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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moniz will rejoin UH


By Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.com Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Hawai'i's Shane Austin, who will be a junior in the fall, was 13 of 16 during yesterday's full-contact scrimmage. He threw one interception.

Photos by ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Bryant Moniz

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Darius Bright catches the ball despite the tight defense of Steve Stepter during the Warriors' second full-contact scrimmage of spring training.

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Quarterback Bryant Moniz will be allowed to rejoin the Hawai'i football team, but there is no set return date and his place on the depth chart remains in question.

Moniz, who started eight games in 2009 and entered spring training as the No. 1 quarterback, was placed on "personal leave" April 8. He has not practiced nor worked out with the team since then.

"He's going to work it out," head coach Greg McMackin said. "He's going to be back on our football team. It's between he and myself when he comes back."

Meanwhile, the Warriors have established a two-tier order at quarterback, with Shane Austin, who will be a junior in the fall, and freshman David Graves 1-2 on the depth chart. Brent Rausch, Cayman Shutter and Corey Nielsen are in the second tier.

"At this point, (Austin and Graves) have separated themselves (from the others) a little bit."

Yesterday, the Warriors staged their second full-contact scrimmage of spring training. This time, they emphasized situational plays, such as third-and-4 or red-zone circumstances.

Austin completed 13 of 16 passes. Graves was six of 10. Each was intercepted once.

In the 80-second drill, Austin, on third-and-5 with 18 seconds remaining, tried to force a pass to slotback Greg Salas on a deep post. Safety Mana Silva, who had retreated into zone coverage, intercepted.

"Shane did a lot of good things, but you can't throw the ball up in the middle of the field, especially on third-and-5," offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said. "He knows that read."

Austin said: "I should have gone with the shorter route."

It usually is a good idea to seek Salas, the Warriors' top inside receiver.

"You like to give your play-maker some opportunities," Austin said, "but that's not an opportunity when you throw into coverage."

Rolovich said Graves made the right read, but executed incorrectly, on the throw that cornerback Lewis Walker intercepted.

"He has to lead (the receiver)," Rolovich said. "If he does, he has a touchdown."

Graves agreed, saying: "I tried to be too careful, and didn't put the ball out as much as I should have. I kind of weak-armed it."

But those were correctable setbacks, according to Rolovich, and both quarterbacks have assumed co-ownership of the offense.

"I'm starting to get used to (being No. 1)," Austin said, "and building that chemistry and bond with the offense. We're starting to click."

Graves, who was on scout team in 2009 and rarely ran UH's four-wide offense, is embracing his time with the first and second units. Of all the quarterbacks, Graves is the best at throwing on the run.

"It's the fifth progression," said Graves, noting he has the green light to scramble after exhausting his four passing options. "If nothing is going on, I like to run and make things happen on the run."

Because of the restrictions placed on contact with the quarterback, Rolovich said, the Warriors have few opportunities to work on scrambling.

"(Graves') strength is his athleticism and creativeness," Rolovich said. "A lot of that pops out at game time."

LETULI WANTS RESPONSE

Friday, middle linebacker Brashton Satele was told the NCAA denied his appeal for a medical hardship that would have allowed him to play as a sixth-year senior in 2010.

Now offensive tackle Laupepa Letuli, who also is seeking a sixth year, wants a decision any decision from the NCAA.

"I want (the NCAA) to give me something," said Letuli, who filed his appeal in January. "I don't care what the answer is. I want an answer so I know what to do."

Letuli is in limbo. He is allowed to practice with the Warriors, but they have restricted him from contact drills because they do not want him to risk injury should his appeal be denied.

Letuli is facing a deadline. The three-day NFL draft begins Thursday. NFL teams may offer tryouts to qualified free agents after that. But Letuli may not be considered until he notifies the NFL. Such a notice would end his UH career.

LIKO SATELE WEARS NO. 13

• Defensive end Liko Satele yesterday wore brother Brashton Satele's No. 13. "I took it from his locker," said Liko Satele, who plans to go back to his No. 98.

• Right tackle Kainoa LaCount will miss the rest of spring training because of a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. The injury does not require surgery.

"It's all right,"LaCount said. "As long as I'm coming back, that's the main thing."

LaCount, who is 6 feet 6, has shed 25 pounds since July, and now weighs 320.

"Rice and soda were killers," said LaCount, who now relies on his mother's cooking. "I was a junk-food eater. I cut out rice and cut out the sweets."

• Darius Bright, who is competing at left wideout, has earned a spot on the punt team. He plays essentially the gunner on the right side. "It was my first day there," Bright said. "I'll keep working at it. But I don't mind hitting somebody. I'll give it all that I've got."

• Tomorrow's practice starts at 4:30 p.m.