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Warriors crack All-WAC

Unrecruited defensive players Mana Silva and Corey Paredes join Greg Salas on the first team

By Stephen Tsai


Hawaii slotback Greg Salas was recruited as a defensive back, and linebacker Corey Paredes and safety Mana Silva were not recruited at all.

Those humble beginnings were nearly forgotten during their standout 2010 football season. Yesterday, those three Warriors were named to the All-Western Athletic Conference football first team.

The Warriors selected to the second team were quarterback Bryant Moniz, running back Alex Green, slotback Kealoha Pilares, right guard Adrian Thomas, right tackle Laupepa Letuli, defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu, and kicker Scott Enos.

The nine WAC head coaches selected the All-WAC teams. A coach was allowed to nominate players from his team, but not vote for them.

"Almost half of our starters got recognition," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "I'm proud of them. That's a real compliment to the entire program. I'm glad our opposing coaches felt that way about them."

Despite playing with bruised ribs most of the season, Salas led the nation with 1,675 receiving yards. Along the way, he also set the school record for most career receiving yards.

"It does mean something to me," Salas said of the record.

Salas, who is now healthy, said he refused to allow ailments to slow him down.

"You take a couple of aspirins before the game, and the adrenaline is running. It's not too bad during the game," Salas said. "But after the game, it hurts. You have to suck it up."

Paredes endured injuries to his left shoulder, legs and ankles. With daily treatment -- his father is a chiropractor -- Paredes has managed 11.08 tackles per game. He is fifth nationally with 6.46 solo tackles per game.

Silva is No. 1 nationally with eight interceptions. He set the UH career record with 14 picks.

But growing up in Hilo, Silva envisioned being on the other side.

"I always dreamed of being like a Bryant Moniz, a quarterback," said Silva, who was passer at Kamehameha-Hawaii.

"When I first came out of high school, there was nothing on the table for me," Silva said. "I didn't have a scholarship at all. I had to walk on at Oregon State. It wasn't working out there at all. I walked on at UH."

Silva said he received support from his wife and family.

"My wife is a rock for myself," he said. "She made a lot of sacrifices. She put a lot of hopes and aspirations on a slight delay for now. I'm very grateful to her."

As a high school quarterback, Silva earned the nickname "Detour" for running out of bounds at the end of scrambles.

"Hopefully, I'm a stop sign now," he said.

Boise State's Kellen Moore and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick shared the award for the WAC's top offensive player, although Moniz is better statistically than those quarterbacks. Moniz leads the nation in total offense (461.92 yards per game), passing yards (4,629) and touchdown throws (36).

Green is the nation's leader in yards per carry (8.78).

"It feels good," Green said of being named to the second team. "We worked hard for this. This is for everybody."

Pilares, who set a UH single-game record with 18 catches, called his second-team selection a "team award. I'm proud of all of those guys."

In preseason publications, UH's offensive line was singled out for its lack of game experience. But Thomas, who was raised in Australia, and Letuli, who missed three games because of a high-ankle sprain, provided front-side blocking for the right-handed Moniz.

"I'm pretty humbled by (the selection)," said Thomas, who played American football only on the club level in Australia.

Letuli said: "I'm surprised. But I'm happy."

Tuipulotu, who redshirted in 2009 after transferring from Arizona, lost 30 pounds during the offseason, and emerged as a vocal and physical leader.

"I do what I do," said Tuipulotu, when asked about his leadership role. "I didn't plan on it happening."

Enos has not missed an extra-point kick in his two-year UH career.




Special awards
» Co-Offensive players of the year: Kellen Moore, Jr., QB, Boise State; Colin Kaepernick, Sr., QB, Nevada
» Defensive player of the year: Chris Carter, Sr., DL, Fresno State
» Freshman of the year: Keith Smith, LB, San Jose State
» Coach of the Year: Chris Ault, Nevada

First-Team offense

Pos Name School Ht. Wt. Year
WR Austin Pettis Boise State 6-3 197 Sr.
WR Titus Young Boise State 5-11 168 Sr.
WR Greg Salas Hawaii 6-2 200 Sr.
TE Virgil Green Nevada 6-5 240 Sr.
OL Thomas Byrd Boise State 5-11 279 Jr.
OL Nate Potter Boise State 6-6 297 Sr.
OL Rob McGil Louisiana Tech 6-6 310 Sr.
OL John Bender Nevada 6-8 325 Sr.
QB Kellen Moore Boise State 6-0 186 Jr.
QB Colin Kaepernick Nevada 6-6 215 Sr.
RB Doug Martin Boise State 5-9 212 Jr.
RB Vai Taua Nevada 5-10 220 Sr.

First-team Defense
Pos Name School Ht. Wt. Year
DL Shea McClellin Boise State 6-3 258 Jr.
DL Ryan Winterswyk Boise State 6-4 267 Sr.
DL Chris Carter Fresno State 6-2 230 Sr.
DL Logan Harrell Fresno State 6-2 275 Jr.
DL Dontay Moch Nevada 6-1 245 Sr.
LB Winston Venable Boise State 5-11 218 Sr.
LB Ben Jacobs Fresno State 6-3 225 Sr.
LB Corey Paredes Hawaii 5-11 230 Jr.
LB Bobby Wagner Utah State 6-1 230 Jr.
DB George Iloka Boise State 6-3 207 Jr.
DB Jeron Johnson Boise State 5-11 195 Sr.
DB Mana Silva Hawaii 6-1 220 Sr.
DB Davon House New Mexico St. 6-0 178 Sr.

Pos Name School Ht. Wt. Year
PK Kevin Goessling Fresno State 6-0 195 Jr.
P Bobby Cowan Idaho 6-5 220 So.
ST Phillip Livas Louisiana Tech 5-8 175 Sr.

Second-team offense: WR-Jamel Hamler, Jr., Fresno State; WR-Kealoha Pilares, Sr., Hawaii; WR-Eric Greenwood, Sr., Idaho; WR-Rishard Matthews, Jr., Nevada; TE-Daniel Hardy, Sr., Idaho; OL-Bryce Harris, Jr., Fresno State; OL-Laupepa Letuli, Sr., Hawaii; OL-Adrian Thomas, Sr., Hawaii; OL-Chris Barker, So., Nevada; OL-Ailao Eliapo, Sr., San Jose State; QB-Bryant Moniz, Jr., Hawaii; RB-Alex Green, Sr., Hawaii; RB-Lennon Creer, Jr., Louisiana Tech;

Second-team defense: DL-Billy Winn, Jr., Boise State; DL-Kaniela Tuipulotu, Jr., Hawaii; DL-Aaron Lavarias, Sr., Idaho; DL-Matt Broha, Jr., Louisiana Tech; LB-Byron Hout, Jr., Boise State; LB-Travis Brown, So., Fresno State; LB-Adrien Cole, Jr., Louisiana Tech; LB-James-Michael Johnson, Jr., Nevada; LB-Keith Smith, Fr., San Jose State; DB-Brandyn Thompson, Sr., Boise State; DB-Desia Dunn, Sr., Fresno State; DB-Shiloh Keo, Sr., Idaho; DB-Isaiah Frey, Jr., Nevada; DB-Curtis Marsh, Sr., Utah State

Second-team specialists: PK-Scott Enos, Sr., Hawai; P-Harrison Waid, Fr., San Jose State; ST-Taveon Rogers, Jr., New Mexico State


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