‘Bows freshman receiver Ursua anxious to make UH football debut


Another day in the books and another delay in the release of the depth chart for the University of Hawaii football team.

Just nine days out from kick-off against California in Australia, Rainbow Warriors head coach Nick Rolovich says the competition continues, including at the quarterback position.

On Wednesday, returning QB starter Ikaika Woolsey remained, taking first-team reps in walk-throughs with Dru Brown and Aaron Zwahlen, getting ample opportunities to throw in the two-hour practice.

Far from a mystery is who has been the overwhelming head-turner as emerging offensive threat in both the spring and summer: Kealakehe alumnus and freshman slot back John Ursua.

After leaving the Big Island to finish his prep career in Utah, Ursua, who caught two touchdown passes in last weekend’s training camp closing scrimmage, took a two-year church mission in Paris, France before red-shirting in 2015.

“After not playing for a while, it’s a great feeling to help out the team as best as I can and learning from the other slot receivers on how to play this position, because I played quarterback in high school all four years, and so learning this receiver stuff is new for me but it’s been a great feeling to know that I’m trying to help and doing something good,” Ursua told KHON2 sports reporter Sam Spangler.

Ursua believes that his experience of playing quarterback has helped him in his development as a slot receiver.

“From seeing just the coverages that the defense is trying to run, from the man to the zone or a one-high look, it definitely helps me see the coverages out there and get a better understanding,” Ursua said. “But it definitely didn’t help with my route-running, so that’s something that I can probably improve on.”

Countdown to Ursua making his debut for the Rainbow Warriors is now just nine days away, leaving number-45 anxious to finally realize a life-long dream of playing for the ‘Bows.

“It means everything. I’m so anxious. I can’t wait to actually wear the uniform,” he said. “I’m excited. It means a lot. I had family that played here and a lot of support. Both of my parents are from here and so it’s just a blessing to be back out here.”

The Rainbow Warriors will leave the islands on Saturday, with kickoff against the California Golden Bears set for Friday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. HST and will be televised on ESPN.

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