As the Polynesian Bowl is more and more on the collective radar of elite high school football players, the newest showcase of America’s top scholastic gridiron talent continues to add to the roster for the 2018 game.
The rosters are really coming together for the second-annual game next January.
On Tuesday, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced that 20 new players have committed to play in the 2018 Polynesian Bowl on January 20 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. It will feature 100 nationally ranked players. With the game being played as part of Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, 75 percent will be of Polynesian ancestry and 25 percent of other ancestries.
Among those from the Class of 2018 accepting an invitation Tuesday was four-star recruit Eyabi Anoma, a defensive end out of St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.). He is the third-ranked Class of 2018 weak-side defensive end and the No. 51 player overall, according to the 247Sports Composite.
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The list of top-tier high school players gets longer from there, as another six four-star recruits also accepted invitations Tuesday. Among them are safety Isheem Young from Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.), offensive guard and Michigan commit Emil Ekiyor from Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.), athlete Bryan Addison from Junipero Serra (San Mateo, Calif.), wide receiver Isaah Crocker from Inderkum (Sacramento, Calif.), safety Kwantel Raines from Aliquippa (Pa.), and running back and Notre Dame commit Markese Stepp from Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Among the 11 three-star recruits added are offensive guard Sam Vakalahi from East (Salt Lake City, Utah), offensive tackle M.J. Ale from Fife (Wash.), offensive guard Junior Angilau from East (Salt Lake City, Utah), wide receiver/tight end Tuni Fifita from Milpitas (Calif.), defensive tackle Moa Heimuli from East (Salt Lake City, Utah), offensive tackle Donovan Laie from Oceanside (Calif.), defensive lineman Paul Maile from East (Salt Lake City, Utah), linebacker Malakai Salu from Central Catholic (Portland, Oreg.), linebacker MJ Tafisi from Alta (Sandy, Utah), athlete Matthew Tago from Quartz Hill (Lancaster, Calif.), linebacker Isaak Togia from Pacifica (Garden Grove, Calif.).
“The top high school football talent in the nation, including seven of the highest rated quarterbacks will be coming to Hawaii… a once in a lifetime experience for these outstanding players,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Co-Founder and Chairman Jesse Sapolu, a four-time Super Bowl Champion with the San Francisco 49ers.
After already announcing 52 new commitments from January through March, that brings the new total to 72 commitments for the 2018 game. Among those who had already accepted invitations were four five-star players from the Class of 2018 – Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.) defensive end Micah Parsons, Augustus F. Hawkins (Los Angeles, Calif.) wide receiver Jalen Hall, Bothell (Wash.) quarterback Jacob Sirmon and Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) linebacker Palaie Gaoteote.
In the inaugural game in January, Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota and Baltimore Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley served as team captains. Former NFL players Olin Kreutz and Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson were honorary head coaches.