College Football: Inoke Langi named to Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award watch list
By ISHMAEL JOHNSON
Daily Record Sports
Inoke Langi’s first season at a skill position could be a big one.
At least according to the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame who named Langi to the 2016 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List. 38 players of Polynesian decent were selected from 24 different Football Bowl Subdivision programs including Langi. The award is given to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that “epitomizes great ability and integrity.”
Former Oregon Ducks, and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota received the first ever award back in 2014. Ronnie Stanley
The sophomore was not named to the watch list last season. The Trinity High School graduate played in 12 games as Texas State’s primary long snapper on punts, field goals and extra points. For the season he had to tackles, one solo and one assisted against Florida State.
For 2016, Langi was moved to tight end — a position he played in high school — by head coach Everett Withers’ staff after solely being a deep snapper in 2015. He caught three passes for 28 yards over four games his senior season in high school.
Idaho defensive lineman Tueni Lupeamanu was only other Sun Belt player named to the watch list along with Langi. Breiden Fehoko from Texas Tech and Darrin Laufasa from UTEP are the other players form Texas programs named.
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will be name five finalists on Nov. 17 and the winner of the award will be announced Dec. 7. A formal presentation will be held at the Celebration Dinner during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on January 20, 2017.
Members of the selection committee include, Dick Tomey, LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride, Dick Vermeil, former NFLPA President and inaugural inductee Kevin Mawae, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, Gil Brandt and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
“It is remarkable that the first two recipients of the award were selected in the top six picks overall in the NFL Draft (No. 2 Marcus Mariota, 2015 and No. 6 Ronnie Stanley, 2016),” said Chairman and co-Founder, Jesse Sapolu in a press release. “This award allows us to showcase the tremendous impact that our Polynesian student-athletes are having on the game of football.”
According to the release, the watch list is compiled based on past performance and “future potential.” With Langi potentially in play for reps at tight end this season in addition to his long snapping duties, the sophomore could rack up some stats in the offensive category making his name more appealing to the committee.