(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)
HONOLULU, Hawai’i – University of Wyoming senior linebacker Cassh Maluia has been named to the 2019 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List. The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced its 2019 Watch List for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award on Tuesday. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity. The Watch List is composed of 62 players from 32 different FBS schools.
Maluia, a native of Compton, Calif., will be entering his fourth season as a starter for the Cowboys. Maluia has been part of Wyoming’s 2016 Mountain West Mountain Division Championship team, 2016 Poinsettia Bowl squad and 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Championship team. He has started 25 of the 37 career games he has played at Wyoming, and has been credited with 137 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles during his career.
Former University of Oregon, and current Tennessee Titans Quarterback, Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014; former University of Notre Dame, and current Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman, Ronnie Stanley received the award in 2015; former University of Colorado Quarterback Sefo Liufau received the award in 2016; former Washington State, current Minnesota Vikings Defensive End Hercules Mata`afa received the award in 2017; and University of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa received the award last year.
“The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes in college football today,” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman, Co-Founder and Inductee. “The award has quickly become one of the most prestigious in all of college football.”
The winner of the 2019 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on December 17. Five finalists will be unveiled on December 5. The presentation of the Award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner (January 17, 2020) at Sheraton Waikiki and they will also be recognized at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl (January 18, 2020) at Aloha Stadium.
The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2019 season progresses. The finalists and winner will be chosen by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee which includes Coaches Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson (Chairman), former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Olin Kreutz, Inaugural Inductee and past NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, former NFL Player and Class of 2015 Inductee Ray Schoenke, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, NFL Network commentator Steve Wyche and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.