It was now time for Monday's Quarterback Club attendees (to be abbreviated QC) to get answers straight from the horse's mouth as the General Les Keiter said.
TC: Are there any questions?
QC: Yeah I have one.
QC: Since you couldn't work out with your arms, did you work out with your legs so you can run faster than (laughter breaks out from the crowd before she could finish the questions).
TC: Definitely, definitely. There wasn't a lot of things I could do with my upper body. My hand being in a cast and doctors telling me and my physical therapist telling me that, don't do anything with your hand because you know it ain't healed yet, so there were other aspects of the football game that could be taught to myself. I think mentally more than anything, that I think that was the challenge. I know my legs, I'm more strong in my legs than I have ever been. That's something that I could do. I could run. We were doing a lot of speed, agility drills and trainers were really nervous that if I fell, what would I do (chuckles break out). Would I land on it again, but I've done a lot of leg workouts, I'm doing a lot of running. I think I was heavier coming into my sophomore season than I am now. But I feel better at where I'm at now. My weight feels really well. I feel I can move much better. I feel like I'm stronger. And mentally you know, just sitting back and watching the other quarterbacks go thru spring and watching a lot of film, I've learned a lot of game, and watching Nick, Nick Rolovich. He'd done such a marvelous job in how he handled it all and I'm glad he got his second chance and I've learned a lot from what, what I have gone thru and what he has gone thru. So hopefully putting everything together will make the right destination.
QC: Where did you do your rehab here in Hawaii and what did you think of that process?
TC: I did my rehab at Hawaii Sports Medicine with Pat Ariki. Pat has been helping me since my days at St. Louis High School and he's always been there on the side, but I've never seen him, I really never talked to him and noticed him that much because at St. Louis I really didn't get sacked that much and touched that much. I wasn't really hurt (chuckles again from the crowd). So I never really noticed him or took notice, but Pat's been one of those guys that, it's a blessing that he's there for me. He took me in under his wing. He really just helped me. Helped loosen and get my range and motion back and it all started, it all started thru him because when the cast first comes off you're still looking at a bunch of scar tissue that's just molded there and restricting all your movement and flexibility. But he has really helped me. Him and his assistants there have really helped me and I can't thank them enough, cause physically he helped me, but he helped more mentally. The challenges mentally, if I was just gonna sit and fold or was I gonna get back up on my feet and make another run for it and take the second chance and take this opportunity that the Lord gave me. He's been a great blessing to me and so have his assistants at Hawaii Sports Medicine.
QC: You mention scar tissue. Was the rehab painful?
TC: Um……..No. It wasn't. I think the most painful thing about it was just sitting down and not being able to do anything. And, being the competitive, an athlete, the thing that you want to do and the thing that all athletes want to do is just compete, no matter what sport it is, and you know personally I hate losing. I can't stand to lose and sitting out in the stands, the sideline, you know somebody made me a……I think that was the pain and tears and the agony of just not being able to do anything. But you know once the cast came off, you can ask the people at Hawaii Sports Medicine, that I didn't want to sit down and just get iced. I always wanted to do something on the side, whether it was abs or riding the bike. I wanted to keep myself active and productive. I took it upon myself to do something about this and not let anything get to me. Even though there's pain, there was scar tissue and stuff, but it's going to go away. I think the pride and joy that comes into being and just wanting to go out there and do well at whatever cost it takes. An injury is an injury, but after a while you're gonna get over it and move on with it.
QC: Who's gonna be your receivers?
TC: We have about five receivers. Five or six receivers we're looking at. Justin Colbert is the three year starter coming back. He is our stud on the left hand side receiver. He caught the second most yards to Lelie, Ashley. He's gonna be one of our studs on the left-hand side. Right inside of him at slotback will be Chad Owens. You all know Chad Owens by the special teams. Yeah you guys know Chad (crowd bursts into laughter). Chad, we figured that he catches the ball twice, three, four times on a punt return with eleven guys coming after him. And now if he was to catch the ball at least eight times during the game with only three guys (crowd bursts out in laughter again), the odds are really better that he's gonna score because there's only three guys. So you know we're really excited about Chad and how he has come along. On the right hand side, the right slot side, it's kind of a tossup between a redshirt freshman Nate Ilaoa that came from Virginia and Clifton Herbert and Gerald Welch and Britton Komine. It's like a four-way tossup between them, so it's going to be real exciting when fall comes around and who coach Jones thinks is the better guy. The next receiver over, you know we wish it would be Lelie, but (chuckles again from the crowd) that's how things go. But the next guy in line after Lelie was Neil Gossett. And I remember my true freshman year playing, I think it was Justin Colbert who went out and Neil Gossett came in and caught, I don't know what those exact statistics were, but he caught I think like 13 passes or 10 passes or eight passes for a hundred eighty something yards against UNLV the last game of the season. He blew people's mind, but he didn't really see too much playing time this past season ‘cause Lelie and Tafiti Uso and Justin Colbert were rotating the system. But we're really real excited about Neil Gossett and what he can do and his capabilities and we're really looking for him to have a break out year and to really be our fourth guy in the supporting cast.
