Three prominent football standouts with Puget Sound connections are part of the initial 25-man class of finalists for the fledging Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. Seven inductees will be named from the list and recognized at the enshrinement in Honolulu Jan. 23 the week of the Pro Bowl.
The list includes Olin Kreutz, former Washington center and a 14-year player in the NFL; Jack Thompson, the legendary Throwin’ Samoan for Washington State and later, a six-year NFL quarterback; and Manu Tuiasosopo, former UCLA defensive lineman and a seven-year pro with San Francisco and Seattle.
Also on the roster is Junior Seau, the former USC linebacker and 20-year pro who took his life in 2012 and has been the subject of speculation in connection with possible brain damage incurred over his long career.
The selection panel includes former coaches Dick Tomey, LaVell Edwards and longtime NFL player-personnel executive Gil Brandt.