Changes in scheme mean changes of position for some Rainbow Warriors

Changes in scheme mean changes of position for some Rainbow Warriors

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For a handful of Rainbow Warrior football players, the spring football season is about more than just learning the new schemes and systems that have come as a result of having new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

Players like junior Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea, an outside linebacker in last year's 3-4 scheme, have moved to entirely new positions.

"I think that's where I was supposed to be the entire time," Kema-Kaleiwahea said on Thursday, of his move to defensive end under new defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa. "I've always felt passionate, comfortable, from a three point stance, getting after the quarterback."

There's been plenty of movement so far this spring. Junior lineman Dejon Allen has been bumped from offensive guard to offensive tackle, sophomore Dany Mulanga has moved from safety to outside linebacker, and sophomore Jahlani Tavai now helps quarterback the defense.

"I love playing middle linebacker," Tavai told reporters after Thursday's practice. "Last year, playing outside linebacker, I felt like I was just settled into one spot, either on the left side or on the right. Here, playing 'Mike,' I feel like I'm playing everywhere, so I'm excited about that."

Allen says his experience playing across the line in high school has been benficial during his move this spring.

"I played all over the place, so I'm kind of already used to it," said Allen. "I'm just doing it in college now. I just gotta visualize it and do it again, that's it."

Head coach Nick Rolovich says a new offense, and a new defense, are creating new opportunities for players that may not have had them a year ago.

"You see new packages coming in, it gives guys a chance to find a role," said Rolovich. "And I don't care if we play fifty guys, if they all have a role and can help us, that will be good."

Rolovich and his staff watch film and evaluate players -- and their positions -- after each and every practice. Their next chance to do so will come on Saturday, when the team takes the field for their sixth practice of the spring sessions.

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