Dec. 8, 2015
HONOLULU - University of Notre Dame senior offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.
Polynesian College Football Hall of Fame Co-Founder Jesse Sapolu made the announcement at a Honolulu press conference today. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry that epitomizes great ability and integrity.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound native of Las Vegas, Nevada, was born to Ron and Juli Stanley, who is of Tongan descent.
“My mom was born in Tonga,” Stanley said. “I’m very proud of our culture and I am honored to be selected as the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.”
Stanley was the cornerstone of an Irish offensive line that led Notre Dame to a 10-2 regular-season record and a No. 8 ranking in the final College Football Playoff poll. Individually, he finished the regular season with a 97.3% pass block success rate. As a team, the Irish put up impressive rushing numbers, including 2,582 rushing yards (215.7 yards per game), 27 rushing touchdowns (2.25 per game), 5.76 rushing yards per carry average (a modern school record) and had three different players with over 100-yard rushing games.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors and the Selection Committee, we congratulate Ronnie on this historic accomplishment,” Sapolu said. “He truly represents the very best of our Polynesian culture.”
The formal presentation of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend at the Celebration Dinner on January 29, 2016.
The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members, composed of past head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
Other Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award finalists included Deforest Buckner (Oregon), Su’a Cravens (USC), Ka’imi Fairbairn (UCLA) and Juju Smith-Schuster (USC).
About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. As a 501(C)(3) organization, the Hall of Fame preserves and promotes Polynesian football history and awards scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes.