Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
University of Washington Huskies Football
Sports >  UW football

Ascending pass rusher Zion Tupuola-Fetui announces he’ll return to Washington in 2021

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 28, 2020

Washington linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui, right, pressures Stanford quarterback Davis Mills during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Seattle.   (Associated Press)
Washington linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui, right, pressures Stanford quarterback Davis Mills during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Seattle.  (Associated Press)
By Mike Vorel Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Washington football fans have not seen the last of “ZTF.”

Redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui, who exploded onto the scene with seven sacks and three forced fumbles in his first three career starts this past season, announced Monday evening that he’ll return to Washington in 2021. Players are technically eligible to enter the NFL draft three years after graduating from high school.

Several hours earlier, All-Pac-12 first-team left tackle Jaxson Kirkland announced his intention to return in 2021 as well.

“I think it goes without saying that this team is just getting started, and so am I,” Tupuola-Fetui tweeted Monday. “See you next year Husky Nation!”

And what a start it was. Despite playing in just four games this season, Tupuola-Fetui was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press on Monday. Last week, he was named a second-team All-American by the Athletic.

In the first three starts of his college career, the Pearl City, Hawaii, product notched seven sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass defended – earning Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week honors three consecutive times. He was subsequently dubbed a first-team All-Pac-12 performer as well.

Tupuola-Fetui led the nation with 1.75 sacks and 0.75 forced fumbles per game.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound outside linebacker produced just nine tackles in 12 games as a reserve behind Joe Tryon and Ryan Bowman in 2019, then added 14 pounds of muscle last offseason. Without sophomore Laiatu Latu, who missed the season with an unspecified injury, Tupuola-Fetui stepped into a significant role and exceeded expectations.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.