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Friday, November 02, 2007

Hercules Satele & Jason Rivers selected for Hula Bowl

By Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.Com Editor

University of Hawai'i football players Jason Rivers, C.J. Hawthorne and Hercules Satele have been invited to play in the 61st Hula Bowl.

The college all-star game is set for Jan. 12 at Aloha Stadium.

Rivers and Hawthorne are wideouts; Satele is the left guard and co-captain.

Rivers, a fifth-year senior from Saint Louis School, is the UH leader in career receptions (250) and receiving yards (3,422). Although he did not have a reception in his NCAA debut against Appalachian State in 2003, he has caught a pass in each of his next 45 games, a streak that also is a school record.

In seven games this season — he missed six quarters because of lower-back tightness — Rivers has 50 catches for 677 yards and six touchdowns.

Hawthorne, a senior from Mississippi, has made a successful transition from cornerback. He has 42 receptions for 519 yards and five touchdowns.

"I'm thankful for the invitation," Hawthorne said. "There are probably hundreds of seniors who want to be in that game. It's an honor to be invited."

Ron Lee, who coaches the UH receivers, said Rivers and Hawthorne are "very deserving. It's great for them. It's a nice way to cap their season."

During testing last spring, Rivers and Hawthorne each ran 40 yards in a team-best 4.45 seconds.

"They both have speed and good hands," Lee said. "All of the good stuff."

Satele is the leader of an offensive line that has relinquished 14 sacks in eight games, or one every 30.57 pass attempts.

"He's the next (offensive lineman) from this school who will get his shot and go to the NFL," offensive line coach Dennis McKnight said. "He's a great pass-blocker, great trapper, great competitor. Plus, at the next level, he can play center, as well."

Satele has been empowered to make most of the blocking calls.

In last week's 50-13 victory over New Mexico State, Colt Brennan threw six touchdown passes and right slotback Ryan Grice-Mullins caught 13 passes for 195 yards. But it was Satele, a senior from Long Beach, Calif., who was named the Warriors' offensive player of the game by the UH coaches.

"Colt and the receivers couldn't do what they do if we didn't do what we do," McKnight said of the blockers. "And we wouldn't be as good and get the recognition we get if Colt and the receivers weren't as good as they are. It all works hand in hand. We give Colt and the receivers the credit they deserve."

At UH, Satele has spent hours in the weight room to develop into a physical blocker. He can bench press a maximum 405 pounds, and bench 225 pounds 27 times.

"I'm happy for Herc," McKnight said. "He's been given nothing. He's worked hard, and he deserves everything he gets."

Satele said he is pleased his college career will be extended.

"There's another game for me to play against different people from different colleges," Satele said.

Hawthorne added: "We're happy for another game. Once it's over, it's over."

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