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UH football newcomers looks make big impact in ‘Bows 2021 season

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 2:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii football team is less than two weeks away from their season opener against UCLA.

As gameday approaches, the Rainbow Warriors’ roster is taking shape with a pair of newcomers looking to make a big impact in their first season in Manoa.

On the offense, Howard University transfer Dedrick Parson brings depth to UH’s runningback staff, coming to Hawaii as the Bison’s leading rusher in back-to-back seasons.

“Those guys came here with open arms for me.” Parsons told reporters. “I came here, I gained the trust of my teammates, of course I had to earn that respect in the weight room first, just being here and being on time, being one of those guys they can depend on everyday.”

“It’s a real special team here, it’s really family-oriented and I’m glad to be here, I’m glad to be a part of this team.”

Parson comes from Howard — which is a Division I FCS school — but the Philadelphia native always dreamed of playing at the highest level of college football.

“I always bet on myself, during this transition here I bet on myself to come here and play.” Parson said. “I came here to compete, so playing in these games, playing in these stadiums has always been a dream of mine.”

On the other side of the ball, the ‘Bows defense adds Iowa State transfer Chima Azunna to an already vaunted secondary for UH.

The Senior from Texas played five season for the Cyclones, but due to the NCAA’s COVID-19 eligibility exemption Azunna joins the team — a way for him to get out of his comfort zone.

“Just a place, I’ve never been to before, so I just wanted to get uncomfortable, sometimes being comfortable can be bad, so I just wanted to get uncomfortable so I can reach my goals.” Azunna said. “The transition was real easy, the players here are nice, it’s a brotherhood here, so you definitely feel the energy and feel the love.”

Born in Nigeria, Azunna says that the island’s unique culture allows him to express and embrace his own heritage.

“My name is Chima, I go my Chima.” Azunna said. “My first name is Arnold, but I didn’t want to go by that. I wanted to go by Chima so people know where I’m from, I’m proud to be Nigerian.”

The ‘Bows face UCLA next Saturday, August 28th — kickoff set for 9:30 a.m. HST on ESPN.

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