Oregon Duck

DeForest Buckner named Polynesian Football Player of the Year

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DeForest Buckner was a force on the defensive line during his four seasons at Oregon and that hasn't changed at the next level. 

Buckner was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the seventh overall pick in 2016, and quickly became one of the best defensive linemen in football. 

He was named to the All-Rookie Team in 2016, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018, and anchored a defense that led the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season.

Unfortunately for 49ers fans, the team had to make a business decision and traded Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.

In his first season in Indy, Buckner totaled 58 tackles (37 solos), 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. 

His performance earned him 2020 First-Team All-Pro honors, but that's not all. 

On Thursday the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame named Buckner its 2020 Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year.

“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate DeForest on a historic year,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu in the official press release.  “He is a tremendous role model and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere.” 

Buckner took to social media to accept the award.

Of all the accolades I’ve received, this one means the most to me. As a kid growing up in Hawaii I was very inspired by the Polynesian players in the NFL and they gave me hope that one day that could be me.

DeForest Buckner

In his four seasons at Oregon, Buckner totaled 232 tackles (109 solos), 18.0 sacks, and two forced fumbles. 

Buckner becomes the second Oregon Duck to win the award, following Marcus Mariota in 2016.