WR Malcolm Lane

2007 Statistics

Coach: Greg McMackin
1st year
2007 Record: 12-1
at Louisiana Tech WON 45-44 (OT)
at UNLV WON 49-14
at Idaho WON 48-20
at San Jose State WON 42-35 (OT)
at Nevada WON 28-26
Georgia LOST 10-41

2007 Final Rankings
AP-19, Coaches-17, BCS-10

2008 Outlook

Greg McMackin knows Rainbow Warrior football. In his second stint on the islands (was the defensive coordinator in 1999, June Jones’s first year at the helm), McMackin’s current promotion will assure the most continuity from the nine-year successes of the Jones era. There were two losing campaigns under Jones, and that this year is looking like it could be a good time to revamp/reposition more than just part of the coaching staff works with the recent player departures. Hey, following the team’s first trip to the BCS, losing 14 starters makes 2008 all gravy.

What the lopsided loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl showed was that this team needs to raise its bar if it is to envision itself amongst the nation’s elite. That isn’t expected in 2008. But to be in position in 2009 to make another stab at being one of the nation’s best 10 teams heading into the post-season seems realistic. The quarterbacks will battle it out, and any of them seem to be viable stars that could continue the recent strong tradition here (Chang, Brennan). McMackin would be wise to inject more running, for the Bulldogs just fielded between five and seven DBs on most defensive plays to easily handle this corps in New Orleans. Those pass-heavy plans work in the WAC and against the lower BCS-aligned squads, but the top 25 types will thrive if Hawaii cannot find more offensive balance.

The defense has their own journey to travel after losing the majority of their DL and secondary. McMackin will keep an eye on his former unit, but DC Cal Lee being promoted behind his new boss means they will keep the same schemes and systems in place. The LBs (Elimimian and Leonard) are the key to tying together the newer players and their respective efforts. The corners look deadly once broken in and playing as a well-oiled machine with their safety help. Practicing against the Rainbow Warrior passing game will have them ready for just about anything.

The one thing the DBs aren’t ready for, like the rest of the team and most of the FBS, is their opening opponent. Losing at Gainesville is a given, so lessons need to be learned and need to help more than hurt the emotional state of the squad. If the coaches can assure this kind of reaction, the rest of the season can be better for the experience. The chances are better at Corvallis two weeks later, but the trips to Fresno and Boise that alternate with the easy home dates in between mean Hawaii can have four losses by their seventh game. The rest of the WAC foes and home closers Wazzu and Cincinnati offer four of the last six out here in Honolulu. Making a bowl in McMackin’ first campaign (the first time he’s ever been in total control of a college team) would be a signal that only a few small steps backwards will be needed. We think a tough year will motivate this team like the two losing seasons seen under Jones (2000, ’05) did…the next season each time featured a six-win improvement. Keeping 2009 in focus will help make this season bearable.

Projected 2008 record: 7-6
LB Adam Leonard
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 3 LB - 4.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Tyler Graunke, 90-137-6, 1234 yds., 10 TD

Rushing: Kealoha Pilares, 68 att., 388 yds., 3 TD

Receiving: Kealoha Pilares, 26 rec., 249 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Dan Kelly, 12-17 FG, 70-74 PAT, 106 pts.

Punting: Tim Grasso, 35 punts, 39.7 avg.

Kicking: Dan Kelly, 12-17 FG, 70-74 PAT, 106 pts.

Tackles: Solomon Elimimian, 141 tot., 68 solo

Sacks: David Veikune, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Adam Leonard, 4 for 117 yds., 2 TD

Kickoff Returns: Malcolm Lane, 25 ret., 29.2 avg. 2 TD

Punt Returns: Michael Washington, 5 ret., 20.8 avg., 1 TD


OFFENSE: Colt Brennan-QB, Jason Rivers-WR, C.J. Hawthorne-WR, Hercules Satele-OG, Larry Sauafea-OG, Davone Bess-WR (NFL), Ryan Grice-Mullen-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Amani Purcell-DE, Michael Lafaele-DT, Karl Noa-DE, Brad Kalilimoku-LB, Myron Newberry-CB, Gerard Lewis-CB, Jacob Patek-SS

The difference between this year and last is that ex-WR coach Ron Lee is now running the offense. An exciting offense that was innovated June Jones, the same offense remains; Lee worked for Jones, hence the master gives way to a disciple. But there is great suspicion whether Lee can even begin to keep the momentum going that has been in place here seemingly forever. To start his first campaign in charge of the passing legacy, Lee has to sort out the QB conundrum. The starter in ’05 was Tyler Graunke, but he didn’t do much this spring to secure the start. Inoke Funaki (La’ie, O’ahu) did, and he is poised to get the first look during the trip to Florida. 25-year old Funaki has poise and a dual-threat tag that gives him the most weapons of any possible Rainbow Warrior QB. Greg Alexander is the experienced JUCO transfer whose strong arm can keep this offense from slowing the least. Brent Rausch also has junior college chops and has the quick feet of Funaki. This is a good amount of talent that only needs to sort itself out before Hawaii again has aerial prowess.

Nebraska RB transfer Leon Wright-Jackson is ready to carry the load, if given the chance. Luckily, he has soft hands so he’ll get the rock a few more times. These island backs haven’t gotten many carries lately, but Wright-Jackson could change that. Dan Libre is an all-around type and can do anything he’s asked. This unit is good for more than last year’s 944 rushing yards.

