Three-star safety selected to Polynesian Bowl
Kahuku three-star defensive back Nalu Emerson became the latest selection for the 2019 Polynesian Bowl on Thursday night and is set to play his final high school football game in front of family and friends.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect will get his chance to compete against some of the nation's best players throughout the week early next year culminating with the 2019 Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 19 inside Aloha Stadium in a game televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.
Emerson became the latest standout from the state of Hawaii to be named to the loaded all-star roster, which includes top national talent and 23 other players from a deep 2019 class in the Aloha State. He is the fifth player from his high school to be named to the game, joining four-star offensive tackle Enokk Vimahi, three-star linebacker Miki Ah You, three-star defensive end Tausili Fiatoa and three-star tight end Ethan Erickson.
"This invitation is truly a blessing," Emerson told 247Sports. "Being a third generation football player for Kahuku before my dad and grandfather, and having so many Polynesian family members who played football at a high level like Leonard Peters and Johnny Tapusoa, it is truly an honor to represent my Polynesian heritage at this bowl game.
"I can practice against some of the best in the nation and it is so exciting. I’m eager to match up against some of these guys and compete."
Emerson, who is one of the hardest hitting defensive backs out West and opened some eyes in coverage drills at several events this past offseason, holds scholarship offers from Hawaii, Navy and UNLV. New recruiting interest has also arrived from Fresno State and San Diego State, with plans to hold off until after the state championships are over to take as many official visits as he can before it's time to make a decision. The likes of Army, Kansas State, Notre Dame and USC have also been monitoring Emerson throughout the year and the Polynesian Bowl week should serve as a chance for him to continue to impress on a national scale.
"UNLV is the most recent offer and that was actually a big one for me because I know some guys I work out with that go there," Emerson told 247Sports recently. "I know that their football program is on the rise. I have been on the field before and I really liked the campus. It's a place I'm looking to officially visit hopefully.
"With Hawaii I'm still in contact with them. I have been talking with coach Craig Stutzmann and they have been telling me to head down to campus to hang out with the players."
The physical tackler is the nation's No. 155-rated safety and No. 18 overall player in the state of Hawaii for the 2019 class, per the 247Sports rankings.