HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the Warriors prepare to unload their pro style offense against USC, coaches say they will go with a running back by committee. In Joey Iosefa and Sterling Jackson, Hawaii possess powerful runners. In John Lister, sure hands out of the back field. However, there is one running back coaches say embodies all of those elements, redshirt freshman, Will Gregory.
"He is deceptive, he has some speed, but he has a lot of power now. He's very strong and physical." says running backs coach Keith Uperesa. "He likes to block as well as carry the rock, so, he's really come along as far as the things we've asked him to do."
Gregory red shirted the 2011 season under the previous Warriors coaching staff, but says the transition from the run and shoot offense to the more balanced pro-set was a blessing that he didn't anticipate when he originally committed to UH out of Dominguez high school in California.
"It feels great, I feel like I'm back in high school. The run and shoot is all downhill (when running the ball), in this offense I can go to the outside, I can do me." says Gregory.
With the countdown to USC less than two weeks away, Gregory is eager to take the field at the Coliseum. Not because he grew up just minutes away from there as a kid, but because it'll be a chance to reunite with his grandfather who works as part of the grounds crew on the Trojans home turf.
"He says he'll be cheering for me, but he'll be SC geared down."
Consider that just another slap to Gregory's pride.
As many kids do in down town L.A., Gregory grew up a fan of the Trojans. Yet, despite being rated as one of the top-10 backs on the west coast as a senior, Gregory never received an offer, call, or look from his home town team.
It's a chip Gregory will carry into southern California.
"If you ain't no 5-star recruit, they don't want to talk to you.," Gregory says, "There's no offer, nothing, I feel like this is it for me. We about to go at these boys."
When asked if he likes his running backs to feed off a grudge, Uperesa added.
"Sure, these guys always have something to prove when they come to their home town. I'd like him to carry that bottled up in side, but keep in under control."