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Stutzmann has all the left stuff

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Billy Ray Stutzmann caught his first touchdown pass as a Warrior Saturday against Charleston Southern.
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Billy Ray Stutzmann is used to the view from the top.

One of his hobbies is to walk-sprint to the top of Koko Crater.

"It’s a great workout," said Stutzmann, who can complete the ascent in 20 to 25 minutes.

For now, Stutzmann is atop the depth chart at left wideout as the primary injury replacement for Rodney Bradley. Bradley, who is recovering from a strained left hamstring, did not practice yesterday, but is hopeful of being able to play in Saturday’s game against Louisiana Tech. He is listed as "questionable."

Stutzmann, who usually plays right wideout, yesterday made an easy adjustment to the left side.

"It was fine," Stutzmann said. "I played everywhere in high school. It was getting the footwork down. Once I did that, basically, it was like second nature."

Stutzmann faced a different footwork situation last year, his first as a Warrior. He sprained his right ankle, which eventually affected his Achilles’ tendon.

"Everything happens for a reason," said Stutzmann, who ended up redshirting in 2009. "Maybe it was a good thing to redshirt. It helped me get experience under my belt."

Stutzmann went with a dual training program to prepare for this season. He complemented his UH workouts with an exercise program at a local training center. He said the center’s isometric exercises helped improve his strength, quickness and agility.

LA. TECH TURNS TO FOURTH QB

RUSTON, La. » Tarik Hakmi will start at quarterback for Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Hawaii.

Hakmi relieved Colby Cameron last week against Southern Miss. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown against the Golden Eagles in the 13-12 loss.

He will become the Bulldogs’ fourth starter of the season.

Associated Press

"It took me to a whole new level," Stutzmann said.

To improve his pass-catching, he works with the JUGS throwing machine. He also carries around small medicine balls (weighing between 2 and 6 pounds) to strengthen his hands and wrists.

The extra effort was rewarded this past Saturday when he caught the first scoring pass of his UH career in a 66-7 rout of Charleston Southern.

"When (Bryant Moniz) threw the ball in the air, I knew it was going to be mine," Stutzmann said.

His initial reaction?

"I felt on top of the world," he said, smiling.

Left slotback Dustin Blount also worked out at left wideout yesterday.

One receiver who stayed put was Kealoha Pilares, who leads the Warriors in receiving yards (116.2 per game) and touchdowns (seven). Last year, PIlares’ production dropped dramatically when he moved from slotback to left wideout as Bradley’s injury replacement for the final seven games.

"They knew not to come to me," Pilares said. "That wasn’t even an option. I was not going to move. They tried to joke about it, but I said: ‘Don’t mess with me like that.’ "

Pilares, who has been used as a running back during his UH career, said it is too difficult, for him, to change positions.

"In this offense, you need stability," he said. "You can face one coverage that looks 30 different ways. The more looks you get at one position, the more you’ll know what to expect."

Turnstiles to open at 4 p.m.

Aloha Stadium turnstiles will open at 4 p.m. for all UH future home football games this year, the school and stadium said yesterday.

The school had incorrectly distributed a 2:30 p.m. opening for last Saturday’s Charleston Southern game resulting in confusion at some gates, officials said.

The USC game had an earlier opening because of an earlier kickoff time and the weekday slot. All remaining UH home games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday kickoffs.

Meanwhile, UH announced Manoa students with valid student identification may enter through gates 1, 7 and 8.

Gates 1 and 7 will provide entry to the super rooter and general admission areas. Gate 8 will have approximately 750 hard-copy tickets available for reserved seating along the mauka sideline.

UH said those seats were being made available to students on a special basis.

Leonard back at practice

Brett Leonard, who missed the first four games after having arthroscopic knee surgery, resumed practicing yesterday. He was used at left guard, rotating with Brysen "Bula" Ginlack, who has a minor injury.

Ferd Lewis contributed to this report.

 

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