Washington will thrive as the main receiving weapon. A slated starter last summer, his 4.3-speed means Washington will be open anywhere and everywhere. X-receiver Lane has the same open field abilities, proven by his 29+-yard average on kick returns. Pilares will be exclusively in the multiple-WR sets now, but as the main rushing weapon last year, this Honolulu native (and two-time state prep triple-jump champ) will get the ball in creative ways. The other big track champion WR is Daniel Lofton (400m), the son of ex-NFL Hall of Famer James Lofton. He sat out after transferring from Cal and is ready for action. Supposedly, Javonte Taylor is in the 4.2 range, so the JUCO standout is poised for some kind of assignment.

Georgia revealed much in the bowl game – pass protection has a way to go against top competition. To shore up the outside, Kainoa LaCount was brought in from the College of the Canyons and he immediately displaced starter Keoni Steinhoff. Ah Soon bumps inside, and Aaron Kia will be ready to step in at the all-important left tackle spot. Estes is a rock inside. This OL fits well with what the offense is likely to run. Moreover, the talent is here to keep the production flowing…it’s up to Lee to make it happen.


C John Estes


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Inoke Funaki-Jr (5-11, 195) Greg Alexander-Jr (6-3, 230)
Tyle Graunke-Sr (6-0, 185) (academics)
RB Leon Wright-Jackson-Jr (6-1, 210) Daniel Libre-Sr (5-8, 185)
David Farmer-Sr (6-1, 245)
WR Greg Salas-So (6-2, 195) Joseph Avery-Fr (6-5, 180)
WR Malcolm Lane-Jr (6-2, 185) Royce Pollard-Fr (6-2, 175)
SB Aaron Bain-Sr (5-9, 190) Kealoha Pilares-So (5-11, 190)
SB Mike Washington-Sr (5-7, 175) Jon Medeiros-Sr (5-8, 195)
OT Aaron Kia-Jr (6-5, 298) Laupepa Letuli-Jr (6-4, 320)
OG Keith AhSoon-Sr (6-1, 315) Ray Hisatake-Jr (6-3, 315)
C John Estes-Jr (6-2, 290) Latu Tuioti-Mariner-Sr (6-0, 285)
OG Latu Tuioti-Mariner-Sr (6-0, 285) Brysen Ginlack-So (6-2, 290)
OT Keoni Steinhoff-Sr (6-3, 280) ..
K Dan Kelly-Sr (6-3, 210) Brett Symonds-Fr (5-10, 145)



Losing seven starters will affect the nation’s No.34 defense. The other Lee brother, Cal, is now in charge of what happens instead of the promoted McMackin (former DC). Well, the two of them will make the most of the talent they already know. Fale Laeli is the returning starter who is now complimented by feisty senior Keala Watson. Dave Veikune and John Fonoti excelled as reserves. These DEs will rule most of their WAC brethren. The reserves are all upperclassmen, and well broken-in, too. The run stopping will be weaker at first, but the pass rush will remain healthy.

Nigerian Solomon Elimimian had the ninth-most tackles in the FBS, but WLB Adam Leonard earned the same All-WAC status and even had four INTs to tie for the team lead. These LBs are the two biggest reasons this defense may be able to bounce back quickly. Soares is the other experienced hand, but behind him, we see many wanna-be’s who need seasoning.

At corner, the new faces are looking like possible upgrades. Mouton is a blazing lock-down type, a guy who is just too good not to be in line for post-season honors. 6’3 Oregon-transfer Jameel Dowling is just as hungry to prove his speed can translate to superior coverage skills. Bryant as a nickel seems like a good choice, but he, too, is pretty new. Thomas will remain at free safety; both he and senior classmate Monteilh split time starting in deep coverage (FS), proving coverage skills are strong amongst both of them. Monteilh will have to improve in run support for the D to have the same resilience.


LB Solomon Elimimian


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE David Veikune-Sr (6-3, 250) C.J. Allen-Jones-Sr (6-3, 240)
DT Fale Laeli-Sr (6-1, 290) Josh Leonard-Sr (6-3, 275)
DT Keala Watson-Sr (6-3, 300) Rocky Savaiigaea-Jr (6-2, 300)
DE John Fonoti-Jr (6-3, 250) Elliott Purcell-So (6-3, 240)
SLB Blaze Soares-Jr (6-1, 240) R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane-Jr (5-11, 225)
MLB Solomon Elimimian-Sr (6-0, 220) Brashton Satele-Jr (6-1, 245)
WLB Adam Leonard-Sr (6-0, 235) Tyson Kafentzis-Sr (6-1, 220)
CB Ryan Mouton-Sr (5-10, 180) Calvin Roberts-Sr (5-11, 190)
CB Jameel Dowling-Sr (6-3, 205) JoPierre Davis-Jr (6-0, 200)
SS Keao Monteilh-Sr (5-11, 195) Mana Silva-So (6-1, 205)
FS Desmond Thomas-Sr (6-3, 174) Dane Porlas-Sr (5-10, 185)
P Tim Grasso-Sr (5-11, 221) ..




Grasson is a decent punter, but the net results (107th) have to reflect the defensive superiority Hawaii has in the WAC. The field goals are in good hands with senior Kelly, but his struggles from 40-49 yards out seem to be a possible sticking point since all of his misses were from this range. Lane and Mouton are the KR guys, but they will be on deck in case Washington isn’t the shizz he was in ’07 at PR.