When it was announced that Melquise Stovall was dismissed from the University of Hawaii football team, the Rainbow Warriors lost the production of the most productive receiver over the last two weeks.
Stovall, hauled-in four touchdown catches in losses to Boise State and Air Force, and finished his short-lived UH career with 248 yards on 18 receptions and the aforementioned four scores.
With the California-transfer no longer in the mix, the question becomes who steps up?
Stovall, only started one game but shared the field with Jason-Matthew Sharsh at an inside slot back position, so Sharsh carrying a larger load is certainly a possibility, but over the course of the season UH has seen productive moments from a pair of freshman, who head coach Nick Rolovich sees as part of the solution to fill the void.
“Somebody’s opportunity is probably going to come more than last week. But I like our depth. Lincoln (Victor) is probably green-lighted for the season, he can help us in the return game and slot. I think he has the right mentality to do it. You got (Cedric) Byrd, you got (Jason-Matthew) Sharsh, Funk (Robert Funkhouser)’s done some good things for us. So there’s guys. And it’s really not about one guy in the receiver room. It’s about them working together. That’s the important part,” said Rolovich.
As eluded to, Rolovich appears content with “burning” the redshirt season of Victor, who has already played in four games this season. An NCAA rule states that if a player with redshirt eligibility plays four games or less, they may use that season as a redshirt year and maintain their eligibility.
In four appearances, Victor has seven catches for 66 yards, and two touchdowns as a receiver, while having totaled 108 yards on four kick returns.
Victor, was considered one of the “gems” of the 2019 recruiting class, having participated in the Polynesian Bowl following an illustrious prep career in Washington.
Lincoln Victor Prep Profile:
- A 2019 graduate of Union High School in Vancouver, Wash.
- A three-time league offensive MVP and two-time region MVP.
- As a senior, named state player of the year by The Associated Press.
- Led his team to an undefeated season (14-0) and class 4A state championship, the first state title in school history.
- Threw for more than 300 yards and a title-game record five touchdowns.
- As a senior, completed 71.1 percent of his passes for 2,546 yards with just eight interceptions.
- Also rushed for 755 rushing yards and accounted for 36 total touchdowns.
- For his career, passed for 4,542 yards and 52 touchdowns.
- On the ground, accounted for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdown on 181 carries over his high school career.
- Averaged 229.6 all-purpose yards per game.
- Served time on special teams as a punter, averaging nearly 40 yards per punt.
- Also lettered in baseball and track.
Not mentioned by Rolovich, was junior Kumoku Noa, who has been cleared to play this week against New Mexico after missing the first seven games of the season. The Kamehameha graduate was a member of the scout team in 2018 after having a productive sophomore season of 11 receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
The Rainbow Warriors will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak while keeping pace in the Mountain West Conference West Division race when they face New Mexico on Saturday in Albuquerque. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00am HST and will be televised on Spectrum Sports Pay-Per-View.