POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 17, 2011
Proving challenges have no height limits, Corey Paclebar and Billy Ray Stutzmann recently were among a dozen Hawaii football players who jumped 30 feet from a cliff above Kapena Falls into a deep pool of water.
"It was a long way down, but it was fun," Stutzmann said. "We're in college. Why not do fun things?"
Yesterday, Paclebar and Stutzmann accepted another challenge, jumping into the deep pool at slotback. They were the No. 1 slotbacks in the fourth practice of the Warriors' spring training.
"They understand what we're doing and they're making plays," offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said of the two receivers who will be third-year sophomores in the fall. "This is a good opportunity for them."
Left slotback Allen Sampson and right slotback Terence Bell, who moved from wideout, were the No. 1 slotbacks during the first three spring practices. Miah Ostrowski, the point guard on the UH basketball team, will rejoin the Warriors after the hoops season ends.
Promise Amadi, a highly regarded recruit, joins the mix this summer as the Warriors seek successors to Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares.
But for now, Paclebar and Stutzmann have caught the coaches' attention — and, seemingly, every pass thrown in their direction — this spring.
Rolovich said Paclebar "understands how to get open, and how to get other people open. He's working hard."
Paclebar, who was raised outside of Oakland, Calif., joined the Warriors as a walk-on in the spring of 2009. He said he chose UH because of the experiences of accompanying his father on numerous business trips to Hawaii.
"I fell in love with the aloha culture," he said.
An impressive performance in the 2009 Warrior Bowl earned him an invitation to training camp.
"I got lucky in the spring game," Paclebar said. "When I went back and looked at the tape, I didn't really run the routes very well."
During the 2009 training camp, he suffered a subluxed left shoulder while swinging a pillow during an orientation session.
"That's embarrassing," he said.
He continued practicing, eventually leading to fractures in two areas of his shoulder and a labrum tear. He missed the entire 2009 season.
He contributed on the scout team in 2010 while continuing to learn the intricacies of the Warriors' four-wide offense.
"He has quickness, and he works hard," receivers coach Mouse Davis said.
"Two years in the offense, it's about time I got things straightened out. I'm having fun with it now," Paclebar said.
Stutzmann, the No. 2 right wideout behind Royce Pollard, is being trained to play slotback and on the outside. Stutzmann, who was recruited as a wideout, said he feels comfortable at both positions.
Asked where Stutzmann will play, Rolovich smiled and said, "For Hawaii for the next three years."