Jesse Sapolu

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota wins inaugural Polynesian award

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Add another award to Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota’s collection. A day after winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Mariota was named the inaugural Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. The award is presented by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

“Marcus has orchestrated one of the most prolific offenses in college football this season,” Polynesian Football Hall of Fame co-founder Jesse Sapolu said in a released statement announcing Mariota the recipient of the new award.  “He truly represents the very best of our Polynesian culture.”

The award is designed to honor the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity. Mariota, from Honolulu, is also the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this week, as well as some other notable quarterback awards. Mariota would be the first player of Polynesian descent to win the Heisman Trophy. Mariota helped lead Oregon to the Pac-12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. He and the Ducks will face defending BCS national champion Florida State in the Rose Bowl in one semifinal game.

Mariota beat out four other finalists for the award: Hawaii wide receiver and kick returner Scott Harding, Washington linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, Utah defensive end Nate Orchard and Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon.