TUA TAGOVAILOA AND PENEI SEWELL NAMED POLYNESIAN COLLEGE FOOTBALL CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Honolulu, Hawai`i (December 17, 2019) – University of Oregon Offensive Lineman Penei Sewell and University of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and have been selected as co-recipients of the 2019 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.
The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity. University of Oregon and Tennessee Titans Quarterback Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014, Notre Dame and Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman Ronnie Stanley was selected as the recipient in 2015, University of Colorado Quarterback Sefo Liufau was selected as the recipient in 2016, Washington State and Minnesota Vikings Defensive End Hercules Mata`afa was selected as the recipient in 2017, and University of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was selected as the recipient in 2018.
Penei Sewell led the University of Oregon to an 11-2 record and the Pac-12 Championship. Sewell became the first player of Polynesian Ancestry to win the Outland Trophy. In addition to winning the Outland Trophy, he has been named a consensus first team All-American, to the All-Pac-12 Conference First Team and was named the AP Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions on the season. He led the nation with a 206.93 passer rating, and also ranked among the nation’s top 10 quarterbacks in yards per passing attempt (11.3, 2nd), passing yards per game (315.6, 4th), passing touchdowns (33, T-6th) and completion percentage (71.4, 6th).
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Tua and Penei on terrific seasons,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu. “They are both tremendous role models and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere.”
The formal presentation of the Awards will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 17, 2020), along with being recognized during the Polynesian Bowl (January 18, 2020) on Oahu, Hawai`i.
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, NFL Network commentator Steve Wyche, and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
The other Finalists for the 2019 Award included DL BRADLEE ANAE (University of Utah), DB JULIAN BLACKMON (University of Utah), and DL A.J. EPENESA (University of Iowa).
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. www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org.
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, Motiv8 Foundation, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel and Riddell.