Like many UH-Manoa students, Jason Muraoka paid $5,300 this semester for tuition and school expenses, including an activity fee that goes to the UH athletic department.
Yep, Muraoka is one in about 20 who essentially pay to play football for the Warriors.
Being a walk-on means not being able to work because football training is a full-time job. It means, after taking significant reps in spring training and fall camp, being assigned — again — to the scout offense.
But Muraoka never complains, and never fumbles. At 5-7 and 185 pounds, he attacks the inside running lanes, slips into the flats to catch passes against on-coming traffic, and blocks pass rushers. Old-timers compare Muraoka to Richard Higa, a similarly built running back who played in the early 1980s.
This week, Muraoka is auditioning for an understudy role at running back.
Maybe he gets the part, maybe he does not.
Running back Steven Lakalaka said Muraoka is “inspiring.”
“It just shows you can’t give up on anything,” Lakalaka said. “No matter what the situation you’re in, you have to keep pushing. Because in the end, you’ll get what you deserve.”