VIDEO: Washington defensive tackle Taniela Tupou talks to the media Tuesday as the Huskies get ready to host the Utah State Aggies

Washington Defensive Tackle Taniela Tupou talked Tuesday a lot about his journey from Archbishop Murphy and Kealakehe High School in Hawaii to where he is now, one of Washington’s captains and leaders of the team. He also talked about the 49-0 Sacramento State win.

On if the defense is creating it’s own image “Yeah, definitely with the shutout, actually a six-quarter shutout. I feel like we’re starting to create a pretty good image for ourselves, especially because everyone kind of was wondering ‘what are these guys going to do?’ I think there are a lot of guys that are definitely stepping up, you know, Azeem Victor, Elijah Qualls, Joe Mathis, Budda Baker, Keishawn Bierria, I can go down the list. There’s a bunch of people that are really just starting to step up and make a name for themselves.”

 

On what he has seen on film of Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton “He’s good. He’s a beast. I actually watched him last Friday against Utah. He knows what he’s doing. He can move that pocket. He can throw the ball. He’s a threat on the ground and in the air. Utah State overall, they’re a really good team. It’s an honor to play them. We’re excited.”

 

On his career journey and if he ever reflects on his path “I actually do. I got named team captain and actually I had gone home that night and I told my mom and I broke down and cried. Thank the Lord because it’s been such a long journey to get here, to where I am today, from moving to Hawaii, to coming here and two years ago not even knowing if I was going to stay here, being asked to transfer, and then Coach Pete coming here. Now I’m just excited and I’m really blessed to be here.”

 

On if Coach Sarkisian asked him to transfer and how hard that was “Yeah. It was pretty difficult. I went home and I talked to my parents. My parents told me ‘you’ve got to stick through it and finish what you came here for, and if that means not playing, then stop playing and get a college degree.’ But my parents said ‘the only thing that you can control is your effort and everything you put out there on the field and one day it will show up.’”

 

On if there was a sense of relief when Coach Petersen came to UW and he got a new role “Yeah, kind of a sense of relief, but it was more of another fire. ‘Oh we’ve got new coaches? Let’s go out there and just play and run. Run to the ball and do your thing. Good things will happen if you work hard.’”

 

On his time in Hawaii “I was in Hawaii for the last quarter of my senior year. I was at Archbishop Murphy all the way up, and then I transferred to Hawaii to Kealakehe High School and graduated from there.”

 

On if he ever doubted he would be able to get his work done in time to graduate from Kealakehe “Yeah, I had second thoughts about going to Hawaii. I just listened to the council of my parents and my uncle who is over there. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”


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