The past fall, Joey Iosefa traveled 2,500 miles from American Sāmoa to attend the University of Hawai'i.
Yesterday, Iosefa went 10 yards, from linebacker to running back.
He has made an easy adjustment to both moves.
Iosefa made a strong first impression in his debut at running back during the Warriors' fifth practice of spring training. He made a few knock-back blocks and gained yards with tough runs.
"He's physical," offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said. "He put in hard work in the weight room. He loves being here. He's a great teammate. We're happy to have him on the offensive side of the ball."
Iosefa was a quarterback/safety at Fagaitua High in American Sāmoa. Two years ago, he was contacted by UH coaches.
"It was like a dream," Iosefa said. "I wanted to play college ball."
The Warriors made him a grayshirt offer, meaning he would sign his letter of intent February 2009, but not join the Warriors until January 2010.
Under grayshirt rules, Iosefa was allowed to attend UH as a part-time student in the 2009 fall semester. The stipulations were that he could not receive a football scholarship that semester nor practice with the team.
"I paid my own way, from my pocket," said Iosefa, who lived with relatives in Kalihi. He now is on full scholarship.
During the offseason conditioning program, Iosefa trained with the linebackers. He was at that position for the first four spring practices.
"He gave it a shot," Rolovich said. "The history of him having the ball in his hands made it a natural move."
Iosefa was notified after Monday's practice.
Iosefa, who is 6 feet 1, said he has gained 40 pounds since September, and now weighs 230. He can bench press 300 pounds.
Alex Green and Chizzy Dimude, both seniors, are expected to get most of the carries in the Warriors' one-back offense.
"We were looking for some young guys (to develop)," Rolovich said, referring to true freshmen John Lister and Iosefa. "They're going to give us that 1-2 punch as far as young guys. They will be contributing this year."