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Whole Lott-a Love: ZTF Named as Candidate for Top Defensive Award

The Huskies edge rusher is one of 42 candidates as he looks for bounce-back season.

College football hasn't forgotten what Zion Tupuola-Fetui can do.

On Friday, the University of Washington edge rusher emerged as one of 42 candidates for the Lott Impact Trophy — an individual bauble that annually has gone to the nation's top defensive player since 2004.

The player known as ZTF should have been in the running last year but an Achilles tendon injury made him start the season late and a concussion caused it to end early.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior from Pearl City, Hawaii, had a sensational four games in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by collecting 7 sacks and causing 3 fumbles. He went on to be named first-team All-Pac-12 and third-team AP All-America,

Following his lost season last fall, which was limited to five games, ZTF looked more like his former football self in the recently concluded Husky spring practice. 

While a little on the light side by reporting at 241 in April, he still seemed to cause all sorts of problems while coming off the edge and a big season is expected for him once more. 

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The Lott Impact Trophy is named for former USC safety Ronnie Lott, who in 2016 was named as the Pac-12's defensive player of the century. 

Just two Pac-12 players have won the award: UCLA linebackers Anthony Barr  (2013) Eric Kendricks (2014).

Husky linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio was a Lott candidate last season, but he appeared in just six games before getting injured. 

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