The 2018 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
No. 120: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Spring Practice Starts: March 21
Spring Game: April 28
Hawaii Prespring Status
After rising up and taking Hawaii to a bowl game in 2016, Nick Rolovich’s run took a massive step back in a surprisingly awful 2017, finishing with four fewer wins.
Worst of all, the offense fell flat – that’s not supposed to happen on Rolovich’s watch. For the third time in four years, Hawaii scored fewer than 300 points.
The offensive backfield needs a redo, the line has to come up with a slew of replacements, and the defense has to undergo an overhaul.
On the plus side, last year’s team wasn’t that great – there’s room for new parts to shine.
Hawaii Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Suddenly, it’s quarterback. There are a whole slew of jobs open, but with starter Dru Brown transferring to Oklahoma State, the gig has suddenly become wide open. How it’s up to sophomore Cole McDonald to look the part as soon as possible, or else it’ll be panic time. Cole Brownholtz is the only other Rainbow Warrior to complete a pass last season.
Hawaii Biggest Issue
Pass rush. It wasn’t anywhere to be found for long stretches of last year. The Rainbow Warriors managed ten sacks in the first two games, and came up with four against San Jose State. Those 14 sacks happened to come in the three wins, but there were just ten sacks in the other nine games.
LB Jahlani Tavai will always do his part, but there’s almost no returning sack production from the D line.
Hawaii Biggest Positive
Receiving corps. The quarterback situation might be a concern, and a rushing threat has to show up with Diocemy Saint Juste done and almost no production returning from the backs, but at least the pass catchers are there.
Can John Ursua come back from his torn ACL? Even though he missed half of the season, he led the team with 667 receiving yards and five scores. Dylan Collie leads a decent supporting cast, including a decent recruiting class to help the cause.
Really, Why Are The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Ranked Here?
It was a rough year, and now there’s a rebuild happening on both sides of the ball.
There are some nice pieces to work around – Tavai is one of the linebackers in college football – but there’s also a whole lot of work to do. It’s going to take a big offseason to pump more life into the offense, and find more parts up front for the 114th-ranked D in the country.