Polynesian Bowl: The Wommack Awards
HONOLULU -- The fourth annual Polynesian Bowl took place Saturday night at historic Aloha Stadium. And while most of the football world was sleeping, plenty of noteworthy action took place on the field. Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Woody Wommack was on hand and hands out his fictional but very important awards for the week.
MORE FROM THE POLYNESIAN BOWL: Thoughts from Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1 | Notes from Media Day
CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
This award goes to the most exciting and dynamic playmaker during the week and there are so many worthy candidates it’s almost impossible to pick one. In the end I have to give the nod to Hutson, who was impossible to cover from the moment he arrived until the final whistle during Saturday night’s game. The Oregon signee is an elite route-runner and has terrific hands and looks like he can fit inside at the slot or play outside as well.
Honorable mention: Michigan signee Roman Wilson was exciting all week and had a great catch radius and Arizona State signee LV Bunkley-Shelton was also consistently tough for defenses to handle.
This award goes to the quarterback with the most powerful arm and it was no doubt Uiagelelei. The Clemson quarterback was making throws on the run all night and flashed his arm strength when throwing back across the field several times. Because his arm is so talent, Uiagelelei also pushes the boundaries at times. He will have to learn that college defensive backs close fast and he’ll have every chance to develop further while watching Trevor Lawrence for a year.
This award goes to the player that helped his ranking the most, because apparently a bull has something to do with stocks going up? While many of the players we expected to excel did, there were some who really turned heads, highlighted by Afaese. The massive defensive lineman had a sack and a quarterback hurry while working primarily at defensive end. The Oregon signee's array of pass rushing moves will only help him when he bulks up and transitions inside.
Honorable mention: Demond Demas is already a five-star but he made a case to be higher. The same goes for Hutson based on his showing.
This award goes to the player that hurt his ranking the most, because bears eat rankings. It’s hard to put this on one player but given his late arrival and then injury along with inconsistent play I’m going to have to say Manuel. When Manuel is on, he can be as good as any receiver in the country. The problem is keeping him locked in and focused. The Florida commit caught two passes in Saturday’s game and still has a very high ceiling, but I think there’s major boom or bust potential.
This award is given to the best-looking prospect on the hoof, the guy who looks like he could play in college or even the NFL right now. There were actually several worthy candidates but the award goes to Sewell. At his size, the five-star Oregon signee would already been on the larger end when compared to current college linebackers. He flies around the field and has an engaging personality off of it, making him a popular man among his teammates all week. He should see the field early and often with the Ducks.
Honorable mention: Justin Flowe obviously fits the bill here as well. Stanford offensive line signee Levi Rogers is also a very physically impressive prospect along the lines over other high-profile Cardinal signees in recent years.
This award is for the player that always found themselves around the ball and that embodied the play of Williams on Saturday. He finished with eight total tackles and showed that he’s more than capable of laying the lumber as well when he met Noah Sewell in space and stonewalled him. Williams is more than willing to throw his body around and has a nose for the ball as well.
Honorable mention: Antoine Sampah was around the ball all night, as was Manning, Flowe and Danny Lockhart among others.
This award goes to the player that comes from off the radar all way to the forefront. This year’s pick was easy, as Pei entered the week without even a Rivals profile, let alone a scholarship offer. He ended Saturday night as the game’s defensive MVP, thanks to an eight-tackle, two interception game. Pei is being looked at by Washington as a potential walk-on candidate but with schools still looking for capable, available talent it would be surprising if Pei didn’t find himself with more opportunities.
This award goes to the player that was the best from start to finish and it goes to Robinson. The five-star was full-go all week, flashing his ability to run between the tackles as well as catch the ball out of the backfield. In Saturday’s game he did both, rushing for 16 yards and a touchdown and also catching three passes for 35 yards. The Texas signee's all-around game combined with his work ethic makes him a special prospect.
Honorable mention: Michigan wide receiver signee Roman Wilson impressed all week, as did five-star linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell.
ALL OR NOTHING
This is for the player who will either make a huge play or potentially make a mistake or be invisible at times. For the week it goes to Demas, who made some truly incredible plays but also missed practice and gave up on some routes during the game. When he is locked in and has the ball in his hands, Demas is among the most talented players in the country at any position. Keeping him engaged is going to be key for the coaches at Texas A&M, especially given his next-level talent.
This award goes to the best coverage man and it was an easy pick to select Manning. He was great all week during practice and showed it again during the game, including helping lockdown Demond Demas after his hot start. Manning had a great week at Under Armour and continued to impress while in Honolulu.
Honorable mention: Pei was a great cover man and finished with two interceptions as well as two pass breakups.
This award goes to the player who had the biggest impact in the game itself and it has to go to the offensive MVP, Maiava. He did a little bit of everything while leading his team to victory, including escaping the rush to extend plays while keeping his eyes downfield and knowing when to tuck and run. Maiava had several Power Five options before choosing the Cougars and he showed that he could be a special playmaker in Provo.
Honorable mention: Hutson and Robinson made a ton of plays, as did LSU linebacker signee Antoine Sampah and Oregon defensive back Dontae Manning.
This award goes to the player entering the game that was in prime position to earn that extra star, whether it was a fifth or fourth star, but didn't meet those expectations. Lawrence entered the week with a chance to make a final push up the rankings but he was instead sidetracked by an injury. When he practiced on Monday the Tennessee signee was clearly rusty and his injury didn’t allow him to bounceback after that. Lawrence isn’t going to make a big drop in the rankings, he just didn’t capitalize on the chance to push higher.
Honorable mention: Oregon defensive back commit Luke Hill had a chance to improve his stock, but was inconsistent. Georgia offensive lineman Chad Lindberg falls into the same category.