Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz tops the nation in total offense but can't get much love from the national media
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 15, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 01:34 a.m. HST, Oct 15, 2010
Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz's national ranking in total offense -- 1 -- is the same as the number of national interviews he has given.
Despite video-game-like statistics and a made-for-TV back story, Moniz is the highly rated QB with the low Q rating.
Moniz, a 2007 Leilehua High graduate who lives in Wahiawa, is the NCAA leader in total offense, with 388 yards per game. The Heisman Trophy front-runner, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, averages 369 yards.
Moniz also is No. 1 in passing yards per game (374.17) and total passing yards (2,245), significantly ahead of Oklahoma State's Russell Wilson's 1,802 yards.
Moniz is tied for first with 18 touchdown throws.
All of which equates to zippo in national exposure. ESPN.com has been the only national media outlet to request an interview with Moniz.
"I have no idea why," UH head coach Greg McMackin said of the attention deficit. "Maybe the mainland is a ways away."
Defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu said: "People probably say it's the system he's in. A lot of guys don't know him. We don't get a lot of games televised on ESPN. But he's a great player. He's a good guy. He works hard. I like the way he plays. He puts everything on the line every time. You can't complain about a guy like that. He goes for broke every time."
Indeed, Moniz has won over teammates with his fearless scrambling. On one, he stiff-armed a Louisiana Tech defender to gain extra yards. He also absorbed a shot to the helmet against Southern California, was escorted to the training room in a daze, and came back to play the next week.
Moniz's ascent has been often told -- locally. Fourteen months ago, he was a fourth-string, walk-on quarterback who delivered pizzas to help support his daughter and pay for his school expenses. This past summer, he worked as a Waikiki beachboy.
"He's just got 'it,'" McMackin said. "When we first saw it was in the (2009) spring game. He was our sixth-string quarterback. We were just getting him in there as a favor and -- boom! -- he just moved them down the field. At game time, he's just got it."
After listening to offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich, who starred in this offensive system in 2001, and receivers coach Mouse Davis, who pioneered the run-and-shoot attack, McMackin concluded: "I think he's the best quarterback in the country. He's leading in everything. He's making us go."
A UH official said the school could not build a preseason publicity campaign for Moniz because he was on personal leave for the final three weeks of spring practice and entered training camp listed as one of four candidates for the starting quarterback's job. He was named the starter by the end of the first week of camp.
Since then, UH has not had a promotional campaign. After throwing for 532 yards and four touchdowns against Louisiana Tech, Moniz was not nominated as UH's choice for WAC Offensive Player of the Week.
"He is by me," Rolovich said. "I like him. Maybe he has to win more big games."
Davis said: "He hasn't done it long enough. He'll get (the attention), the longer he does it."
Of knowledge of this offense, Davis added, Moniz is "right there" with former UH quarterbacks Rolovich, Tim Chang and Colt Brennan.
"He has great quickness, arm strength and sees things well," Davis said. "He really studies the game. He's a tough kid on top of that."
Moniz said he is not concerned about the lack of national attention.
"It doesn't bother me at all," Moniz said. "All of the people who were there for me before are still there for me now. That's all that matters."
Besides, he said, he still is surprised when he is approached.
"I remember the first time I had to do an interview," Moniz recalled. "It shocked me. 'Whoa. Me? I have to do an interview?'"