Approaching the three week countdown to kickoff, the University of Hawaii football team continued to tear up the turf in training camp on Wednesday morning, as the Rainbow Warriors reached a camp check point by breaking out full pads for the first time this summer.
Certainly a significant sound check in the morning hours, serving as a strong reminder that the season opener is not too far away.
Head Coach Nick Rolovich was very clear at the end of practice that he thought the defense was the overwhelming winner in the team’s live scrimmage that was closed to cameras, but the play that provided the biggest ‘pop’ from the team and spectators was a 50-yard touchdown run by sophomore Miles Reed.
“That’s been the goal this whole camp. Just trying to display what I can really do, and that I can really be a part of this offense, and create explosive plays like I did earlier,” Reed told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
Reed, who starred at Centennial High School in California earning all-CIF Southern Section and Big VIII MVP honors as a senior, returns with Dayton Furuta and Fred Holly as members at the position that had at-least 30-carries last season. The experience gives Reed and the rest of his unit confidence heading into 2019.
“On day one I told (Brian) Smith that it feels like we’re on day five in terms of mentality, like, I think that we are way ahead of the game. We didn’t bring in any running backs because a lot of the guys know what we’re doing. We know what we’re going to get out of each other, and it’s just like, we’re experienced on the game already, so it’s like, might as just roll with what we have,” added Reed.
Outside of what he can do with the football in his hand, an evident pride in pass-blocking is evident when watching Reed at practice. A discipline that in the run-n-shoot offense provides an opportunity to push into the rotation.
“Definitely. Protecting the quarterback is the number one priority. Especially in this offense. We do throw a lot so we got to keep those guys off of Cole, and in a way we are a sixth lineman, but I’m not the size of those guys, so I’m throwing my all into them,” said Reed.
When asked if the nickname ‘Bam Bam’ that he produly displays on his visor during practice motivates him to live up to the moniker while blocking, Reed acknowledged that it does inspire him in those one-on-one situations, “Yeah, I do a little bit. I got to thud up a little bit.”
Reed and the Rainbow Warriors return to practice on Thursday, with only Friday and Saturday remaining as practices open to the public for the remainder of the season.
All three practices this week begin at 8:00am at Cooke Field.
Kickoff against Arizona at Aloha Stadium to open the season is set for August 24 at 4:30pm, televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.