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Honolulu, Hawai`i (December 22, 2021) – Ohio State University Defensive Tackle Haskell Garrett, of Samoan ancestry, has been selected as the 2021 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.

The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity. Former University of Oregon, and current Las Vegas Raiders Quarterback, Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014; former University of Notre Dame, and current Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman, Ronnie Stanley received the award in 2015; former University of Colorado Quarterback Sefo Liufau received the award in 2016; former Washington State, and current Minnesota Vikings Defensive End Hercules Mata`afa received the award in 2017; former University of Alabama Quarterback, and current Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa received the award in 2018 & 2019; former University of Oregon Offensive Tackle, and current Detroit Lions Offensive Lineman, Penei Sewell received the award in 2019; and former University of Southern California, and current San Francisco 49ers Safety, Talanoa Hufanga, and former Brigham Young University, and current New York Jets Quarterback, Zach Kapono Wilson were co-recipients the award in 2020.  

Haskell Garrett helped the Ohio State Buckeyes to a 10-2 record and a selection to play in the 2022 Rose Bowl Game. Garrett had 22 total tackles (12 solo), led the team in sacks (5.5), two forced fumbles, and recovered a fumble for a touchdown. Garrett was named first team All-Big Ten and a first team All-American by CBS Sports.  

“We congratulate Haskell on an outstanding season,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu. “His accomplishments are a source of great pride for the Polynesian community.” 

The formal presentation of the Award will be held at the 2022 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 21, 2022), along with being recognized during the 2022 Polynesian Bowl (January 22, 2022).

The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which includes former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson (Chairman), Coaches Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Olin Kreutz, Inaugural Inductee and past NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, former NFL Player and Class of 2015 Inductee Ray Schoenke, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, and NFL Network commentator Steve Wyche. 

The other Finalists included QB Jayden de Laura (Washington State University), OL Daniel Faalele (University of Minnesota), LB Noah Sewell (University of Oregon), DE Mika Tafua (University of Utah), QB Taulia Tagovailoa (University of Maryland), and RB Jaylen Warren (Oklahoma State University).

About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame: The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center 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.

About the Polynesian Bowl: The Polynesian Bowl is held annually during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week and is televised LIVE on CBS Sports Network. Major sponsors include adidas, BodyArmor, CrossCountry Mortgage, Friends of Hawai’i Charities, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council, Hawai’i News Now, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel and Riddell.