HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that Indianapolis Colt defensive lineman Deforest Buckner has been selected as the 2020 Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate DeForest on a historic year,” Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu said in a statement. “He is a tremendous role model and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere.”
The Punahou graduate finished his fifth year in the NFL, playing in 15 games, while racking up 58 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, three pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery — in his first season with the Colts.
The 6-foot-7 Samoan ranked in the top-five of all of the major defensive statistics, with Buckner’s 9.5 sacks breaking an Indianapolis franchise record for most by a defensive tackle in a single season — earning himself a first team All-Pro selection.
The Waianae native was selected by a selection committee comprised of former NFL players, Hall of Fame coaches and select members of the media.
Former recipients of the award include Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Mike Iupati, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
the formal presentation of the award will be held during the 2022 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner next January.