ZTF Named National Defensive Player of the Week by Athlon

This could be the first of several high-profile honors for the Huskies' sophomore outside linebacker if he keeps going at this rate.

If he keeps going like this, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, the University of Washington's breakout football player, will have national attention relentless chase him down much like he does a hapless quarterback.

On Monday, Athlon Sports named the Huskies' sophomore outside linebacker from Pearl City, Hawaii, as its national Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in a 24-21 comeback victory over Utah.

For those who somehow missed it, all this player known as ZTF did against the Utes was register 6 tackles, which included 6 tackles for loss, all sacks. He forced a fumble and he recovered one, returning it 29 yards.

"All these awards are great, but if they gave me one in a week we didn't win, I wouldn't accept it," he said. 

Tupuola-Fetui shared top national honors with Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson, who named Athlon Offensive Player of the Week. He likewise broke the bank with his statistical output: Against Kent State, the senior ran for 409 yards and 8 touchdowns on 36 attempts. His TDs tied an NCAA record for most in the game.

Among others award recipients was Steve Sarkisian, the former Husky head coach who was named Coordinator of the Week. Sark filled in as interim head coach for the COVID-sidelined Nick Saban and directed the offense to 8.4 yards per snap and 42 points in a big win over Auburn.

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