The University of Hawaii football team’s training camp continued Wednesday morning, where Campbell graduate and linebacker Solomon Matautia continues to run with the first team defense.
The sophomore saw the lion’s-share of reps with the “ones” at the outside WILL spot along side Jahlani Tavai at the middle MIKE position, and Russell Williams opposite Matautia as the outside SAM backer.
Matautia, who redshirted in 2015, was considered one of the gems of Norm Chow’s final recruiting class. The Waipahu native made an instant impact in his first season suited-up for the ‘Bows. In 13 games Solomon started four-straight at one point, recording 22 total tackles with 3.5 for a loss.
Following Wednesday’s practice Matautia told KHON2 sports reporter Sam Spangler that the trust he’s being shown by the coaching staff to take the first unit reps has inspired him in training camp.
“I like it because not only does it make me better, but I’m making everybody else better. I’m just trying to do my one-eleven and just compete everyday and do what’s best for the team.”
In the offseason Matautia credits strength and conditioning coach Bubba Reynolds for helping him tackle his biggest hurdle in preparation for training camp, which was getting into better playing shape.
“They told me I needed to lose weight.” Matautia laughed.
“Become more physical, become more stronger and lose weight. It’s a the diet. I just talked to our strength coach every day and just let him know how I was doing, what I needed help with and they worked with me and I lost 15 pounds.”
Matautia elaborated that loco moco’s are now a no-no.
“I had to cut out rice, all of the loco mocos, hamburger steaks, and chips.”
Solomon is also expected to contribute on special teams in 2017, a position on the team in which he played an important role on as a freshman.
Rainbow Warrior training camp continues on Thursday. Kickoff to the 2017 season at UMass is set for August 26th at 12:00pm HST. Television coverage of the game has yet to be officially announced.