PROVO - As soon as the acceptance notification arrived, Tana Uyema took out a loan, packed his bags and booked a flight to Utah.
The Hawaii native had waited nearly three years for his shot to play football at Brigham Young University, and he knew there was little time to waste.
Uyema will be a senior next year, and has only one season to spend at BYU. Making it through walk-on tryouts was his first triumph. Staying on the roster through spring is the defensive back's next challenge.
"I have nothing to lose," Uyema said. "If I don't make it, I don't make it. If I do, it's a bonus. The most important thing is to finish school no matter what happens."
A 5-foot-9, 178-pound defensive back, Uyema hasn't played a down of competitive football since June 2002 in a high school game for seniors.
He spent the last 2 1/2 years attending BYU-Hawaii and surfing some of Hawaii's famous breaks on his longboard.
But Uyema, 23, traded sunny days on the islands for snowy spring days in Provo in hopes of adding his name to the list of significant walk-on contributors at BYU. The Cougars finished last season with a starting secondary comprised entirely of former walk-ons.

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