Honolulu, HI (November 20, 2014) – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today five Finalists for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award, presented by Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year will be awarded to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity.
The five finalists include P/WR/PR Scott Harding (University of Hawai’i), LB Hau’oli Kikaha (University of Washington), QB Marcus Mariota (University of Oregon), DE Nate Orchard (University of Utah) and QB Anu Solomon (University of Arizona).
The Finalists were chosen by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which is composed of past college football head coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards and Ron McBride, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula. The committee will meet again in the coming weeks to select the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.
“The Polynesian influence and prestige in football is at an all-time high, and rapidly expanding,” said Jesse Sapolu, Chairman and Co-Founder. “The Polynesian College Player of the Year award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes in college football today.”
The winner of the 2014 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on December 9. The formal presentation of the award will be held at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on January 23, 2015.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate the inaugural Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Finalists,” said Ma’a Tanuvasa, Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder. “These student-athletes represent the very best of Polynesia.”
SCOTT HARDING (University of Hawai'i)
Punter, Wide Receiver, Punt Returner … Senior … Tuvaluan Ancestry … Leads the Nation with 73 Punts … Leads the Nation in total punt yards with 3,053 … 41.82 yards per punt average … 34 catches for 457 yards and three receiving touchdowns … 21 Punt Returns for 202 Yards (9.62 yards per punt return average) … Named semifinalist for the 2014 Ray Guy Award … Born June 19, 1986 in Brisbane, Australia
HAU'OLI KIKAHA (University of Washington)
Outside Linebacker … Senior … Hawaiian/Samoan Ancestry … Tied for first in FBS in total sacks (16.5) … Leads the Nation with 22.5 tackles for loss … 60 tackles on the year (42 solo) … Two passes broken up and two passes defended … Two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery … Named semifinalist for 2014 Lombardi & Bednarik Awards … Named Capital One Academic All-District winner … Born 1992 in Laie, Hawai’i
MARCUS MARIOTA (University of Oregon)
Quarterback … Junior … Samoan Ancestry … Leads the Nation in Quarterback Rating (QBR) with 184.56 … Responsible for 37 total touchdowns (29 passing and 8 rushing) … Completing 67% of passes with only 2 interceptions … Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week … Three-time Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week … Named semifinalist for 2014 Maxwell Award … Born October 30, 1993 in Honolulu, Hawai’i
NATE ORCHARD (University of Utah)
Defensive End … Senior … Samoan Ancestry … Tied for first in FBS in total sacks (16.5) … 73 tackles on the year (46 solo) … 19 tackles for loss … Two passes broken up and two passes defended … One forced fumble and one fumble recovery … Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week … Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week … Named semifinalist for Lombardi & Bednarik Awards … Set Utah’s single season sack record … Born January 5, 1993 in Los Angeles, California
ANU SOLOMON (University of Arizona)
Quarterback … Freshman (RS) … Hawaiian Ancestry … Ranks eighth in total passing yards in FBS (3,058 yards) … 25 passing touchdowns … 131.8 QBR while completing 58% of his passes … Top-10 in FBS for pass attempts and pass completions … Two-time Coaches Offensive Player of the Week … Selected as the Athlon Sports’ National Freshman of the Week, Pac-12 Player of the Week and Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week … Born November 5, 1994 in Honolulu, Hawai’i
About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. As a 501(C)(3) organization, the Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes and hosts educational programs for Polynesian youth.