Hawaii Football: Three Questions For Spring Practice

Hawaii Football: Three Questions For Spring Practice

Hawaii

Hawaii Football: Three Questions For Spring Practice

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Hawaii Football: Three Questions For Spring Practice


Hope flourishes anew for the Warriors under new head coach Timmy Chang, but there’s plenty to be done to get the new era off the ground.


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A new era is off and running… but how quickly?

After the nightmarish end to the Todd Graham era of Hawaii football, the Warriors are ready to look forward with the arrival of spring football under new head coach Timmy Chang.

With so much upheaval on the roster from December to March, however, Chang and his coaching staff will be plenty busy sorting through a number of questions. Will it be a Year Zero situation or can the Warriors find enough answers to fancy themselves a potential surprise?

How will the quarterback competition unfold?

With Chevan Cordeiro’s departure via the transfer portal, the task of replacing him is likely to fall to one of either Brayden Schager, who saw the field in six games for the Warriors last season, or Cammon Cooper, who transferred to the islands from Washington State and played in six games for the Cougars over the past two years.

That duo could be pushed by others on the current spring roster, though. Armani Edden, after all, played well at a pair of California junior colleges before transferring to Hawaii before 2020, while Connor Apo learned behind Jayden de Laura at local high school powerhouse Saint Louis.

Who will catch passes?

Jared Smart, Nick Mardner and Calvin Turner accounted for 55.8% of Hawaii’s receptions in 2021, so the departures leave a wide-open competition in their wake.

Thankfully, the cupboard isn’t totally bare, but it remains to be seen whether veterans like Jonah Panoke and Zion Bowens will stake a solid claim on larger roles and, perhaps more importantly, who will fill in the depth chart behind them. Furthermore, how will Timmy Chang’s offense incorporate the tight end position? Caleb Phillips had 17 catches last season, Steven Fiso made a strong impression in the team’s win over Wyoming, and Missouri State transfer Jordan Murray was a former FCS Freshman All-American with 87 catches over the past four years.

Who will anchor the defense?

Now that Cortez Davis is chasing NFL dreams, Khoury Bethley is at Arizona State, and Darius Muasau is at UCLA, the Hawaii defense also needs an infusion of leadership and newly productive talents.

There are some established options who could help, like defensive tackle Blessman Ta’ala and linebacker Penei Pavihi, but other veterans like Isaiah Tufaga and new arrivals like Nebraska transfer Wynden Ho’ohuli could also provide some of the foundation needed to turn the page on the numerous departures for good.

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