MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The University of Hawaii football team opened spring practice Wednesday in Manoa.
Coach Greg McMackin told Hawaii News Now the team is ahead of where it was at this point last year and he is encouraged by what he saw at practice.
"We're in good condition. The attitude is outstanding. The effort. The quickness," McMackin said.
"I just think we have a bunch of guys who want to learn and a bunch of coaches who want to coach. and they're communicating with each other and working hard at it and there's a freshness about it," he added.
The players said they were eager to get back to work.
"It's nice to get back out here. Everybody is excited this week coming back from spring break knowing we have to play football this week," said wide receiver Greg Salas.
"It felt real good. We got to get the butterflies out. Break the news guys in. I can't wait to get the pads on," added defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga.
The players wore helmets Wednesday, but will not put on the shoulder pads until the team's third practice Saturday.
Former Hawaii coach Dick Tomey, who also served as head coach at Arizona and San Jose State, attended the practice.
"They have the kind of athletes, you can tell from watching them practice, they work hard. They love to be out here," Tomey said.
Tomey was asked if he is giving McMackin any advice.
"No. He doesn't need any advice from me. Mack's a terrific coach. I learned a lot from him when I worked with him with the 49ers, and I'm just out here enjoying watching these coaches work and watching the great job they do and I'm just a fan at this point," Tomey responded.
The Warriors second practice will be 7 a.m. Friday.