Hawaiian Hanale Vincent Ready to Answer the Call

What all-purpose running back <b>Reynaldo Brathwaite</b> has become to BYU's backfield as an outstanding performer for injured teammate <b>Marcus Whalen</b>, <b>Hanale Vincent</b> represents the same to the offensive line, filling in for injured unit leader <b>Scott Jackson</b>.

Jackson, one of the MWC top offensive line performers, is the glue that holds the offensive line together with his maturity, emotional leadership and experience. He may miss several games because of an ACL knee injury suffered during the New Mexico game last week.

Hanale, at 6-5 and 315 pounds, is the gentle Hawaiian giant off the field, but a ferocious competitor on it, bringing his experience to the fore.

"I've played all five positions during the games," said Vincent. "I've gone from center to guard to tackle, back to guard to tackle to guard to center. I've been all over the place and they finally settled me in at center. I like it because it's fun. It's a lot more mental and more complicated."

Vincent has become the "is-all and does-all" of BYU's offensive line and is ready to get back into game time action. He played the entire second half against New Mexico.

"It's good. It's coming along good and it's exciting. I haven't started a game in a long time. It's good to get back out there and play and get my uniform dirty."

Having been switched across the offensive front, Vincent said he has learned the differences each position holds.

"We call out the blocking schemes. Wherever they line up, we've got to figure out whom to pick up and when. I've got to basically choreograph everything that we do and who picks up who to make sure no one gets killed," Vincent explained.

The most valuable asset this offensive line group has is unity. Regardless of who is first or second string, he said no one feels as if they are or aren't apart of the group. Last years "out-for-his-own" mentality is no longer present or apparent. With Jackson's injury, Vincent brings his strength of communication to the center position in an already close knit group of offensive line players.

"It sucks that Scott (Jackson) got hurt, but you know it's a lot more fun to play than not," said Vincent. "I think I communicate well with our O-Line. I think we all get along great and our communication is one thing that is a strength for us because we've got a lot of young guys playing in Ofa (Mohetau), Jake (Kuresa) and Eddie (Keele) who are in their first year playing.

Vincent is pleased with his move to center. "He (Crowton) knows I've been around awhile and he can move me around to different places to figure out where I fit in best. I think he saw a place for to be a better player and to help me be the best player I can be. I'm glad now that he moved me to center because now I can put all five positions on my resume," he continued.

With two key offensive team leaders in Matt Berry and Jackson out to injuries, the chemistry between center and quarterback can often be affected. Vincent said the chemistry is already there between him and quarterback John Beck, who is replacing the injured Berry.

"It's good, I've always been with John (Beck) because he's the No. 2 quarterback and I'm the No. 2 center since day one in spring. Me and Johnny are close; we're tight. I like John (Beck) a lot. He's a tough kid. I know he got knocked out at USC, but he's a tough kid. He's got the guts to run it up the middle and he'll never shy away from something like that."

Beck, for his part, noted how important it is to have good chemistry with his center for smooth hand-offs all game long.

"He (Vincent) was the center I first took snaps from when I first got here during spring ball," said Beck. "This whole fall, I've been running two's (second string) with Hana, so I feel comfortable with Hana. I can keep my eyes downfield when I take the snaps from him and he's gotten a lot better.

"He got moved to center, I think, like the third practice of spring ball. At first, he was a little shaky because he's a left-handed snapper and things are a little different. But now he's snapping the ball hard. I'm excited because we are used to each other and we have that chemistry that's already there. Everything is there and it feels fine," Beck said.

Fitting together like pieces of a puzzle should help eliminate mental and mechanics-related mistakes that often plague the center-quarterback interaction.

To most fans, the process of ball exchange from center to quarterback is seemingly a simple one, but quarterback Beck explains there is more to it than meets the eye.

"I remember when I first got here I would always keep my eyes down to take the snap because I didn't want to fumble the ball. But now, I can keep my eyes up, look downfield, take the snap and it feels fine."

He added that "Scottie Jackson is an exceptional center. I remember when I first took a snap from him, and I asked him, ‘Scottie, where do you like my hands?' He just said to put them anywhere and he'll get the ball into my hands. I mean he's an exceptional center. All you've got to do is do your part and he'll do his, and I think Hanale is becoming that."

From his center position, Vincent has become a student of the position and has leaned upon Jackson for a better understanding of the position. Through the years, they've become very close friends and have helped each other to become better along the way.

"He and I are really good friends," said Vincent. "It's kind of interesting having two people competing for the same spot with the friendship we have. I used to live with him and, in the summer time, we would hang out all the time. We played X-Box and all that stuff together, so it's sad to see him go down. But I'm having fun. I'm not going to lie. We all get along great and like to go out and eat. We don't go out and eat as much as we used to because we all need to lose a little weight – as you can tell by our jerseys."

The ever-comical Vincent not only likes to poke fun of his co-offensive linemen's physiques, but he's also come up with a name for his buddy Jackson.

"I like to think I've been around a while and picked up a few things from Scott, old man Jackson as I like to call him, or Morpheus (from the character in the movie ‘Matrix'). He's been around a while and he knows everything. It's like his eighth year here, you know. Morpheus, or ‘old man Jackson,' is what I like to call him."

"I feel good and I'm nervous ‘cause I haven't started. That fumble snap during the (New Mexico) game didn't help much, but you get over those things. It's fun out there. The guys help me out and I've been here a while. I know the system and I've played at every position," Vincent added.

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