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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 18, 2008

Santos No. 1 pick for Scout Bowl

By Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.com Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Jake Santos

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The childhood taunt is indeed true.

You snooze, you lose.

"They were sleeping, so we get the first pick," Hawai'i linebacker Solomon Elimimian declared.

Several minutes later, linebacker Adam Leonard showed up, protesting that he was tardy because he was in class. And, besides, he was not told of the location.

"Too bad," Elimimian said. "We're picking first."

And with that, Elimimian and center John Estes selected quarterback Jake Santos No. 1 in the Scout Bowl draft.

The annual full-contact scrimmage features redshirts and developing players. The four team captains are the "coaches." Leonard and defensive tackle Keala Watson lead the White team; Elimimian and Estes have the Green team.

"We'll just dub them the losing team," Leonard said, smiling.

Santos, a senior from San Diego, was No. 1 overall for the second year in a row.

"That's cool," said Santos, who was the winning quarterback in last year's scrimmage. "I'm happy to be picked first."

Santos does not expect to be a holdout, considering the scrimmage is today, starting at about 8 a.m. at UH's grass practice field.

Last year, he received a picture of himself holding up a UH jersey as the top pick.

"He's intelligent," Elimimian said. "He makes the right decisions. And the No. 1 thing is he has good character. We want character guys."

Santos looks forward to working with the feisty Estes, who engaged in a skirmish with defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga during yesterday's team drills.

"He's a scary guy," Santos said of Estes. "He gets into fights in practice. He's trying to get our offense fired up. These days, the offense has been quiet. I'll go to battle with Estes. He's a California guy."

The White team's first-round pick was ...

"There's no No. 1 pick," Leonard insisted. "You know how the Patriots won their first Super Bowl as a team? There are no individuals. It's not who we picked first, it's the combination of the guys on the team."

Leonard said toughness was a requirement.

"If I've got wide receivers, I want them to go out there and block the crap out of people," Leonard said. "If we pass, I want them to run over people. I want a physical team."

That explained the White team's quarterback selection: Bryce Kalau'oka'a'ea, who was moved to running back three weeks ago.

"We feel he's a great athlete," Leonard said. "And we can use him as a secret weapon."

The White's co-head coach, Watson, is experienced in evaluating talent. In March, head coach Greg McMackin implemented the Super Games, in which teams received points for academic work, conditioning drills and competition in such activities as no-rules basketball and dodgeball. Ten seniors were named captains.

"We all know how Super Games turned out," Watson said, proudly. "I do have a good record as far as drafting goes."

Last year's draft was staged in the UH athletic complex auditorium, and featured the UH band, a draft board, and a cap for the top draft pick. The entire team was in attendance.

This year's draft was more low key. It was held in the offense's video room. When the running backs needed the video room, the draft moved to the main meeting room.

The Green is installed as the early favorite, mostly because it took both available centers.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.