Saturday night, the second annual Polynesian Bowl kicks off at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii (ESPN3, 11 p.m. ET).
The game features 100 high school seniors, of which a majority are of Polynesian ancestry. Friday night, the players attended a Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner.
If this traditional haka dance performed by the players at the end of the event is any indication, it appears that the week has been a success.
Yes, that is a shirtless Brey Walker (among others). The 6-foot-7, 320-pound five-star and Oklahoma commit from Westmoore (Moore, Okla.) was a U.S. Army All-American, and this will be his second national all-star contest.
Walker will be joined by many more of the nation’s top recruits, some of which have yet to make their college commitments.
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Here is what you need to know heading into Saturday’s contest between Team Mauka and Team Makai:
– The game features 17 of the top 106 players in the 247 Sports Composite. Among them are five-stars Walker, USC-bound Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) inside linebacker Palaie Gaoteote and still uncommitted wide receiver Devon Williams from Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Calif.).
Williams is the top recruit at the Polynesian Bowl who has yet to commit. While his decision is coming down to Oregon and USC, he was seen wearing Ducks gear at one point this week. Then again, he also wore USC gloves.
Also uncommitted is Helix (La Mesa, Calif.) defensive back Isaac Taylor-Stuart. The country’s No. 4 cornerback is reportedly choosing between USC, Alabama and Texas A&M.
– Other blue chip recruits in action tonight who have yet to make their college decisions public include Centennial (Corona, Calif.) quarterback Tanner McKee, offensive tackle Penei Sewell from Desert Hills (St. George, Utah) and ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year Solomon Tuliaupupu from Super 25 champion Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.). Stanford is the favorite to land McKee, while Oregon, Alabama and USC are in the lead for Sewell, the top-ranked player in Utah. USC is also the favorite to land Tuliaupupu.
– Several players are expected to commit during the game. Lompoc (Calif.) running back Toa Taua is scheduled to choose from between Iowa State, Utah State and Nevada; Trinity (Euless, Texas) defensive end Izaih Filikitonga will pick from between TCU, Utah and Oklahoma State; Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif.) wide receiver Manuel Allen is currently committed to Louisville but opted not to sign in December, and he will make his final decision between the Cardinals and Illinois.
– Other top players suiting up Saturday night include Penn State running back commit Ricky Slade from C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.), Ohio State tight end commit Jeremy Ruckert from Lindenhurst (N.Y.), UCLA quarterback commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Miami (Fla.) tight end commit Brevin Jordan from Bishop Gorman, Ohio State running back commit Brian Snead from Armwood (Seffner, Fla.), Ohio State defensive tackle commit Tommy Togiai from Highland (Pocatello, Idaho), UCLA-bound athlete Bryan Addison from Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.), USC-bound athlete Talanoa Hufanga from Crescent Valley (Corvallis, Ore.), Alabama-bound offensive guard Emil Ekiyor from Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) and USC defensive tackle commit Tuli Letuligasenoa from De La Salle (Concord, Calif.).
– Togiai is a special case, in that he is an early enrollee at Ohio State. Last week, he received a waiver from the NCAA that clears him to play in tonight’s game, despite already being a college student.
– The game will be between Team Mauka and Team Makai. Team Mauka will be coached by Super Bowl champion Dick Vermeil, with San Francisco 49ers defensive end and Honolulu native DeForest Buckner serving as honorary team captain. Team Makai will be coached by former UCLA coach Terry Donahue, with Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton serving as honorary team captain.
The full roster of players for tonight’s 2018 Polynesian Bowl is here.