Trio Of Aggies Recognized By Polynesian Football Hall Of Fame

Aug 21, 2023, 10:56 AM

LOGAN, Utah – With the college football season just days away, three Utah State football players have been named on the watch list for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.

Senior defensive tackle Hale Motu’apuaka, senior linebacker MJ Tafisi Jr., and senior offensive lineman Falepule Alo were each named to the watch list ahead of the 2023 season.

RELATED: 2023 Utah State Aggies Football Schedule

The Polynesian College Football POTY award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry which epitomizes great ability and integrity. 85 players from 41 Football Bowl Subdivision schools are represented this year.

RELATED: Sophomore Aggie Safety Continues Racking Up Preseason Recognition

Alo played 55 snaps across 12 games for the Aggies in 2022. He had a team-best 22 knockdowns and was not charged with allowing a sack all season. Alo was named as a preseason fourth-team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele.

Since redshirting in 2018, Motu’apuaka has made 28 starts for the Aggies. In four seasons, the talented leader has 82 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 16.5 tackles for a loss. In 2022, Motu’apuaka started 12 games, posting 35 tackles, including five sacks and eight tackles for loss. Entering his final season with USU, he was named to Phil Steele’s First-Team All-Mountain West and Athlon Sports Second-Team All-Mountain West.

RELATED: Utah State Director Of Athletics Diana Sabau ‘Hits Ground Running’

A local product out of West Jordan, UT, Tafisi finished his first season as an Aggie with 69 tackles and one sack. After earning honorable mention all-Mountain West recognition last season, Tafisi was named a second-team all-conference pick by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.

Five finalists will be revealed on December 1 with the winner being announced on December 14. The presentation of the award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner on Jan. 20, at the Sheraton Waikiki, and they will also be recognized during the Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 19.

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Utah State begins the 2023 campaign with a road test against the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa hosts the Aggies on Saturday, September 2 with a 10 a.m. (MT) season-opening kickoff. The Hawkeyes ended 2022 with a 21-0 shutout against Kentucky in the Music City Bowl to finish the season at 8-5.

Utah State football games are broadcast on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White on the call.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics can be found here. 

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Trio Of Aggies Recognized By Polynesian Football Hall Of Fame