Tuesday, November 24, 2015         


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UH had better do its homework on Forcier

By Ferd Lewis


Miami, Kansas State, Washington, Arizona, Auburn, Montana, Southern California, San Diego State, the University of San Diego, San Jose State and, now, Hawaii — are we leaving anybody out?

Quarterback Robert Patrick “Tate” Forcier and his family have reportedly checked them all out since he left the University of Michigan in January.

In the search for a new place to launch his passes and a fresh huddle to command, the one-time blue-chip high school recruit has scoured the landscape and, apparently, left few stones unturned in the process.

The hope is that Hawaii will do the same in performing its due diligence if the courtship gets serious.

It is easy to get blinded by Forcier’s considerable potential, the kind that prompted a Who’s Who of marquee programs to pursue him out of Scripps Ranch High in San Diego. Not to mention the abilities that made him a starter as a true freshman in the Big Ten before a sophomore season slip on the depth chart. Make no mistake about it, Forcier is a talent and has been well-schooled since elementary school in a family of QBs.

It is enticing to think the “next Colt Brennan,” as some have breathlessly put it, might be knocking on the Warriors’ door. Never mind, of course, that the original Colt, in all his facets, comes along once in a blue moon, if you’re lucky.

And UH was both fortunate and thorough when it came to Brennan. He was a bounce-back player, somebody who began elsewhere (Colorado) and found his way to UH after a scrape with the law. In his case and, indeed, with nearly all the second-chance players then-head coach June Jones took on, the coaching staff did its homework. It was diligence and digging that went considerably beyond assessing arm strength, pocket poise and 40-yard dash time.

You hope the same holds true now; and looking toward the future no matter who shows up on UH’s doorstep. Because one of the best things the Warriors have had going for themselves of late is the chemistry of the team. The level at which UH must operate to be a force in the Mountain West in 2012 and beyond — when Forcier would come off a mandatory transfer redshirt year and have two seasons of eligibility — the Warriors will have little margin for shortcoming on this count.

When it comes to replacing Bryant Moniz, a lot of candidates have already been paying their dues and anybody who joins the competition will be expected to do likewise.

With Forcier there are questions that need to be posed and inquiries to be made. Not the least of them being: What happened this spring when the Detroit Free Press reported Forcier was taken to a hospital by police who were called to a Michigan apartment complex because a woman reported she feared Forcier might jump from a third-floor window?

Questions also hung over his academic ineligibility for the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl and what happened early last fall when teammates were said to have “called him out” for greater effort in practice as coaches sought to motivate him?

If Forcier and the Warriors get serious, they will have plenty to talk about. But the quarterback shouldn’t be the only one posing the pointed questions.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@staradvertiser.com.

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