COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Hawaii football team placed two members on the All-Mountain West teams while six others received honorable mention honors as selected by a panel of media and head coaches.
Sophomore linebacker Jahlani Tavai was selected to the first team while junior offensive lineman Dejon Allen was named to the second team. Junior safety Trayvon Henderson, senior wideout Marcus Kemp, senior offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi, junior defensive lineman Meffy Koloamatangi, senior defensive back Jalen Rogers, and senior kicker Rigoberto Sanchez were honorable mention picks.
Tavai ranks sixth in the Mountain West and 32nd nationally with an average of 9.1 tackles per game. The Redondo Beach, Calif., native also ranks second in the MW with a 1.35 tackles for loss average while his seven sacks ranks seventh. Tavai posted double-digit tackles in seven games including a career-high 14 against UNLV.
Allen made the switch from guard to left tackle this season and started all 13 games, leading all UH linemen in grade and knockdowns. He has not allowed a sack all season and played every offensive snap in 12 of 13 games. The Compton, Calif., native was an honorable mention selection a year ago as well.
Brothers Leo and Meffy Koloamatangi of East Palo Alto, Calif., played pivotal roles on both sides of the line. On offense, Leo played and started nearly every position on the line missing only one game due to injury. He played every offensive snap in 11 of 12 games and ranks second on the team in knockdowns. Meffy had a breakout junior season, starting eight games at end and ranks among the top defensive lineman in the MW with an average of 3.4 tackles per game.
Kemp became the 12th UH player to surpass 1,000-yards receiving in a season and over the weekend, was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player at the annual awards banquet. The Layton, Utah native ranks fourth in the MW with an average of 5.4 receptions per game and is fifth with a 79.7 yards per game average. He also has seven receiving touchdowns a team-leading 10 catches of 30 yards or more.
One year after suffering season-ending knee injury, Henderson rebounded with his best year as a Rainbow Warrior. The Sacramento, Calif., native is second on the team with an average of 6.5 tackles per game along with two interceptions and five pass breakups. Remarkably, Henderson has played in every defensive snap in half of UH’s games this season.
Rogers leads the team with three interceptions and allowed only one touchdown in conference play despite being tasked to cover the opposing team’s best wideout. The East Tucson, Ariz., native recorded six or more tackles in five games and has 7.0 tackles for loss and three pass breakups.
A candidate for the Special Teams Player of the Year Award, Sanchez doubled as the team’s placekicker and punter while also handling kickoff duties. As a placekicker, the Hamilton City, Calif., native is 12-for-12 in field goals, including a long of 55, one shy of the school-record, versus Michigan. His 44.6 punting average ranks second in the conference and 15th nationally and his 19 boots over 50 yards, leads all MW punters.