Offensive lineman will join team in January
|Photo gallery: UH football practice|
By Stephen Tsai
By Stephen Tsai
Kainoa LaCount, who was expected to compete for the starting left tackle's job, said he will grayshirt this season and join the Hawai'i football team in January.
LaCount had missed the first week of UH's training camp while attending classes at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.
"It was all kinds of stuff happening with credits," said LaCount, noting that some of his junior-college units did not transfer to UH.
LaCount said he will correct the deficiencies and be ready to compete in the spring semester.
LaCount has not used a redshirt year. He still has two seasons of eligibility.
LaCount is 6 feet 7 and 290 pounds. He signed with Oregon State as a Kailua High School senior, but ended up going to College of the Canyons.
He received offers from Syracuse, Kansas State and Texas-El Paso, but opted to return to Hawai'i.
Four other members of the 2008 recruiting class — linebacker Art Laurel, safety Christian Vasconcellos, wideout/safety Earvin Sione and defensive end Alema Tachibana — will grayshirt this semester.
In related news:
Slotback Jovonte Taylor should be ready to practice tomorrow. He wore a UH jersey yesterday, but did not participate in drills.
PERRY AN INSPIRATION
Cornerback Ryan Perry was admittedly surprised when he was awarded a football scholarship during a team meeting Friday night. "I didn't know that was coming at all," Perry said. "That was a blessing."
Head coach Greg McMackin said the decision was a reward for Perry's work in the classroom. Perry, a fifth-year senior, has a 3.7 cumulative grade-point average.
"Hopefully, the younger guys will follow that example," Perry said. "Hard work, pride and perseverance really work."
Perry should serve as inspiration. He has Erb's Palsy, a nerve-damage condition in which he cannot straighten his right arm.
The problem traces to childbirth, when the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. "The doctor had to pull me out by the arm, and it caused Erb's Palsy," Perry said.
He underwent surgery on his seventh birthday — Oct. 23, 1992.
Soon after, he quit soccer and tried out for football. He was a four-sport athlete in high school.
Last semester, Perry took 18 credits. He signed up for 15 units this semester, which will enable him to graduate in December.
He also works as a camera operator for PBS. He has worked on the "Leahey and Leahey Show."
"Those guys are great," Perry said. "It's funny. I got to see some of our guys come through."
SALAS CATCHING ON
Greg Salas, the No. 1 left wideout, drew oohs with two acrobatic catches yesterday. For one of them, he made, in "Top Gun" parlance, an "inverted dive."
"It was just a couple of catches," Salas said.
Salas is assuming a leadership role to overcome the departure of last season's four starting receivers. At 200 pounds, he is 15 pounds heavier than he was at the end of last season.
He spent the summer training in Los Angeles, Anaheim and his hometown Chino. He worked with a personal trainer, and caught passes from his high school quarterback.
"I worked on my speed and footwork," Salas said.
Now he needs to work on his cuts. At the urging of his mother, he has sported a mohawk haircut.
"I have a barber back home," he said. "Now I don't know who's going to do it for me."
For the second consecutive day, there was another skirmish — actually two hold-me-back encounters. Both involved defensive end Cameron Allen-Jones.
McMackin stopped practice, gathered the team, and told them to focus. After a team yell of "Family," practice resumed.
WAHINE CLINIC AUG. 19
The Hawai'i Wahine Football Clinic, hosted by Heather McMackin, is Aug. 19 in the Stan Sheriff Center. The session is from 7 to 9 p.m. The $10 fee includes a football manual and light refreshments. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 956-6508.
Reach Stephen Tsai at email@example.com.