Arizona Cardinals Offensive Lineman Mike Iupati has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award presented by Hawaiian Airlines. The Award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian ancestry.
The 6-foot-5-tall, 330-pound American Samoa native was born to Aposetola and Belinda Iupati and is of Samoan ancestry. Iupati attended the University of Idaho where he played for the vandals and earned All-American and All-WAC honors.
"As a proud Polynesian and Samoan, I am honored to be selected as the inaugural Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year," said Mike Iupati. "I would like to congratulate the other finalists, Marcus Mariota, Rey Maualuga, Koa Misi and Manti Te'o as they represent the very best of our culture and the National Football League."
Iupati, in his sixth season out of the University of Idaho, has helped lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 13-3 regular season record. As a team, the Cardinals finished the regular season ranked first in total offense (408.3 yards per game), second in points scored (30.6 points per game), eighth in rushing yards (119.8 yards per game) and sixth in rushing touchdowns (16). Iupati was also selected to his fourth NFL Pro Bowl this season.