Washington State junior defensive tackle Hercules Mata’afa was named the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year on Tuesday. The award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player that epitomizes great ability and integrity. University of Oregon and Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the award in 2014.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) December 12, 2017
Mata’afa, who is from out of Lahaina, Hawaii, was also named first-team All-American by the Associated Press on Monday.
Mata’afa is widely considered one of the best players in the Pac-12 and could be a high draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft should he decide to enter it. This season, the junior led the Pac-12 with 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in 2017; however, he was not named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. That award was given to Washington DT Vita Vea.
The AP also awarded its Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award on Thursday to Mata’afa.
Washington State will play Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. PT on FS1.
The post Washington State’s Hercules Mata’afa named Polynesian Player of the Year appeared first on Diehards.