Mountain West Football Top 50: No. 12, Hawaii LB Jahlani Tavai
The highest ranked linebacker on our countdown of the Mountain West’s 50 best football players is Jahlani Tavai of the Hawaii Warriors.
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What will the Hawaii star do for an encore after a great 2016?
The Mountain West Wire countdown of the conference’s 50 best football players continues with the man who had perhaps the biggest defense breakout of 2016 and, as a result, is our highest-ranked linebacker and our highest ranked Hawaii Warrior.
Hawaii’s Jahlani Tavai earned first-team all-Mountain West honors last fall after leading the conference (and finishing 14th nationally) with 19.5 tackles for loss and finishing in a tie for fourth with seven sacks. He also collected 124 total tackles and forced two fumbles and an interception, helping the Warriors’ linebacker unit jump into the top 30 nationally in Havoc Rate.
No surprise, then, that Tavai has been named to both the Nagurski Trohpy and Bednarik Award watch lists this preseason. And now that the mainland has access to a slew of Hawaii games online, Tavai will be a fun player to watch all year long.