MANOA, Hawaii – Sophomore Ikaika Woolsey was named the starting quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors on Tuesday. The announcement was made 18 days before Hawaii takes on the Washington Huskies on August 30 at Aloha Stadium.
“Obviously you know it’s a humbling experience to be you know the starting quarterback of the University of Hawaii and one thing that. With that being said, you know I got to work that much harder,” said Woolsey. “You know, just because I got named the starter of week 1 doesn’t mean that, you know, I let off the gas or come complacent. You know I got to work that much harder because my expectation level for me has risen, also for my teammates has risen so, you know, I got to reach that or even go beyond that.”
Last season, the California native appeared in twelve games and made two starts at quarterback for UH. Woolsey finished the 2013 season 11 of 29 for 143 yards and three interceptions. He also rushed 26 times for 73 yards and also has a two point conversion to his name against USC.
“The times have changed,” said UH coach Norm Chow.”You need to be a little bit more mobile now and he brings that to us. He has a nice strong arm, he can run pretty good. Gary Beemer grades every kid, and every player we have in the offseason; he was one of only three guys that got A pluses. So we feel very comfortable with Ikaika.”
Prior to redshirting UH, Woolsey was a member of the City College of San Francisco football team who won the junior-college national championship in the 2011-2012. Coming out of high school, the quarterback was rated as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback nationally and the 101st-ranked recruit in the state of California by 247sports.com. As a senior, he completed 137 of 225 passes for 2,492 yards and 36 touchdowns with only six interceptions.
“One thing I realize is that, you know, also playing for, you know, University of Hawaii, playing for the whole state of Hawaii,” said Woolsey. “And that’s why I’m serious, you know we have a lot of loyal fans out there that deserve, you know, a winning season, and nothing less than that.”
For now, coach Chow said seniors Taylor Graham and Jeremy Higgins are still competing for number two spot on the quarterback depth chart. Woolsey and the Rainbow Warriors start their season against the Huskies (ranked 25th in the nation) at Aloha Stadium on August 30.