HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors headed into the first day of fall football camp with relatively high expectations surrounding the team – and on the first day of practice, they lived up to the hype, says second-year head coach Nick Rolovich.
"I think they were hungry," Rolovich said, following the team's first practice since spring camp. "I wanted so bad for that to be an ugly, sloppy, lazy practice. But, credit to the assistant coaches and the players - what they did over the summer. Their hunger is still there."
Rolovich especially praised the team's defense on Thursday – the unit had a number of takeaways two-and-a-half hour session, something junior linebacker Jahlani Tavai attributed to chemistry among the group and hard work put in during the off-season.
"I think it went well," said Tavai. "By far one of the best first days I've ever had, or as a team... Last year was our transition stage, this year we're just trying to make sure that we perfect everything. All the boys, we're pretty hungry right now."
While it was a big day for the 'Bows defense, Rolovich was also pleased with what he saw out of returning quarterback Dru Brown. The junior from California, who debuted his new #2 jersey number at the start of camp, didn't disappoint.
Rolovich, though, says there's still some rust he needs to shake-off.
"Dru made some great throws and big plays. But he said, 'Coach I went four-for-four last set.' I said, 'Ok.' Next set he goes one-for-four, throws a pick... I said 'take it easy,'" Rolovich laughed.
Rolo also said it was clear the chemistry between Brown and U.H.'s receiving corps hasn't missed a beat during the long break between spring ball and fall camp.
"It feels good to come out here and know everyone and be able to take that next step in my game and as a leader," said Brown. "We were pretty much out there all the time (during the off-season). So the chemistry really didn't go anywhere. If anything, it's gotten better."
The Rainbow Warriors resume camp Friday morning. It's the second of nine practices that are open to the public.