SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's history of standout Polynesian football players continued Thursday when five recruits from the Beehive State were named to the 43-player watchlist for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame player of the year.
The in-state nominees include Bingham linebacker Sione Fotu, Timpview defensive back Logan Pili, Skyridge defensive end Ioholani Raass, American Fork linebacker Bodie Schoonover and Orem linebacker Noah Sewell.
Sol-Jay Maiava, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound quarterback from St. John's Prep in Washington, D.C., who has committed to BYU, is also among the nominees for the award, which will be recognized at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl on Dec. 18, 2020, at Aloha Stadium.
Former Orem wide receiver Puka Nacua, who is currently a freshman at Washington, was named co-player of the year in 2018, joining Alabama’s Taulia Tagovailoa.
"This award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes," Polynesian Football Hall of Fame chairman Jessee Sapolu said in a statement from the organization. "Football for Polynesians is a way of life and an opportunity to advance their educational pursuits through a college scholarship."
Sewell, a 6-foot-2, 266-pound linebacker who also plays running back for the Tigers, is a five-star recruit and the No. 2-rated linebacker prospect in the country with a range of offers that include Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State, among others.
Sewell, who sat out last week’s opener against Corner Canyon, is currently sidelined with a foot injury.
Fotu, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound inside linebacker from Bingham, is a three-star recruit by 247 Sports with offers from Utah State, Cal, Utah, Washington State and BYU, among others. A three-year varsity player, Foot had 16 tackles and three sacks as a junior in 2018.
Raass, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound weakeside defensive end, is a three-star recruit and top-10 overall prospect in the state. With offers from BYU, Utah State, Colorado and Boise State, among others, Raass is the latest in a line of high school standouts with the third-year Falcons, who have moved up to Class 6A beginning with the 2019 season.
Schoonover is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound linebacker who has committed to BYU over offers from Nebraska and Utah, among others.
Pili, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back who has committed to BYU, is a top-100 safety prospect in the nation and the No. 11 overall recruit in the state of Utah, according to 247 Sports.