SALT LAKE CITY — The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced the creation of the Polynesian High School Player of the Year Award, and a number of prospects from Utah plus BYU and Utah recruits are on the initial 53-player watch list.
The East Leopards have five players on the list: Junior Angilau, Moa Heimuli, Paul Maile, Tennessee Pututau and Sam Taimani. Olympus twins Cameron and Nathan Latu also are there, as are Highland's Hunter Lotulelei, Brighton's Salua Masina, Desert Hills' Penei Sewell and Alta's MJ Tafisi.
Lotulelei is one of two players on the list who is committed to play collegiately at the University of Utah, joining California's Malone Mataele. BYU commit Brandon Kaho also is on the list.
Additional players who are being recruited by the Utes or Cougars (or both) include one-time BYU commit Tyler Manoa of California, Nevada's Jacob Isaia and California's Merlin Robertson.
Cameron Latu tweeted Monday that he will be committing on Friday afternoon, while Kaho released a list of five schools he's still considering.
Five finalists will be announced on December 7, and the award will be presented on January 19, 2018, during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner.
BYU running backs coach Reno Mahe and former Cougar great Vai Sikahema are board members of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame alongside notable names such as Jesse Sapolu, Ma'a Tanuvasa, Troy Polamalu and June Jones.
It is located at the LDS Church-owned Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.