Pac-12 places 16 on Polynesian player of the year watch list

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced the watch list for the 2016 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award on Wednesday, and the Pac-12 led all conferences with 16 players on the list. The award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player who epitomizes great ability and integrity. The Mountain West placed second with a total of six nominees.

USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, one of three Trojans on the watch list, headlines the list of Pac-12 hopefuls. Smith-Schuster was also named to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award and Biletnikoff Award. Utah also placed three on the list. Below is a full breakdown by school:

USC Trojans (3): Jr. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jr. OL Toa Lobendahn, Jr. OL Damien Mama

Utah Utes (3): Sr. OL Isaac Asiata, Jr. DT Lowell Lotulelei, Sr. DE Pita Taumoepenu

Colorado Buffaloes (2): Sr. QB Sefo Liufau, Sr. DL Josh Tupou

UCLA Bruins (2): Sr. TE/FB Nate Iese, So. DB Randall Goforth

Arizona State Sun Devils (2): Sr. LB Salamo Fiso, Sr. LB Viliami Moeakiola

Washington State Cougars (2): Sr. S Shalom Luani, So. DE Hercules Mata'afa

Arizona Wildcats: Jr. QB Anu Solomon

Oregon Ducks: So. DL Canton Kaumatule

The candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential and additions to the list may be made as the season progresses. Previous winners of the award include former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. Last season, Notre Dame OL Ronnie Stanley took home the award. The 2016 award winner will be announced on Dec. 7.