Honolulu, HI (January 21, 2021) – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today that Indianapolis Colts Defensive Lineman, DeForest Buckner has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award presented by Hawaiian Airlines.
The Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian Ancestry. Seattle Seahawks OG Mike Iupati was selected as the inaugural recipient in 2015, Las Vegas Raiders QB Marcus Mariota in 2016, Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2017 & 2018, and Baltimore Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley in 2019.
The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Buckner is of Samoan descent. He is in his fifth year out of the University of Oregon.
This season, DeForest played in 15 games and compiled 58 tackles (37 solo), 10 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Among NFL defensive tackles, he ranked in the top-five in tackles (fourth), solo tackles (second), tackles for loss (third), sacks (second) and forced fumbles (third). Buckner’s 9.5 sacks set the Colts franchise record for the most by a defensive tackle in a single season.
He was named a first team All-Pro selection.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate DeForest on a historic year,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu. “He is a tremendous role model and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere.”