JuJu named Polynesian Player of the Year

JuJu Smith-Schuster has been named the recipient of the 2018 Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award, presented annually by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

The Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian ancestry. This is the second straight year that Smith-Schuster has won the award.

"Very consistent, very consistent," said offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner of the second-year receiver. "He's learned how to be a pro, and I think his teammates realize that about him, and he's brought a lot of energy to our group."

Smith-Schuster, who is of Samoan ancestry, finished the 2018 season with 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns en route to being voted the team's Most Valuable Player.

"He worked hard in the offseason," said Darrius Heyward-Bey. "He knew there were going to be a lot of eyes on him this season and he rose to the occasion. He works hard. I knew from Day 1 this kid was going to be special. We are just at the beginning. The sky is going to be the limit.

"He cares about his craft. He wants to be the best. He wants to learn. He can humble himself to learn from anybody. He just wants to get better. If you have knowledge he is willing to take it in. That is rule number one of being a pro, being coachable.

"I don't like to put a lot of pressure on him, but I see a lot of Anquin Boldin in him. I see a lot of Larry Fitzgerald in him. Two guys who know how to play football. He knows how to play football."

The formal presentation of the award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner along with being recognized at the Polynesian Bowl, to be held on January 19 in Oahu, Hawaii.

The Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee composed of Coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, former NFL players Olin Kreutz, Kevin Mawae, and Ray Schoenke, as well as others.