Going into the 2012 season, the Hawaii Warriors were ranked No. 105 in the nation. After a difficult first season at the helm, head coach Norm Chow was able to rally his team for two late-season victories, giving hope to fans and alumni for the 2013 season. Perhaps more importantly, the team's success at the end of the season may have swayed those 2013 recruits who were on the fence about accepting offers to come to Hawaii.
With his first successful recruiting class now signed, Norm Chow is set to get to work on changing the culture and face of Hawaii football. Towards that end, the Warriors are looking to solve the issue of their anemic offense by hiring former UTEP offensive coordinator Aaron Price.
One area that Chow and Price will need to address is the offensive line. Last season, the Warriors surrendered 40 sacks, leading directly to the team's dreadful 62-of-183 on third down conversions.
Making this repair more difficult is the fact that starting offensive lineman Blake Muir has decided to transfer to Baylor University. At 6'5" and 290 pounds, Muir will not easily be replaced. However, due to NCAA regulations, Muir will be forced to sit out this upcoming season for the Bears.
The talent drain at Hawaii is a concern, as junior CB Mike Edwards—arguably the team’s most exciting player—has decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Edwards, in addition to his skill as a defender, had three kickoff returns for touchdowns last season.
“I'll miss him not only as a player but as a young man,” said Hawaii head coach Norm Chow. “We wish him all the best.”
But Chow's commitment to finding talent for his team remains unfettered. Recently, the team added walk-on wide receiver Justin Lopez to the 2013 spring roster. Lopez, a 5'9", 195-pound graduate of Waialua High School recently ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.