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Season over for Ursua, UH’s best receiver

October 18, 2017 - 12:05am

The University of Hawaii football team will be without its leading receiver for the rest of the season after slotback John Ursua was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.

“He’s one of our top playmakers,” coach Nick Rolovich said. “I feel bad for him because he was having a great year.”

Ursua suffered the injury on the opening play of the second quarter in the Rainbow Warriors’ 37-26 victory over San Jose State on Saturday at Aloha Stadium. He exited the locker room on crutches and underwent an MRI on Sunday.

A surgery date has not been scheduled. The usual rehabilitation period is at least six months.

Ursua is a third-year sophomore who joined the Warriors in 2015 after serving a church mission in Paris. He is sixth nationally in receiving yards per game (111.2) and seventh in receptions (7.8 per game). He entered Saturday’s game with a team-high average of 9.6 targets per game.

“Now it’s an opportunity for someone else to take some of those receptions,” Rolovich said.

Ursua accounted for 30.9 percent of the Warriors’ 152 receptions. He had five of UH’s 14 touchdown catches.

The Warriors have opened in a double-slot formation in five of the seven games this season. Slotback Dylan Collie, who started six games, has 24 catches for 288 yards, an average of 12.0 yards per reception.

Kumoku Noa, Davine Tullis, Kalakaua Timoteo III and Isaiah Bernard can be used as slot receivers. Kade Greeley, a flex tight end who averages 21.2 yards per catch, is a reliable inside receiver. Greeley did not play against San Jose State but is expected to be available for the Oct. 28 game against San Diego State. The Warriors have a bye this weekend.

Collie is expected to replace Ursua as the primary punt returner.

UH also expects offensive lineman Chris Posa and safety Trayvon Henderson to be available against San Diego State. Posa exited Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a foot injury. Henderson did not play on Saturday.

Matt Norman, who was projected to be a tight end in the jumbo package, replaced Posa at right tackle against SJSU. The Warriors finished with 274 rushing yards, including Diocemy Saint Juste’s 202 on a school-record 39 carries.

Kalen Hicks started at Henderson’s free-safety position, and amassed eight tackles. Hicks also caused a deflection that led to linebacker Jahlani Tavai’s goal-line interception.

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