University of Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota Named Polynesian College Football Player of the Year
Honolulu, HI (December 9, 2014) – University of Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award presented by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Polynesian College Football Hall of Fame Co-Founders Jesse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa made the announcement at a Honolulu press conference today. The award recognizes the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity.
The 6-foot 4, 220-pound, Mariota is a front-runner to become the first Heisman Trophy winner of Polynesian Ancestry. He was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i to Toa Mariota and Alana Deppe-Mariota and is of Samoan descent.
Mariota helped lead the Ducks to an 11-1 regular season record, the Pac-12 Championship, and a berth in next month’s College Football Playoff. His 2014 campaign was a record-breaking one. He finished the season with the top Quarterback Rating in the Nation, was responsible for 53 touchdowns (38 passing, 14 rushing, 1 receiving), led the nation with 4,452 all-purpose yards and was named the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game Most Valuable Player.
“Marcus has orchestrated one of the most prolific offenses in college football this season,” Sapolu said. “He truly represents the very best of our Polynesian culture.”
The formal presentation of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend at the Celebration dinner on January 23, 2015.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Marcus on this historic accomplishment,” said Tanuvasa. “He is a great role model for our youth and a source of great pride for Polynesian’s everywhere.”
The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members, 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.
Other Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Finalists included P/WR/PR Scott Harding (University of Hawai’i), LB Hau’oli Kikaha (University of Washington), DE Nate Orchard (University of Utah) and QB Anu Solomon (University of Arizona).
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.