Three Ducks On Polynesian College Football POY Watch List

HONOLULU — Oregon’s Popo Aumavae, Mase Funa and Taki Taimani were all named to the preseason watch list for the 2023 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award on Thursday by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

The award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry that epitomizes great ability and integrity. The 2023 watch list is composed of 85 players from 40 different FBS schools. 

All three Ducks are on the preseason watch list for the third year in a row. Penei Sewell (2019) and Marcus Mariota (2014) are the two Ducks to ever win the award, and last year Noah Sewell became the program’s first-ever two-time finalist.

The winner of the 2023 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on December 14. Five finalists will be unveiled on November 30. The presentation of the Award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner (January 20, 2024) at the Sheraton Waikiki, and they will also be recognized at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl (January 19, 2024).

DL Popo Aumavae
» Returns for a seventh season at Oregon after missing 2022 due to injury.

» 2021 AP and PFF Pac-12 all-conference first team.

» Led all Pac-12 interior defensive linemen in 2021 with an 81.3 overall defensive grade by PFF.

» Career-high 36 tackles in 2021, including 16 solo and 3.0 TFLs.

» 38 career games played at Oregon, making 66 total tackles, 9.0 TFLs and 3.5 sacks.

OLB Mase Funa

» Played in all 13 games for Oregon in 2022, making eight starts.

» Finished 2022 with a career-high 32 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, two sacks and an interception.

» Defensive MVP of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl after recording seven tackles, two TFLs and a sack.

» Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week after icing Oregon’s win at WSU with a 27-yard pick-six.

» Enters 2023 with 117 total tackles, 16.5 TFLs and six sacks in 46 career games.

DL Taki Taimani

» Played in 11 of 13 games in 2022, his first season as a Duck.

» Finished 2022 with 14 tackles, a TFL and a pass breakup.

» Earned a 70.1 run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus.

» Transferred to Oregon after spending four seasons at Washington.

» Enters 2023 with 85 total tackles, 4.5 TFLs and a fumble recovery in 40 career games.

Ducks on 2023 Preseason Watch Lists
Maxwell Award – QB Bo Nix
Outland Trophy – OL Josh Conerly Jr.
Bronko Nagurski Trophy – DE Brandon Dorlus, DB Evan Williams

Wuerffel Trophy – DB Trikweze Bridges

Paul Hornung Award – WR Kris Hutson

Paul Mackey Award – TE Terrance Ferguson

Rimington Trophy – OL Jackson Powers-Johnson

Biletnikoff Award – WR Troy Franklin, WR Tez Johnson

Davey O’Brien Award – QB Bo Nix

Doak Walker Award – RB Bucky Irving, RB Noah Whittington

Butkus Award – ILB Jestin Jacobs

Walter Camp Player of the Year – QB Bo Nix, RB Bucky Irving

Chuck Bednarik Award – DE Brandon Dorlus

Manning Award – QB Bo Nix

Lombardi Award – DE Brandon Dorlus

Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award – DL Popo Aumavae, OLB Mase Funa, DL Taki Taimani