Finalists unveiled for 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award

Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
Polynesian Football Hall of Fame(Polynesian Football Hall of Fame)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:06 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame unveiled their eight finalists for the 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award on Thursday morning.

Among the eight finalists is Maryland quarterback and Oahu-born Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of two-time winner of the award Tua Tagovailoa. The list also includes Oregon standout Noah Sewell — another younger brother of a previous winner (Penei Sewell) — and other notable players of Polynesian ancestry across college football.

The finalists were selected from a watch list of over 80 players by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

“The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award showcases the tremendous impact of our Polynesian student-athletes in college football,” Chairman and co-founder Jesse Sapolu said in a statement. “We congratulate the finalists on an incredible season and look forward to following their continued success.”

Former winner include a bevy players that went on to play in the NFL like Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota who won the inaugural award in 2014, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufaga and New York Jets quarterback Zach Kapono Wilson.

The winner of the 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award will be announced on Dec. 12. The formal presentation of the award will be held at the 2023 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner on Jan. 21, 2023.

2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Finalists:

  • VILIAMI FEHOKO (San Jose State University) Defensive Line ... Junior ... Samoan Ancestry ... Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year ... First Team All-Mountain West Conference Selection ... 65 tackles (39 solo) ... 10 sacks ... Born in East Palo Alto, CA.
  • SIAKI IKA (Baylor University) Defensive Line ... Junior ... Tongan Ancestry ... First Team All-Big 12 Conference Selection... 23 tackles (10 solo) ... two passes defended ... 2019 Polynesian Bowl All-Star ... Born in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • LAIATU LATU (UCLA) Defensive Line ... Junior ... Tongan Ancestry ... First Team All-Pac-12 Conference Selection... 33 tackles (21 solo) ... 9.5 sacks ... three forced fumbles ... 2019 Polynesian Bowl All-Star ... Born in Sacramento, CA.
  • SATAOA LAUMEA (University of Utah) Offensive Line ... Sophomore ... Samoan Ancestry ... First Team All-Pac-12 Conference Selection ...Started every game for Utah in 2022 ... 2019 Polynesian Bowl All-Star ... Born in Rialto, CA.
  • NOAH SEWELL (University of Oregon) Linebacker ... Junior ... Samoan Ancestry ... Second Team All-Pac-12 Conference Selection... 55 tackles (24 solo) ... 1.5 sacks ... one fumble recovery ... one interception ... three passes defended ... 2020 Polynesian Bowl All-Star ... Born in Malaeimi, American Samoa.
  • TAULIA TAGOVAILOA (University of Maryland) Quarterback ... Junior ... Samoan Ancestry ... Second Team All-Big Ten Conference Selection ... 2,787 passing yards ... 27 passing TDs ... four rushing TDs ... 2019 Polynesian Bowl All- Star ... All-Time passing yards and passing touchdowns leader at the University of Maryland ... Born in ‘Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
  • J.T. TUIMOLOAU (Ohio State University) Defensive Line ... Sophomore ... Samoan Ancestry ... First Team All-Big Ten Conference Selection ... 28 tackles (16 solo) ... 3.5 sacks ... two INT (one returned for TD) ... one forced fumble ... two passes defended ... 2021 Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year ... 2021 Polynesian Bowl All-Star ... Born in Englewood, Washington.
  • TULI TUIPULOTU (University of Southern California) Defensive Line ... Junior ... Tongan Ancestry ... 44 tackles (29 solo) ... 12.5 sacks ... two forced fumbles ... three passes defended ... First Team All-Pac-12 Conference Selection ... 2022 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year ... 2020 Polynesian Bowl All – Star ... Born in Hawthorne, California.