Badgers will see more of Dimude
By Stephen Tsai
Like many people in Hawai'i, running back Chizzy Dimude works two jobs.
Half of every Hawai'i football practice, Dimude works with the scout-team offense. The other half he spends with the Warriors' regular offense.
"He's a class act," McMackin said of the 5-foot-9, 190-pound junior, who transferred from Laney College in July. "He's a big-time player, but he's willing to help us get ready by playing on scout team. To do that shows he's a team guy."
Dimude is expected to have an expanded role for Saturday's game against Wisconsin — in part because of his elusive running, in part because No. 2 running back Alex Green is recovering from a sprained shoulder.
In the Warriors' four-wide offense, the running back is the backfield blocker.
"Protection-wise," McMackin said of Dimude's early struggles as a blocker, "is why he didn't get more reps. He's an excellent runner. Now we're able to use him to give us a change of pace. And he's better in the pass protection."
Dimude's blocking problems can be traced to pain he began experiencing in his left shoulder during training camp.
"I kept playing," he said.
But the injury recently was diagnosed as a torn labrum.
Dimude said he will undergo post-season surgery. Rehabilitation should be completed by the start of spring training.
"I'll be 100 percent in April," Dimude said.
To cope, he said, "I take pain killers every day."
But later, he said, "Scratch that. I'm not hurt. I'm OK."
McMackin said: "He's a tough guy."
In a limited role this season, Dimude is averaging 6.1 yards per rush.
He also has caught four screen passes for 27 yards.
Most significant, he is averaging nearly one broken tackle per touch.
Dimude credits his elusiveness to his "mindset."
"I try to get into the end zone every time I get the ball," Dimude said.
He also relies on what he terms as "explosive" weight-lifting sessions. The most helpful is when he squat-lifts 315-pound weights. The key is he will stand on only one leg. He does four sets of 10 squat-lifts.
"He's a quick, slashing-type of a back," McMackin said. "He gives us another speed. We're utilizing him right now."
A few weeks ago, there were thoughts of moving Dimude to slotback. With Leon Wright-Jackson completing his UH career this month, the plan is to keep Dimude at running back.
"He'll have a big role for us (this week), which will even expand more next year," McMackin said.
HEUN BACK IN ACTION
In the past Saturday's 24-17 victory over Navy, Jake Heun was the man in the middle ... of nowhere.
To defend against the Midshipmen's spread-option offense, the Warriors went with defensive schemes that did not involve a middle linebacker.
"I had a week off," Heun said, smiling.
The hiatus ends Saturday. Heun will be one of the featured defenders against Wisconsin's power running game.
John Clay, who is 6 feet 1 and 248 pounds, is the Badgers' top running back. Heun is 6-2 and now weighs about 235.
"I couldn't be more excited," Heun said. "It should be some good times."
ESTES OUT WITH INJURY
Kenny Estes has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will not play against Wisconsin.
Estes said he suffered the injury while playing on the kickoff coverage unit last week.
"I hit the wedge, and I felt something in my shoulder," Estes said. "I thought it was a stinger at first. I found out later I tore my labrum."
Estes said he was told he would not need surgery.
"They're going to let it heal on its own," Estes said.
Estes has worn a sling while attending practices this week.
RAUSCH MAY APPEAL
Brent Rausch is going to explore the possibility of receiving an exemption that would extend his Warrior career through the 2011 season.
Rausch is a 2006 graduate of Desert Chapel High School in Palm Springs, Calif.
He attended College of the Desert for two years, but only played football in 2007.
He transferred to UH in May 2008, and played in three games last year.
He has not played in a game this season.
Rausch withdrew from classes in 2006 because of personal reasons.
"I was not in a good living situation," he said. "Trying to play football at the same time, it wasn't going to work out."
Because of that circumstance, Rausch's reasoning is that his eligibility clock should not trigger until the fall of 2007. The NCAA allows a student-athlete five years to play four college seasons.
If Rausch does not play against Wisconsin, he can use this season either as a redshirt year or medical hardship. He suffered a fractured right pinkie during the first road trip of the season. A few weeks ago, he aggravated the injury while trying to test it. He has not been healthy enough to compete this season.
Rausch said he will file his appeal after the Warriors' final game of this season.
"I should be good," he said.
If his extension is approved, the Warriors' current top three quarterbacks — Bryant Moniz, Shane Austin and Rausch — would be available for the next two seasons.
What's more, freshmen Cayman Shutter, David Graves and Corey Nielsen join the competition in the spring. They are redshirting this season.
Kevin Spain, a senior at Paradise Valley High in Arizona, made a verbal commitment to UH the past summer. He will sign his letter of intent Feb. 3, the first day prospects may put their binding commitments in writing.
Visit his blog at http://warriorbeat.honadvblogs.com.