Satele injures shoulder
• Photo gallery: Saturday UH football practice
By Stephen Tsai
The University of Hawai'i football team might be without its defensive leader for an extended period.
Middle linebacker Brashton Satele yesterday suffered an injury to his left shoulder while attempting to make a tackle during a 6-on-7 scrimmage at the grass practice field.
Satele underwent an X-ray and an MRI.
Satele, a fifth-year senior, is scheduled to meet with a surgeon tomorrow night.
At that time, it will be decided whether he will need surgery, which would require a long recovery, or if the injury can heal through rest and rehabilitation.
"Brashton is just a great person and a great player and a great leader," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "I hope he gets better."
Mana Lolotai and Jake Heun are considered to be next in line at middle linebacker.
"I haven't thought about any of that," McMackin said. "I'm thinking only of Brashton."
Satele had an injury to that shoulder last year, but opted not to have post-season surgery.
Satele has emerged as the leader of a rebuilding defense that returns only one full-time starter.
He weighed 263 pounds during spring training, after which the coaches decided to move him to defensive end.
But Satele then participated in an intensive training and conditioning program in Arizona.
He returned weighing 236 pounds and, after that, was moved back to middle linebacker.
At that position, he makes most of the defensive calls.
Two weeks ago, Satele and center John Estes represented UH at the Western Athletic Conference Football Preview in Salt Lake City.
DEFENSE MAKES ITS CASE
The defense yesterday dominated a 6-on-7 scrimmage, landing several big hits, including two by right safety Mana Silva.
"I was hungry," Silva said. "That's pretty much it. I wanted to go out there and make plays. This year I'm trying to use my instincts, make it to the ball, and break to the ball."
The defense saved its best for last, ruling the 11-on-11 two-minute drill. The quarterbacks were held to a combined 6-for-14 passing for 37 yards. They were intercepted three times. Greg Alexander, the No. 1 quarterback, was 3 of 7 for 11 yards and an interception. He was sacked twice.
"The defense had the high intensity from the beginning of practice, even when we started stretching," cornerback Lewis Walker said.
Walker made an interception when nickelback Aaron Brown deflected Brent Rausch's pass. It was Walker's fourth interception the past week.
"The quarterbacks love me," Walker said, smiling. "It's competition. The defensive coaches put us in position to make plays. We just have to make them. That's kind of what happened."
On the deflection, Brown resembled a volleyball setter.
"Back in sixth grade," Brown said of the last time he played volleyball. "I should have come down with it. You never know with a tipped ball who's going to come down with it."
Silva and nickelback Spencer Smith also had interceptions during the two-minute drill.
Yesterday's practice was supposed to be used as the final evaluation before the coaches meet today to revise the depth chart. The coaches want to establish scout teams and give more work to the first- and second-team players.
But because of injuries, the evaluation period is expected to be extended at several positions, including quarterback.
Rausch and Shane Austin are bracketed as the No. 2 quarterbacks. "They're still pretty even," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said.
Lee said the staff needs more time to evaluate Bryant Moniz, a former Leilehua High standout. Moniz has been bothered by a sore right (throwing) arm.
"Just fatigue," said Moniz, who played a season at Fresno City College before transferring to UH last year. He has three years to play three seasons.
"We've got 17 more (practices before the opener)," Lee said. "Maybe by Wednesday, we can narrow it down. We want to give Bryant Moniz a really good look. He's done some really good things."
Alex Green has been impressive at running back, a position that has been hurt by injuries. Inoke Funaki and Leon Wright-Jackson did not practice the past two days, but are expected to be ready this week.
"This coming week will be big for us," Lee said.
The answer to yesterday's question — Can Tank float? — was a splashing "yes."
As part of the annual pool day, first-year Warriors were required to jump off the 10-meter board at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex.
"I can't swim," said cornerback Tank Hopkins, who made the leap of faith after encouragement from Spencer Smith. "I had to go. Spence said he'd save me, and he did."
Wideout Rodney Bradley was a long-jumper in high school. Yesterday, he set a personal best.
"That was the longest jump," Bradley said. "I'm terrified of heights. I said a little prayer first. 'Lord, be with me.' And then I jumped. I tried to make it look easy, even though it was killing me."
Green, the running back, sat at the board's edge, then instructed running back Chizzy Dimude to give a push.
"I wasn't going to jump on my own," Green said. "It was fun. Crazy, but fun."
Punter Alex Dunnachie, who was raised in Australia, responded to a chant that is popular in his country at sporting events.
As he stepped to the board's edge, he yelled out: "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!"
His teammates yelled back: "Oy! Oy! Oy!"
Then Dunnachie jumped. "Every chance I get, I'm going to get them going," Dunnachie said of the chant.
Gordy Shaw, UH's first-year offensive line coach, also jumped.
"I guarantee I was the oldest guy to go off the platform today," Shaw said. "You don't think about it much. Like my dad used to say: 'It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end.'"
The last man standing was safety Aulola Tonga, a Kahuku High graduate. Tonga has jumped off La'ie Point several times.
"It was higher than La'ie Point," he said.
Linebacker Blaze Soares offered a tandem jump.
"I told him I'd jump with him on '3,'" Soares said. "I jumped, and I looked, and it was me by myself. He made me kind of mad. I said, 'I'm going to come up there and I'm going to stick you.'"
Tonga said: "After I heard Blaze was going to tackle me, I jumped off."
Soares said: "By the time I got up there, he was off. It's kind of funny. It's a fun activity. I'm glad we had a pool day."