Spring Game Thread

I was able to watch a few quarters of the Spring Game and a few things jumped out to me.

-Brandon Rose doesn’t look like a world-beater but he seems pretty accurate. It seems like he was mostly limited to short passes.

-Nate Johnson looks to have the strongest arm but his accuracy is a little questionable. He’s been out with injuries so he has been limited in Spring action.

-Bryson Barnes is FAST but I’d be surprised if he was anything but a 3rd stringer this season. I wonder if he’ll make the transition to another position with his athleticism.

-Ludwig says the two main focuses of Spring Ball have been the QB competition and the WR group, which may lack some depth.

-Money Parks looks fast and like he’ll be a sizable contributor. He reminds me a little of Jereme Brooks.

-Apparently a true freshman named Mikey Matthews has impressed this Spring but I didn’t see him play too much in the 2 quarters I watched.

-Defense looks good as usual but I feel it’s tough to gauge where that actually is in a scrimmage like this one.

-New FG kicker nailed a 46 yarder. Hopefully our kicking woes are a thing of the past.

best news…


With the very large caveat that spring games are a poor source to draw many conclusions, here’s what I saw. So many guys held out, at most positions, it’s really mostly a glimpse of young talent and guys battling to break the 2 deep.

I mostly agree with Steggy.


  • Rose has a pretty good arm & was good in decision making, with one notable exception.
  • Nate Johnson had a bad decision, as well, but looked pretty good, otherwise. He can distort the defense with his speed, so it will be very interesting to see how fall camp shakes out. Depending on down / distance, routes and coverage, he’ll have LBs and Safeties keeping an eye to bail out of coverage if he takes off. That threat alone should help some of the downfield air game open up. No Safeties in America want to be posterized by a QB who accelerates past them with ease.
  • Mack Howard looks like a true FR, made a mistake in throwing toward Xfr CB Miles Battle, who does not look 6-4/210, looks more like a very athletic 6-0.


  • Mikey Matthews got a ton of snaps and generally looked good, especially considering he should be finishing up HS. He’s put together and can (and did) take punishment, looks ready to contribute. (He does remind of Covey, though that’s really an unfair comparison… for anyone.)
  • R-FR Chris Reed had a nice TD, looks ready to contribute.
  • Kamana Hanohano had a nice TD as well, the CB went for the pick and missed and it was a footrace to the EZ, and FR Safety Johnathan Hall really closed quickly.


  • Hall looked really good. We have solid, experienced talent with Bishop, Vaki and Nate Ritchie at Safety, but maybe Hall allows Scalley to move Vaki up to a NB/LB hybrid (let that combination sink in).
  • Battle looked like a man among boys. CB could be an intriguing competition, with Vaughn and Broughton being the incumbents, but Battle having really impressive raw talent, along with some experience going up against SEC WRs.
  • Bleu Stewart (6-0 / 200 So S) also looked intriguing.

Other notables:

  • Justin Medlock had a ton of snaps at LB and looked good. 6-0/220, and cat quick, is put together like Zack Moss. If there are unforeseen issues with Barton & Reid, Medlock looks ready to start, IMO.
  • Cole Becker’s FG looked like he didn’t get all of it, but he put it through from 46 and had that high % of touchbacks at CU, so… I’m glad Deion turned him off. We can use him. :wink:

I was impressed by Aden. He’s has elephant trunk legs and runs with violence . He could be a real contributor in short distance situations.

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I agree on Aden - he’s been around the program for a few years, might be a walk-on.

The nature of spring games is many guys don’t play, or don’t play much. Bernard had just a few snaps, JJ got a TD and was out, Glover played a little bit, Curry is on the mend, then it was on to the guys who put in the work but we rarely see.

East HS’s own Charlie Vincent got a LOT of work, his younger clone Daniel Wood likewise. The walkons pay the price during conditioning, in meetings and drills, this was their time to shine… and hopefully a bit more than that.

West High’s Faysal Aden at 5-8/208 is not just a tough guy and strong, but had the ability to accelerate past defenders. Memorable. A younger local kid, Jamarcus Smith #21 SO 6-0/188 had a couple of snaps, but the way the play unfolded it was hard to see the skills he brings.

To paraphrase Majerus, the spring game obscures as much as it reveals, but Aden stood out and may be being ready to get quality snaps in the season, if the situation dictates.

You just never know. Bernard came in with the recruiting class where Jordan Wilmore was the headliner, then Ty Jordan became an obvious talent that resulted in Wilmore & Devin Brumfield transferring… but when the dust settled Bernard was still here, still working hard, and in hindsight, was a lot more suitable for the P5 level than Wilmore.


I thought this was a balanced
article and was pleasantly surprised most of the comments were compelling and respectful.

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I hope the WR group can improve and become a true strength for the team. Guess we’ll find out in time.

Not sure where the projected 2 deep for Offense came from, but worthy of some thought:

QB 7 Cam Rising (Sr.) — 8 Brandon Rose (Fr.)

  • Having seen Barnes & Nate Johnson, I’m comfortable with how Andy manages this. We’ll see Johnson, even if it’s an expanded form of last year’s role. We may see 2 QB sets. Have a 10.3 sprinter in the backfield at QB with a nice arm? Wicked decoy, with wrinkles off that, I’m sure. Possibly much more.

RB 3 Ja’Quinden Jackson (So.) — 2 Micah Bernard (Jr.)

  • Bernard is the highlight of this signing class, IMO. JJ is the rare 6-3 RB who is still getting better. Curry & Glover would both start a lot of places.

WR 17 Devaughn Vele (Jr.) — 12 Sidney Mbanasor (Fr.)

  • Watching to see what happens with Mbanasor. He had an impressive circus catch last fall in camp, but then disappeared as many FR do. Couldn’t have a better mentor than Vele.

WR 10 Money Parks (Jr.) — 11 Makai Cope (So.)

  • Parks is proven, Cope is “right there”, a little bit bigger, not quite the athlete

WR 0 Mikey Matthews (Fr.) — 29 — Franky Jacobsen (Fr.)

  • Matthews is a true FR that looks ready to go. He’s still a FR, but he provides another elusive athlete to go with Parks & the big (and athletic) Vele

TE 80 Brant Kuithe (Sr.) — 87 Thomas Yassmin (Sr.)

  • know and like both of them

LT 59 Falcon Kaumatule (Jr.) — 76 Zereoue Williams (So.)

  • Kaumatule’s been in the program, knows that it takes, big wingspan. Williams is another year seasoned.

LG 51 Keaton Bills (Jr.) — 73 Tanoa Togiai (So.)

  • Bills is a known mauler

C 61 Kolinu’u Faaiu (So.) — 68 Jaren Kump (Jr.)

  • Faaiu must be pretty good, because Kump is solid

RG 52 Michael Mokofisi (So.) — 55 Spencer Fano (Fr.)

  • little Moko is a mauler, with a 4 star behind him.

RT 78 Sataoa Laumea (Sr.) — 62 Solatoa Moeai (Fr.)

  • seems like Laumea has been here a decade, totally comfortable with him at RT if Harding is.