The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today the 2017 Watch List for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.  The award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity.

Former University of Oregon, and current Tennessee Titans Quarterback, Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014; former University of Notre Dame, and current Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman, Ronnie Stanley received the award in 2015; and University of Colorado at Boulder, and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Sefo Liufau received the award last year.

The winner of the 2017 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on December 14, 2017.  Five finalists will be unveiled on November 30.  The presentation of the award will be held at the Celebration Dinner during thePolynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on January 19, 2018 in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

“The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award has become one of the most prestigious awards in college football,” said Jesse Sapolu, Chairman and Co-Founder.  “More than 500 players of Polynesian ancestry are playing Division I football today.”

  • Award to be presented to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian Ancestry.
  • Watch List is composed of 48 players from 30 different FBS schools.
  • Players per Conference: Mountain West (15), Pac-12 (14), Big-12 (3), Mid-American (3), SEC (2), Big 10 (2), ACC (1), American Athletic (1), Conference USA (1) and Independent (6).

Hawaii High School alumni named to watch list:

  • Sean Auwae-McMoore // C // Vanderbilt (Kapolei)
  • Alohi Gilman // DB // Notre Dame (Kahuku)
  • Manase Hungalu // LB // Oregon State (Kealakehe)
  • Ronley Lakalaka // LB // San Diego State (Punahou)
  • Vavae Malepeai // RB // USC (Mililani)
  • Hercules Mata’afa // DL // Washington State (Lahainaluna)
  • John Ursua // WR // Hawaii // Kealakehe


Six members of the University of Hawai’i football team were selected to the 2017 Watch List for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award which was announced by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

Offensive lineman Asotui Eli, defensive linemen Meffy Koloamatangi and Viane Moala, linebacker Jahlani Tavai, tight end Metuisela ‘Unga, and wide receiver John Ursua were among the 48 player watch list. The award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity.

Three of UH’s six representatives are nominees for college football’s major awards – ‘Unga (Mackey Award), Tavai (Bednarik Award & Nagurski Trophy), and Eli (Rimington Trophy).

The Rainbow Warriors led all schools with six players followed by BYU and Utah with five, and USC with three. Washington State, Oregon State, San Jose State, Utah State each had two representatives.

The winner of the 2017 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on Dec. 14, 2017. Five finalists will be unveiled on Nov. 30. The presentation of the award will be held at the Celebration Dinner during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on Jan. 21, 2018 in Honolulu.

Former University of Oregon, and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014; former University of Notre Dame, and current Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman, Ronnie Stanley received the award in 2015; and University of Colorado, and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Sefo Liufau received the award last year.

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