HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The reigning Polynesian College Football Player of the Year was one of 63 collegiate athletes named Tuesday to the watch list for the 2019 iteration of the award, according to the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.
Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ― who became the fifth player to win the award last season, when he was also one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy ― is widely considered the favorite to repeat.
His Crimson Tide open the 2019 season as the second-ranked team in the country, behind Clemson, but Tagovailoa is currently the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the best player in college football.
Iowa junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa ― perhaps the best edge rusher in college football, and a projected top-10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, according to Sports Illustrated ― also made the watch list, as did two home-grown defensive lineman: Utah senior edge rusher Bradlee Anae, a Kahuku native, and former Farrington star Breiden Fehoko, and LSU defensive tackle.
Six current University of Hawaii football players were among the 63 named to the award’s watch list: running back Dayton Furuta, offensive linemen Kohl Levao and Solo Vaipulu, linebackers Solomon Matautia and Penei Pavihi, and defensive lineman Kaimana Padello.