Two of the biggest and brightest personalities on the Horned Frog football team will have a little extra to play for this season after being named to the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award watch list. While these watch list nominations are numerous in the preseason, this award is a little extra special for a couple guys who have the opportunity to not only honor their school, but their heritage as well.
From Mark Cohen, TCU SID:
TCU offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai and defensive end Mike Tuaua have been named to the watch list for the 2015 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.The award is presented by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.Vaitai, a member of the 2015 Preseason All-Big 12 Team, was an all-conference selection last season. He also appears on the Outland Trophy Watch List. He started all 13 contests at right tackle a year ago and has made 19 starts over the last two campaigns.A senior from Haltom, Texas, Vaitai is one of 10 returning starters on a TCU offense that finished second in the nation in scoring (46.5 points per game) and tied for fifth in total offense (533.0 yards per game). The Horned Frogs set single-season school records for points (604), passing yards (4,240), total yards (6,929), first downs (331) and plays (1,038).Tuaua made five starts last season while appearing in 12 of 13 games. He ranked fourth on TCU with five sacks while placing fifth with 8 1/2 tackles for loss. He totaled 30 stops on the season.The senior from Rohnert Park, Calif., opened last year with a career-high seven tackles, including 3 1/2 stops for loss with two sacks, against Samford. Tuaua had two tackles for loss, including a sack, at West Virginia. He also took part in sacks versus Baylor and Kansas State. He had at least one tackle in all 12 games he played with a tackle for loss in five contests.TCU's defense returns five starters from a unit that led the Big 12 last season in scoring defense (19.0 points per game), total defense (341.8 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense (106.6 rating). The Horned Frogs were also second in the conference in rushing defense (108.8 yards per game).