The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced its five finalists for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.
Three finalists are from Hawai'i; they are Kahuku graduate Alohi Gilman of Notre Dame, St. Louis graduate Tua Tagovailoa from the University of Alabama, and Kailua-Kona product John Ursua from the University of Hawai'i.
The other finalists are AJ Epenesa from the University of Iowa and Dru Samia from the University of Oklahoma.
Former University of Oregon and Tennessee Titans Quarterback Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014. Mariota is a St. Louis graduate. Lahainaluna graduate and former Washington State University defensive end Hercules Mata`afa was selected as the recipient in 2017.
The five Finalists for 2018 include DE AJ Epenesa (University of Iowa), DB ALOHI GILMAN (Notre Dame), OL DRU SAMIA (University of Oklahoma), QB TUA TAGOVAILOA (University of Alabama) and WR JOHN URSUA (University of Hawai`i).
The Finalists were selected from a Watch List of more than 50 players 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, NFL player personnel legend Gil Brandt, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, NFL Network writer and commentator Steve Wyche, and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
The winner of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on December 13. The formal presentation of the Award will be held at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 18, 2019), along with being recognized during the Polynesian Bowl (January 19, 2019).