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Finalists unveiled for Polynesian award

Pac-12 standouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Sefo Liufau were among five players named Tuesday as finalists for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.

The award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian player who epitomizes great ability and integrity. Past winners are former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and former Notre Dame offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley.

Other finalists this year include Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini, BYU defensive back Kai Nacua and Utah defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei.

Smith-Schuster, a USC junior, was a finalist for the award last season. He has 59 catches for 758 yards, ranking fourth in the Pac-12 in both categories, with eight touchdowns for the 13th-ranked Trojans, who have won seven consecutive games.

Liufau, a senior quarterback, has directed No. 10 Colorado to nine victories and a shot to win the Pac-12 South with a win Saturday against Utah. He became the second Colorado quarterback to rush for 100 yards and throw for 300 in the same game as the Buffaloes defeated Washington State last week.

Hikutini, a senior, has caught 42 passes for 556 yards and seven scores. Lotulelei, a junior, has recorded 24 tackles and three sacks. And Nacua, a senior, leads the Cougars with five interceptions.

The winner will be announced Dec. 8.