IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa was named one of five finalists for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year, the Polynesian Hall of Fame announced Tuesday morning.
The award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player of the Polynesian ancestry that epitomizes great ability and integrity. The five finalists were selected from a 60-player watch list.
Epenesa, a native of Glen Carbon, Illinois (Edwardsville High School), leads the Hawkeyes in tackles for loss (13-69), sacks (9-54), quarterback pressures (nine), and forced fumbles (three). He also has three pass break-ups. He was recently named a first-team All-Big Ten selection, while also claiming Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors following wins over Minnesota and Nebraska.
Epenesa was a finalist for last year’s award and he played in the Polynesian Bowl as a prep, garnering defensive MVP honors.
The winner of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award will be announced Dec. 17.
Iowa (9-3, 7-3) will face USC in the 2019 Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27 (7 p.m. CT, FS1). For ticket and bowl game information, visit hawkeyesports.com/bowlcentral.