HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was named a finalist for the 2018 Heisman Trophy. But this isn’t the first time a Hawaii player has been invited as a finalist.
In 2007, Colt Brennan earned a seat at the Heisman ceremony after a senior year in which he amassed 4,343 yards, a combined 46 touchdowns, and most importantly, an undefeated regular season for the University of Hawaii.
“Nobody's come close to what me and my offense has done in the run-and-shoot,” Brennan said in a previous television interview. “It shouldn't be about the system. It should be about what you do in the system.”
Colt was a long shot to win, and finished third in the voting, behind Darren McFadden and two-time winner Tim Tebow.
Five years later, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became the first player born and raised in Hawaii to be invited to New York as a finalist.
Manti lost a tight race to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. But many had hoped he would be the first defensive player to win the award since 1997.
“I think a lot of people, over 1,000 people thought the same thing, so I definitely thought I could win," Te’o said in 2012. "Like I said before, whoever did win deserves it, and Johnny deserves it,” Teo said in a 2012 interview.
Then, just two years after that — the breakthrough, when Marcus Mariota, University of Oregon quarterback, was named winner of the 2014 Heisman Trophy.
The St. Louis grad beat Melvin Gordon and Amari Cooper. Then he walked up to the podium and delivered a speech that showed us exactly the type of man he is.
He thanked everyone: his teammates, his coaches, the Polynesian Community. But he saved the best for last.
“Finally, mom, dad, Matt, and the rest of my family, thank you. Thank you for sacrificing and providing me and Matt every opportunity we could ever have. Words cannot express how much you guys mean to me." And now, here we are in 2018.
And a young man from Marcus' same high school is the favorite to win it again.