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Edwards says he’s ready to play both ways

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 2:08 a.m. HST, Nov 10, 2011

Searching every corner for talent, the Hawaii football team is looking at cornerback Mike Edwards as an emergency receiver.

Three starting receivers — slotback Justin Clapp and wideouts Allen Sampson and Royce Pollard — are injured, forcing the Warriors to replenish the depth chart.

Clapp is recovering from a collapsed lung. Sampson is scheduled to have surgery Friday for a torn ACL. Pollard, who has knee and ankle ailments, is expected to miss Saturday’s road game against Nevada.

Backup quarterback David Graves has practiced as a wideout. After Wednesday’s practice, Edwards ran pass routes.

“I worked on a few different plays,” said Edwards, who doubled as a receiver at Cleveland’s Glenville High School. “I don’t have to learn the whole offense, just a few different keys.”

Edwards is the Warriors’ starting cornerback and kickoff returner.

“I love football,” he said. “Any time I can get on the field and play, I’m all for it.”

As for his chances of playing receiver this weekend, Edwards said: “Who knows? We might do something, we might not do anything. But if they call my number, I’ll be ready.”

Pollard gets special treatment

Knee and ankle ailments are supposed to prevent Pollard, who is on the travel roster, from playing against Nevada. Then again, the bucket list offers slim hope.

As part of the treatment for a sprained ankle, Pollard immerses his left foot into a bucket of water. The accelerated recovery performance device is attached to his left ankle. ARP is designed to improve muscle rehabilitation.

“Your whole foot crunches up, your calves get tight,” Pollard said. “It’s something I never felt before. I asked (the trainers) if you could contract too much because everything squeezes.”

Pollard said head trainer Eric Okasaki show little mercy.

“He pushes me,” Pollard said. “I respect him.”

Jasper enjoying moment

For five years, there have been two constants. 1) receiver Jett Jasper on the scout team, and 2) Jasper being upbeat.

“I’ve seen people eaten up by complaining and having a bad attitude, and they kind of disappeared off the team,” Jasper said. “I don’t want to get like that. I want to have a positive attitude, and to work hard. Whatever happens, happens. That’s been my motto the past five years.”

Jasper was rewarded with a spot on the travel roster to Reno.

“We have about 120 guys (on the roster), and it’s really tough to get it to 64 (for traveling),” head coach Greg McMackin said. “We’re taking an elite group that represents all of those guys who have been working hard all this time. Jett was selected as one of the elite. He’s a team leader. We’re down at the receiver position. He knows the offense. He’s a great guy, and a great teammate. He’s a perfect guy to bring.”

Jasper, who is working on a master’s degree, said: “My dad said to enjoy the moment. In a month and a half, I’m going to be done with my football career. I’m enjoying every moment.”

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