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University of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Named Polynesian College Player of the Year



Honolulu, Hawai`i (December 13, 2018) – University of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the 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, and Washington State and Minnesota Vikings Defensive End Hercules Mata`afa was selected as the recipient in 2017.

Tagovailoa helped lead Alabama to an undefeated 13-0 record, the SEC Championship, and a berth in the College Football Playoff. He produced one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in Alabama history. He finished the regular season completing 67.7% of his passes for 3,353 yards with 37 touchdowns and only four interceptions. His explosiveness powered Alabama to score a touchdown on its opening drive in 10 of their 13 games, and those possessions averaged 1:55 in length.

The dynamic dual-threat quarterback won the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award, and was named runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.  He was born in Ewa Beach, Hawai`i to Galu and Diane Tagovailoa and is of Samoan descent.

“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Tua on a historic season,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu.  “He is a tremendous role model and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere.”

The formal presentation of the Award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 18, 2019), along with being recognized during the Polynesian Bowl (January 19, 2019) on Oahu, Hawai`i.

The Polynesian College Player of the Year was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee which includes Coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, past NFL player and Inaugural Inductee Olin Kreutz, past NFLPA President and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae, former NFL Player and Class of 2015 Inductee Ray Schoenke, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, NFL Network writer and commentator Steve Wyche, and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.

Other Finalists for the award included DE AJ Epenesa (University of Iowa), DB ALOHI GILMAN (Notre Dame), OL DRU SAMIA (University of Oklahoma) and WR JOHN URSUA (University of Hawai`i).

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: “Where the world’s top high school football players gather to celebrate culture and play the game they love.” The Polynesian Bowl is held annually during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week. NFL Ambassadors include Marcus Mariota, JuJu Smith- Schuster, Haloti Ngata, Ronnie Stanley, Michael Bennett, Danny Shelton and DeForest Buckner. We are honored to have the support of these outstanding partners… BODYARMOR, CrossCountry Mortgage, Friends of Hawaiʻi Charities, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiʻi Building & Construction Trades Council, Hawaiʻi News Now, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, Motiv8 Foundation, NIKE, Sheraton Princess Kaʻiulani Hotel, BSN Sports and Riddell.