Skip to main content
Publish date:

Could Zion Tupuola-Fetui Start at Arizona on Friday?

The Husky edge rusher is listed as sharing the No. 1 job with Cooper McDonald.

The Zion Tupuola-Fetui rehabilitation tour continues.

On Tuesday, the University of Washington football team released its depth chart for Friday night's game at Arizona, and the 6-foot-4, 260-pound sophomore edge rusher — six months removed from Achilles surgery — is listed as a possible starter. 

Granted, these Husky lineups aren't always updated or accurate, for strategic reasons, but it's the first time Tupuola-Fetui has been included on one since last season.

After receiving 10 productive snaps against UCLA, Tupuola-Fetui and freshman Cooper McDonald, a six-game starter in his teammate's absence, share the left outside linebacker position going into the desert.

Even in his limited outing, the player known as ZTF changed things up in a big way for the Husky defense with his power rush, continually shoving offensive linemen backward and making Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson uncomfortable in the pocket. 

Whether or not the big Hawaiian receives a start this week, his playing time is certain to increase against Arizona.

"He came out of the game healthy," Husky coach Jimmy Lake said on Monday, "and I would expect for him to have more plays this Friday night."

Elsewhere, another position battle to keep an eye on is right tackle, where 6-foot-3, 305-pound sophomore Victor Curne, the starter in all six games, gave way to fellow 6-foot-5, 290-pound sophomore Matteo Mele in the fourth quarter of the 24-17 loss to UCLA.

Read More

Two years ago, Mele was a fill-in starter at center in Tuscon, his hometown, for since-graduated and current NFL player Nick Harris. That still remains Mele's only start of his Husky career.

At tailback, sixth-year seniors Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant again share the starting role entering the Arizona matchup. 

The 5-foot-7, 180-pound McGrew has been the game-opening player for three consecutive outings now since replacing sophomore Richard Newton, who drew the first three tailback starts. McGrew has the Huskies' only 100-yard rushing game, 104 at Oregon State.

Yet it wouldn't be surprising to see the 6-foot, 215-pound Pleasant become the Huskies' third starting tailback this season, going out on the field first against Arizona. He was a standout against UCLA, rushing 9 times for 80 yards, which included consecutive rushes of 32 and 15 yards. 

Counting outings against California and Oregon State, Pleasant has had three consecutive high-grade performances and has become the Huskies' leading rusher with 229 yards on 33 carries, a 6.9-yard per run average. 

Pleasant just edges out McGrew, who has 226 yards on 56 totes, or 4 yards per rush.

Go to to read the latest Husky Maven stories as soon as they’re published.

Find Husky Maven on Facebook by searching: Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated

Follow Dan Raley of Husky Maven on Twitter: @DanRaley1 and @HuskyMaven