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Monday, September 22, 2014         

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Walk-on WR gets a shot with starters

By Stephen Tsai

POSTED:


Hawaii coach Norm Chow did not realize that "going deep" would refer to the receivers' depth chart and not pass routes.

With wideout Chris Gant sitting out practice because of an arm issue and slotback Miah Ostrowski hobbling from a foot ailment, the Warriors summoned walk-on Elijah Langley to take reps with the first-team offense.

"The coaches gave me an opportunity, and I took it, and ran with it," said Langley, a 2011 graduate of Maryville High in Tennessee.

Langley's father, who is in the military, was stationed in Hawaii this year.

"I love football, and I walked on," Langley said.

Langley has practiced with the scout offense this season. During yesterday's drills, he tied the yellow scout's jersey around his waist while practicing with the first unit.

"I knew I was going to get a little here and there," Langley said of the reps. "I ended up getting tossed in a lot."

Gant, who is part of the rotation at single-side receiver, said he hopes to resume practicing today. "I'll be back," Gant said.

UH is expected to set its travel roster today for Saturday's road game against Fresno State. The Warriors depart Thursday afternoon.

"This is the first time I've been seriously injured in my life," said Gant, who has suffered injuries to his ankle, knee and shoulder this season.

Chow said Justin Clapp, who is recovering from knee surgery, has not been cleared to play this weekend. Clapp is capable of playing all three receiver positions.

Chow said wideout Darius Bright was productive during Tuesday's practice. Bright was reinstated to the team on Monday. He was thought to be AWOL when he missed two practices last week, no-shows that eventually cost him a spot on last week's travel roster. Bright said he missed practices because of illness, although that message was not relayed to the coaches.

"Darius looked good," Chow said.

Daddy had a pick

As the father of a 2-year-old son and 1-year-old twins, defensive end Tavita Woodard knows about dual responsibilities.

"I love being a father," Woodard said. "It's great motivation."

Woodard, girlfriend Pearly Togiai and their children live with her parents in Liliha. He leaves the house at 5:30 every morning -- "quietly," he said -- heading to UH for a day of training, practice, meetings and classes.

"The best part is going home and hearing (the children) scream, 'Daddy,' to me," Woodard said. "It's icing on the cake to come home."

Woodard has a twin brother. His mother and aunt are twins.

Woodard played basketball and football at McKinley High. It was his combined skills that led to his first UH interception on Saturday against Colorado State. Woodard deflected a Conner Smith pass into the air and then grasped it.

"I saw the tight end go into the flats, and I stopped my rush," Woodard said. "Luckily (Smith) threw the ball and I jumped. It was perfect timing."

Woodard, who is 6-4 and 257 pounds, said he wants to gain 20 pounds during the offseason.

Daley used his head

Middle linebacker Brenden Daley made a unique interception when he caught a pass that ricocheted off his helmet against Colorado State.

Daley joked: "We practice that in Period 3. Coach said to line up and he throws it as hard as he can at everybody's head."






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