson of the New Orleans Hornets and Kevin Martin of the Sacramento Kings are the guest instructors.

The clinic is July 31 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The $55 fee includes a T-shirt and other items.

The camp is Aug. 1 to 4, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The $150 fee includes a reversible jersey and shorts.

Call Handy at (916) 290-2085 for information.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.