Manogiamanu motivated by invitation to Polynesian Bowl

August 23, 2019

Leroy Manogiamanu of Anchorage has been selected to the 2020 Polynesian Bowl, which will be held after the season in January in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The all-state defensive end hopes to have his college plans sorted out by then.

But if he doesn’t, the high school senior will use the game as an opportunity to showcase his skills in an attempt to pique the interest of a college coach.

Manogiamanu, of Bartlett High fame, would like to remain at defensive end, but some people think the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is too small.

“They say I’m too skinny to play at that spot,” he told me. “But it’s not just about power. The most important thing is the techniques you use.”

The three-star recruit would be the second Alaskan to play in the Polynesian Bowl after Anchorage defensive end Brandon Pili played in the inaugural game in 2017. He’s entering his junior season with the USC Trojans.

Manogiamanu would love to use the Polynesian Bowl to catapult him to the Pac-12.

“It’s possible for me to make it, I just need to focus on the things that will get me there,” he said. “Being good at football is not easy for everyone; it takes a lot of practice and a lot of dedication.”

That’s why he sees this trip to Hawaii as all business, not a vacation.

When other guys are soaking up the sun on the beach, he will be soaking up knowledge from the gridiron greats associated with the Polynesian Bowl.

“I try my best to be coachable because that’s a big thing that college coaches look for in a player, so I try my best to do that,” Manogiamanu said.