PROVO, Utah—The inaugural Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List included four BYU players, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.
Linebackers Alani Fua and Bronson Kaufusi, and offensive linemen Edward Fusi and Solomone Kafu were named to the 17-player watch list.
Fua recorded 63 tackles, including five tackles for loss and three sacks in 2013, playing in all 13 games while starting nine. Fua has been named a candidate for the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Butkus Award. He was named Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent First Team as well.
Kaufusi recorded 37 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks and six pass breakups last season while playing defensive end for BYU. He started all 13 games last season. A Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent First Team honoree and Rotary Lombardi Award nominee, Kaufusi switched positions to linebacker for 2014.
Fusi, a Rimington Trophy nominee, played in 10 games for the Cougars in 2013 and started six after transferring from Mt. San Antonio College. He missed three games due to injury.
A 2013 College Sports Madness All-Independent Second Team honoree, Kafu played in all 13 games last season and started 11. He was also named 2014 Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent Second Team in June.
Both linemen contributed to an offense that was ranked No. 10 nationally in rushing offense with 267.3 yards per game in 2013. The Cougar offense also ranked No. 14 in total offense with 493.6 yards per game.
The new award, which will be presented annually, will be given to the most outstanding Polynesian player who epitomizes great ability and integrity. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which is composed of past college football head coaches and representatives from the media and NFL. Among the committee members is legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards. Other members are coach Dick Tomey (Chairman), coach Ron McBride, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. The Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes and hosts educational programs for Polynesian youth.
For more information on the award, visit polynesianfootballhof.org.