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Polynesian Bowl: Thoughts after day two of practice in Hawaii

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa (

HONOLULU - The second day of practices at the Polynesian Bowl took place on Wednesday, with the two star-studded squads taking the field for a competitive practice session. Southeast Recruiting Analyst Woody Wommack was on hand and gives his thoughts on the day’s proceedings.

RELATED: Thoughts after day one of practice at the Polynesian Bowl | Notes from Polynesian Bowl media day

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Former Alabama and Rivals100 quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was at Wednesday’’s practice to observe and greet the players. Tagovailoa is an honorary captain for Saturday’s game, along with former five-star Iowa defensive A.J. Epenesa. The two former elite recruits and likely first-round picks played in the first edition of the game in 2017. Neither met with the media, but Tagovailoa was walking without assistance as he continues to recover from the hip injury he suffered late in the fall. Tagovailoa was a popular figure among prospects and coaches at the event alike, even taking some time to joke with Team Mauka head coach Steve Spurrier. Tagovailoa’s popularity among fans in attendance even caused a few to sneak on to the field in an effort to get a picture with the Hawaiian native. Tagovailoa is expected to meet with the media on Thursday.



One of the more mercurial prospects in the class of 2020 is four-star Florida commit Leonard Manuel. The super-talented prospect transferred schools midseason and didn’t skip a beat on the field, putting up monster numbers for Stranahan High School. After not signing in December despite being committed to Florida for nearly a year, Manuel said he plans to let February’s signing day come and go as well without making his commitment official. The plan now is to wait until April to sign, after he takes official visits to Baylor, Ole Miss and Oregon. Manuel also said he’s “100 percent” a Gator and that his visits are just for him to enjoy the process. Manuel also had many onlookers impressed with how he performed on the field Wednesday, especially considering he didn’t even arrive in Hawaii until late Tuesday night.




After essentially taking it easy on day one of practices on Tuesday, the offensive and defensive linemen finally got a chance to go at it in one-on-ones. Team Makai did the bulk of the action, and it wasn’t even close when it came to who won the battle. By our count, the offensive line won every rep we saw, with four-star Washington signee Roger Rosengarten leading the charge for the offensive line group. While the defensive line doesn’t have the same type of star power as the offensive line, quarterbacks Jayden de Laura (Washington State), Malik Hornsby (uncommitted) and Parker McQuarrie (UCLA) should feel good about their pass protection heading into Saturday’s game.



After declaring himself healthy on Tuesday, Rivals100 Tennessee defensive back signee Keshawn Lawrence elected to sit out Wednesday’s practice after experiencing soreness in his foot. Lawrence had surgery in the fall and is being cautious in his return to the field. Five-star wide receiver Demond Demas also injured his shoulder on Wednesday and sat out the second half of the session with his arm wrapped in ice, but the injury doesn’t appear to be serious. Recent Wisconsin commit and Rivals100 running back Jalen Berger also missed practice and isn’t expected to compete for the rest of the week. The same goes for four-star Washington running back signee Sam Adams, who watched practice from the sidelines.



Joe Moorhead
Joe Moorhead (AP Images)

Oregon has the most commits of any school at the Polynesian Bowl this week, so when news broke that the Ducks had hired a new offensive coordinator in Joe Moorhead the future Ducks had plenty to say on the issue. Wide receiver signee Kris Hutson said he’s taking his official visit next week and that the timing of the hire is perfect for him to get a chance to meet and bond with Moorhead. Hutson added that he expects the Ducks to run more run-pass option under Moorhead and he will learn about how that will impact him during his time in Eugene. Overall, the response among the Ducks commits was very positive, especially considering Moorhead’s name recognition.