On Wednesday, the University of Hawaii football team opened training camp a month ahead of its 2022 season opener against Vanderbilt.
A new era of Hawaii football will officially be ushered in on Aug. 27 when the Rainbow Warriors take on the Commodores at Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex as Timmy Chang makes his head coaching debut.
In the 31 days between the start of camp and the start of the season, Chang will make one of his first big decisions at the helm of the program: Picking a starting quarterback.
With two-year starter Chevan Cordeiro now at San Jose State, the ‘Bows have a void under center and have whittled the competition down to five: Brayden Schager, Cammon Cooper, Armani Edden, Jake Farrell and Joey Yellen.
Yellen, the lone player in the group who didn’t participate in spring ball, joined UH in the summer after transferring from Pittsburgh, where he spent the 2021 season as a backup with first-round NFL Draft pick Kenny Pickett.
“It’s exciting. It’s certainly different from some of the camps I’ve gone through in my past years but it’s exciting,” Yellen said. “I think we’ve got a good thing going in the right direction, just gotta keep putting some good days together and get ready for Vanderbilt.”
Despite the late start, Yellen remains squarely in the race, taking multiple reps with the first-team offense on Wednesday.
“I’m confident. If you asked any quarterback here, they should say that, right? If you’re not, what are you doing? You gotta be confident, you gotta feel like you’re the right guy for the job, and I think everyone should feel that way,” Yellen said. “I think there’s always gonna be room for improvement on the first day, but I thought we have a lot of young guys around, I’m new, it was just a lot of new things for everybody. I think that kind of showed at some parts but I thought it was a good first day. I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Yellen’s path to Manoa was similar to that of former Hawaii coach Todd Graham, who made his way to UH after stints at Pittsburgh and Arizona State.
“I love it out here. People keep asking me, ‘Do you like it? Do you like the islands?’ I keep telling them I was in Pittsburgh before this, so, yeah, I’m enjoying this,” Yellen said. “A lot of my time here has been spent in the facility but when I’ve left, just kind of seeing some of the areas around here, experiencing some of the players, the places, it’s definitely a special place and I’m excited to be here for the next couple of years.