QC: Even though you were the starter last year, do you feel any pressure to have a good season and win?
TC: Most definitely. I don't think you can overlook that because when I was in there, we didn't win a game or two, and really last year I think we should have been 12 and 0, easily. Nevada, they got us on the ropes and it was a real close game, and we still had a chance to pull one off out there in the last drive. But things didn't happen. The ball didn't bounce this way and easily you can lose a game like that in the game of football. And then the Rice game when I went out, it was hard to see a lead like that, 21 three lead in the first half go down and us lose a game like that. And when Nick comes in, they go away on the road, SMU, they win a great overtime game. I was up six thirty in the morning screaming and raving at the TV at that game. Just seeing him grow, and not too many people thought highly of Nick the first year he came out. He came and he started for us, and he didn't get much of an opportunity to really showcase what he could do. When he got his second chance, he made sure that he proved to a lot of people, the people who doubted him that he was good. And he was, he was really good. I think he was the All-American quarterback coming out of JC and he was the number one candidate. He chose Hawaii ‘cause he knew we threw the ball a lot and he did a really, really fantastic job. I'm sure when you guys watch the last three, four, five games of the season, I mean that's the kind of potential the run and shoot system has. Those kind of numbers where he puts up eight touchdowns, throws 500 yards a game. I mean if everything works so well, and it's supposed to look perfect with all the effort and timeless things you just put thru. That's what the offense is supposed to do and that's what it's really supposed to look like, 60, 50 points a game. I feel that I wanna be that successful and I wanna be perfect in every which way I could. And I know at St. Louis that's how we strived to be was perfect, and we didn't like losing over there (laughter from the QC attendees). We need to win games and Nick did that for us. He won and that's what I wanna do here. No doubt in my mind, I just wanna win games.
QC: What did you learn from Nick as far as being a leader? What kind of things you seen the way Nick carried himself, the way the team follows him, what are the things you hope to pick up from him as far as how he carried himself and led the team until the team just like fell in love with him?
TC: There was a lot of things. Nick was a great person off the field. I think that was his most, his best characteristic. He didn't really complain about being behind me. He didn't really say much, he gave me a smile. We could talk about, that was my roommate the night before the game, every game, or every road trip. Me and Nick stayed together in the room and night before the game me and him would be up at two o'clock in the morning just talking story. That's the kind of guy he was. He learned so much from being in Hawaii. He adopted the aloha way and he even told me that when you go away to the mainland, it ain't the same thing. People don't accept you that well or they don't look after like how they do here. He was really happy in his decision coming here and the way that people treated him. If anything I can learn from him, it's just being a good guy. Being a good person on or off the field. It don't matter, it doesn't matter what kind of circumstance you're in. Just be a good person, be a likeable person.
QC: How do you feel about the line that's gonna protect you from injuries this year (chuckles from the crowd)?
TC: Oh wow!!! We have an all local line this year (lots of laughter). They're a great bunch of guys. On the left, we moved a guy over from defensive line to offensive line. He's about six six, about 295 and he doesn't look 295 ‘cause his body is just trim. It was the best decision he's made and I haven't really talked to him about it, about moving over from d line to o line. His name is Wayne Hunter. He came out from Radford. He started as a true freshman at Cal Berkeley and I remember I was getting recruited by Cal Berkeley and Wayne wrote me a letter wanting me to come over to Cal Berkeley, and two years later, he's with us (laughter again). He's a really big asset and he's gonna be taking care of my backside (laughter once more). I'm really glad he's on our side of the field. (TC pauses to discuss the rest of the o line with Coach Dan Morrison, then begins again) Well there's about six local boys (laughter once again). We're shuffling ‘em around like everyday I take snaps, I take different snaps with a different center. Coach, you know coach Cav has his own thing (more laughter). They make things work, that's all that matters. But we think the left guard will be Lui Fuata, he'll be coming back for a third year as a starter. He's about six three, 290 also, 280. The inside, my center, I'm thinking might be Uriah Moenoa who came in with me as a 2000 grad. Started last year as a redshirt freshman, and he will be playing center, hopefully. The right guard will be the stud, Vince Manuwai. I can't say enough about Vince. If you ever watched tapes on him, game tapes, and you sat there thru the whole game film, and you would see how much guys he just puts on their back. You'd be so amazed at his skill and talent. He graduated out of Farrington and he's our All American, Lombardi Trophy prospect and candidate. We're looking for big things from him and he's always put it out every game. So there's no doubt in my mind that he's got my back. Right tackle, we think it's gonna be 1999 St. Louis grad, Shayne Kajioka, or 2000 grad Ryan Santos from Mililani High School. Both those guys are intangibles, they're both about six five, 310, 300, somewhere around there. Big boys man. Those are our six guys that we're really looking at and they're probably gonna shuffle around in fall until they just jell and they find the right combination. I know coach Cav has done a great job of coaching o linemen and getting them to where they're at. The fact that he put three, four guys in the NFL already ever since he came to UH, we're real proud of what coach Cav has done, and if you ever seen them on the practice field, you know they're the last ones leaving the field, working hard and they're the first ones in the meeting room. There's no doubt in my mind that these guys are well prepared and ready to do the job.
