Honolulu, HI (December 7, 2016) – University of Colorado Quarterback Sefo Liufau has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.
The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry that epitomizes great ability and integrity. University of Oregon and Tennessee Titans Quarterback (1st Round – 2nd Overall Pick in 2015 NFL Draft) Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014, and Notre Dame and Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman (1st Round – 6th Overall Pick in 2016 NFL Draft) Ronnie Stanley was selected as the recipient in 2015.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Tacoma, Washington native was born to Joe and Heather Liufau and is of Samoan ancestry. He is also the nephew of Inaugural Polynesian Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2014) inductee Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson.
Liufau helped lead the University of Colorado to the biggest turnaround in Pac-12 history, from a 4-9 record last season to a 10-2 regular season record this year. The Buffaloes earned their first Pac-12 South Division Title, first berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game, their first 10-win season since 2001, and a #10 final overall national playoff ranking.
Sefo finished the season with a 134.0 Passer Rating, was responsible for 18 touchdowns (11 passing, 7 rushing), and had 2,667 all-purpose yards. Throughout the season, he broke several school records including becoming the school’s all-time leading passer in both completions and passing yards, completing the most consecutive passes without an interception (152), setting the career record for the most offensive plays, and the career record for most passing attempts.
“Sefo has led the University of Colorado to one of their greatest seasons in school history,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu. “His leadership on and off the field has been instrumental in their success.”
The formal presentation of the Award will be held at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 20, 2017) along with being recognized during the Inaugural Polynesian Bowl (January 21, 2017).
The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members composed of past head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president Kevin Mawae (Polynesian Football HOF Inaugural Inductee) and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Sefo on this historic accomplishment,” said Vice-Chairman Ma`a Tanuvasa. “He truly represents the very best of our Polynesian culture.”
Other Finalists included TE Cole Hikutini (University of Louisville), DT Lowell Lotulelei (University of Utah), DB Kai Nacua (Brigham Young University), and WR Juju Smith-Schuster (University of Southern California).
ABOUT THE POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. It also serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides academic scholarships and supports educational programs for Polynesian youth. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center (O’ahu’s North Shore) and was established in 2013 by Super Bowl Champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa. Other board members include Troy Polamalu, Vai Sikahema, June Jones and Reno Mahe. For more information, visit www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org.
ABOUT THE POLYNESIAN BOWL
The Polynesian Bowl will feature the world's elite high school players of Polynesian heritage and other ancestries. Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (TEAM MARIOTA) and Baltimore Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley (TEAM STANLEY) will serve as team captains. Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Inductees Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson and Olin Kreutz will serve as honorary head coaches. June Jones and Dick Tomey will serve as head coaches. For more information, visit www.PolynesianBowl.com.