The strength of the Hawaii football team appears to be at center.
In team testing, Elmer "Tahi" Lim, Kahai Choy and Matagisila Lefiti had impressive weight-lifting performances.
Lim and Choy — both Kamehameha Schools graduates — each bench-pressed a team-high 455 pounds.
Choy and Lefiti each benched 225 pounds 35 times.
Lim and Choy are both walk-ons. Lefiti and Brett Leonard are rotating at center and left guard on the first team.
Lim said he has been weight-training since his freshman year at Kamehameha. But he increased his workouts after being cut from the Warriors at the end of 2009 spring training.
"That’s when I really started to work on my upper-body strength," Lim said.
Lim, who is 6 feet 1 and 290 pounds. was reinstated to the roster following a successful walk-on tryout in February 2010. He practiced at guard during the 2010 season before switching to center. He has one season of eligibility remaining.
Lim easily benched 455 pounds, but was unsuccessful with a 475-pound attempt.
"I just couldn’t get it," he said.
Offensive lineman Andrew Faaumu recorded the top power clean, with a lift of 342 pounds.
Faaumu, who will be a senior in the fall, is in the mix at guard.
"It’s going to come down to the summer," Faaumu said.
By then, Faaumu will have earned his bachelor’s degree in communications. He plans to pursue a master’s degree.
"Right now, Plan A is football," Faaumu said.
Faaumu, who was raised on Maui, relies on financial aid, student loans and help from his family to pay for school and living expenses. He is not on scholarship.
"I don’t see anything wrong with investing money into college," he said. "Whether you’re taking out loans, it’s an investment into your future. I didn’t go to college just to play football. I wanted to learn."
Hardy-Tuliau moves to corner
John Hardy-Tuliau, who started at the nickelback position known as quarter last season, is making an easy adjustment to cornerback.
"I played corner before," he said. "I know it."
With openings at both corner positions, Hardy-Tuliau and Tank Hopkins have emerged as the top candidates. For now, Hardy-Tuliau is playing on the right side. The competition will intensify this summer when Mike Edwards, who played eight games as a freshman at Tennessee in 2009, enrolls at UH.
"Playing nickel," Hardy-Tuliau said, "I had to learn all of the positions (in the secondary)."
Doe right on the money
It appears as unlikely for a school named North Dakota State College of Science to have a standout football program as it is for a wide receiver in a run-oriented system to fit into a four-wide passing offense.
But Cecil Doe, a transfer from that junior college, has been impressive in the Warriors’ first two spring practices.
"I feel I’m making pretty good progress," said Doe, who is competing at left wideout.
Doe said he is learning how to read various defensive coverages, and how his routes can clear the way for other receivers.
"It’s a really good offense," Doe said. "It’s definitely fun to run."