This is the third year of the award, which is presented annually to "the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry that epitomizes great ability and integrity."
Liufau, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior, led the Buffaloes to a 10-3 record and the Pac-12 South division title. He directed the largest single-season turnaround in conference history, as the Buffs went 1-8 in Pac-12 play in 2015 and 8-1 this year.
The No. 10 Buffs will take on No. 12 Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, their first bowl appearance in nine years.
"It's a tremendous honor for me, being of Samoan heritage, and just an honor and a privilege to be a part of a program that's turned around from being at the bottom to coming back to the top," Liufau said in a video message included with the press release. "I just want to thank my teammates, my coaches for an unbelievable year, an unbelievable experience here at the University of Colorado.
"This award is not only a testament to myself, but to my teammates, who have helped me reach this level and helped me through the years."
Despite missing nearly three full games, Liufau finished the season with 2,667 all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns. He threw for 2,171 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 496 yards and seven scores.
Liufau is CU's all-time leader in passing yards (9,568) and total offense (10,509). He holds more than 80 school records.
The award was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame selection committee. Other finalists were: Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini, Utah defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei, BYU defensive back Kai Nacua and Southern California receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Previous winners were Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (2014) and Notre Dame offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (2015).
Liufau will be formally presented with the award at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration dinner on Jan. 20 and will be recognized during the inaugural Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 21.
Liufau is the nephew of Polynesian Football Hall of Fame inductee Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson. The 2017 hall of fame class includes former CU offensive lineman Chris Naeole and former Denver Broncos defensive end Ma'a Tanuvasa.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.