Warriors welcome Moniz, Lelie
BY Stephen Tsai
In a double return, quarterback Bryant Moniz has rejoined the Hawai'i football team and former Warrior receiver Ashley Lelie has agreed to serve as a student manager this coming season.
Moniz, who started eight games last season, was placed on personal leave for the final three weeks of spring training, which ended April 30.
UH head coach Greg McMackin said Moniz has resolved his situation, including issuing an apology to the team earlier this month, and has been reinstated to the active roster.
But Moniz, who entered spring training as the clear No. 1 quarterback, has not reclaimed the starting job.
For the start of training camp, McMackin said, Moniz, Shane Austin, Brent Rausch and David Graves will be grouped in the first tier of quarterbacks.
After that, the top two quarterbacks will take the majority of snaps in practice, with the others getting mostly mental reps during team drills.
McMackin also confirmed that Lelie, who played for five National Football League teams during an eight-year career, will work as a student manager. The position will enable him to complete work on his bachelor's degree.
Lelie left UH after his junior season, in which he caught 84 passes for a school-record 1,713 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2001. He also holds the UH single-season record of 142.8 receiving yards per game.
The Denver Broncos selected Lelie in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft, the 19th overall pick. He is the highest draft pick in UH football history.
"He really made himself into a great player," said UH offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich, who was the starting quarterback during Lelie's final UH season.
Lelie, a Radford High graduate, joined the Warriors as a walk-on in 1998.
"He always put in extra effort and hard work," Rolovich said. "I remember watching him run wind sprints to try to get faster, and then running around during practice. He's a good example of what it takes to get to the next level."
Rolovich said Lelie also can show the importance of earning a degree.