The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today that Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa and San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga have been selected as the 2022 recipients of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award presented by Hawaiian Airlines. The Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian Ancestry.
Talanoa Hufanga, of Tongan descent, was named the Polynesian Defensive Player of the Year. Hufanga was a fifth-round pick by the 49ers in the 2021 NFL draft. In 17 games this season, Talanoa recorded 95 tackles (five for loss), defensed nine passes, recorded two sacks, forced two fumbles and has four interceptions, one of which he returned 52 yards for a touchdown.
Tua Tagovailoa, of Samoan descent, was named the Polynesian Offensive Player of the Year. Tagovailoa was a first-round pick by the Dolphins in the 2020 NFL draft. In 13 games this season, Tua completed 259 of 400 passes for 3,548 passing yards with 25 passing touchdowns. He compiled the NFL's best passing-efficiency rating for the 2022 season at 105.5.
"On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Talanoa and Tua on fantastic seasons," said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu. "They are tremendous role models, players, and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere."
Mike Iupati was selected as the inaugural recipient of the award in 2015; Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota received the award in 2016; Kansas City Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster received the award in 2017 & 2018; Baltimore Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley received the award in 2019; and Indianapolis Colts DL DeForest Buckner received the award in 2021.
The formal presentation of the Award will be held at the 2023 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 21, 2023), along with being recognized during the 2023 Polynesian Bowl (January 20, 2023).