Four players with Hawaii ties named finalists for Polynesian College Football Player of the Year

Sports

On Thursday morning, the Polynesian College Football Hall of Fame announced its seven finalists for Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.

Among the seven players, four of them have Hawaii ties in Jayden de Laura, Taulia Tagovailoa, Mika Tafua and Haskell Garrett.

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De Laura, a quarterback for Washington State, was named the Cover2 Tommy Kaulukukui Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at Saint Louis in 2019. In 2021, he was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after throwing for 2,751 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions for the Cougars. He also ran for an additional 101 yards and three touchdowns.

In his second season as Maryland’s starting quarterback, Tagovailoa threw for 3,595 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for the Terrapins in 2021. Tagovailoa played his freshman and sophomore high school seasons at Kapolei before transferring to Thompson High School in Alabama for the latter half of his high school career.

Tafua, a Laie native who played his prep ball at Kamehameha, earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors for Utah at linebacker after leading the conference in sacks and pressures at 9.5 and 74, respectively.

Garrett, who spent a large portion of his childhood in Hawaii, graduated from Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas before playing collegiately at Ohio State. In 2021, the defensive tackle accumulated 22 tackles (12 solo), 5.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries to earn All-Big Ten Conference honors for the Buckeyes.

The three other finalists are Oklahoma State running back Jaylen Warren, Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell and Minnesota offensive lineman Daniel Faalele.

The winner of the award will be announced on Dec. 22.

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