QC: You talked earlier about how when you were in your cast you were staying in shape, running, lifting and all that. How's that different from being in game shape?
TC: I'm not sure, you know why because in a game situation, I think the game is more mentally than physically. You know people think that football is about bashing heads and putting people on their okole, and tackling guys and hitting ‘em hard. I really don't look at the game at that perspective, maybe it's because I'm a quarterback (laughter again). I really take the game as a mental approach. The running and stuff and the lifting and everything, it's great, it's great for your tone and your body and the wear and tear. But after a whole practice I can still function, but after a game I can't even do anything. All I want to do is go to sleep. Mentally it's just, it's pounding. So many things are just running thru my head at one time and coach Dan is over here trying to keep me in focus, calm me down, make sure that I'm always on my toes, I'm always knowing where I'm going with the ball. Mentally I get drained more than physically. My body can put up so much, but my mind, it's a big struggle. Big struggle. (Sigh from TC) Any more questions?
QC: Do you play chess?
TC: I use to. I like checkers more.
QC: Since you were sitting out a lot last year, what about classes? How did you do last year?
TC: You really wanna talk about that (Big laughter, slight pause). I didn't do so well. A lot of it, I went over a little bit a little earlier, but when you're an athlete and you're hurt and you're not playing, there's just so much things running thru your mind. And you're asking why, why, why's this happening to you. And I kinda knew why. But mentally I was in shock. There was transitions that were going thru me and I didn't do too well in the classroom. After practice I really didn't want to leave my house. I was so embarrassed and so ashamed of my injury. And I really didn't, I would want to train and I couldn't wait till my cast got off so I could be my energetic self again. But really, it was a lot of tough times. Coming off the injury is probably always tough and this is the first serious injury that I have ever been thru and I didn't really know how to handle it. Maybe it's my youngness, maybe it's immaturity, but I didn't really do that well in the classroom.
QC: How you doing now?
TC: Ummmm…. we'll see (laughter). I'll be fine, I think I'll be fine. My freshman year is behind me, all my high school credentials, they're all behind me. I'm looking forward to what I have to do with myself now and I think that's what really counts. Surely what's gonna show my character out there and it's gonna show my character to all you guys.
QC: I just wanted to ask, you're a young man, you're what, nineteen, twenty?
TC: I'm gonna be 21 soon (chuckles).
QC: Well, here in Hawaii it's such a unique situation in that University of Hawaii is to all of us is almost like a professional sport. We look at you as our quarterback and, how can a young man, how does a young man like yourself prepare for that kind of pressure?
TC: Good question. I try to not think of it like that. Instead of worrying about pressures and the burdens people put on you and the expectations, I think if you worry about the little things, about how to get the job done, and how to do things that you need to do to be successful, not just worrying about the overall success of about anything, even that comes with everything. But the way to get there, preparing for every game physically and mentally, worrying about how am I gonna get the ball to my receivers, making sure that I envision all these things in my mind. I replay over and over and over again, countless hours and probably when I'm sitting over here listening to everybody else talk, I'm kinda thinking about my plays, what I gotta do on the field, and you know it just never stops. It never stops. I keep envisioning me making a play out there, just putting the ball on the money, putting the ball to the receivers. The success will come. It's how much you want it. The more you think about it, the more you put yourself out there, you strive to be perfect. It will come, there's no doubt in my mind that it will come.
Thank you very much (Applause from appreciative Quarterback Club attendees).
Les Keiter: Thank you Tim. And as you say he is our quarterback, so because of that, you forget all about that tackling and head bashing, putting people on their okoles, watch the guy behind who's protecting him, and Tim Chang has come thru a very traumatic year and we all wish him nothing but success. As Tim, As you go, so go the Warriors.
Tim Chang? I look for a break out year from this young man and his Warrior teammates…. And as Tim Chang opened as he began his speaking engagement at the Quarterback Club, we say ALOOOOOHA!!!