Scott Harding

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota wins inaugural Polynesian award


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.

Paul Hornung Award watch list led by 2013 finalist Myles Jack

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Watchlist season gets into its midseason-form this week with watch lists coming out on a daily basis. Monday got started with the release of the Paul Hornung Award watch list by the Louisville Sports Commission. A grand total of 47 players were named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, which is awarded to the most versatile player in major college football and is named after Hornung, a Louisville native.

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is the one finalist from last year’s award to appear on the watch list. In all, the list is composed of 22 seniors, 12 juniors and 13 sophomores from 43 different universities. Nebraska, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Duke each have two players listed on the watch list. The ACC and Big Ten lead the way with watch list players, with 10 each. The Pac-12 has seven players, the Big 12 has five and the SEC has just four players listed.

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was the 2013 Paul Hornung Award winner.

Here is the entire watch list fr the 2014 season:

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

Nelson Agholor, Southern California

Kenny Bell, Nebraska

V’Angelo Bentley, Illinois

Victor Bolden, Oregon State

Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh

Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

B.J. Catalon, TCU

Rashon Ceaser, Louisiana Monroe

Stacy Coley, Miami (FL)

James Conner, Pittsburgh

Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina

Jamison Crowder, Duke

Stefon Diggs, Maryland

Chris Dunkley, South Florida

DeVon Edwards, Duke

D.J. Foster, Arizona State

Charles Gaines, Louisville

Rannell Hall, Central Florida

Scott Harding, Hawaii

Justin Hardy, East Carolina

Akeem Hunt, Purdue

Myles Jack, UCLA

Christion Jones, Alabama

Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State

Tommylee Lewis, Northern Illinois

Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

T.J. Logan, North Carolina

Venric Mark, Northwestern

Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa

J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State

Ty Montgomery, Stanford

Khalfani Muhammad, California

Marcus Murphy, Missouri

Jamarcus Nelson, UAB

Levi Norwood, Baylor

Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

Shaq Thompson, Washington

Antonio Vaughan, Old Dominion

Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield, Florida State

Carlos Wiggins, New Mexico

Kenny Williams, Texas Tech

Shane Williams-Rhodes, Boise St.

Myles Willis, Boston College

Dontre Wilson, Ohio State

Aaron Wimberly, Iowa St.

Shane Wynn, Indiana

The watch lists for the Bednarik Award and Maxwell Award will also be released today.