“I got hurt the fourth game of the season against South Albany and some guy just fell behind my leg and my knee went inside,” Marlon Tuipulotu said right before the Panthers took the field against Crescent Valley of Corvallis. “I was on offense. The trainer told me I sprained my MCL. This is my second game out, so hopefully I’ll play next week.
“The first few games went pretty good. We started off slow as a team, lost our first two games but we started picking it up our third game. We’ve been doing good so far. We just have to keep going.”
Tuipulotu has been playing offense and defense for the Panthers, as well as on the punt return team. And no, he’s not the returner.
At 290 pounds, Tuipulotu said the Washington coaches are fine with that weight.
“They just want me to keep my quickness, just maintain my weight,” he said. He can be like one of the big defensive linemen Washington has right now like Elijah Qualls, Vita Vea, or Greg Gaines.
“That’s talking with coach (Ikaika) Malloe,” Marlon added. “He said in the future I can play anywhere along the line hopefully. Wherever he puts me I’ll play.”
It hasn’t been easy for Tuipulotu to keep track of his college team. “It’s been tough,” he said. “Last week they played on Friday and we had a game. But after the game I got to hear about it and I was happy about Washington beating Stanford like that.”
Tuipulotu said that despite his long-standing verbal commitment to Washington, that hasn’t stopped other school from continuing to recruit him.
“Some schools have been recruiting me but I’m still at U-Dub,” he said, matter-of-factly. “USC, Oregon of course, UCLA, Cal, schools like that. Most of the Pac-12.”
With social networking, Tuipulotu has been able to maintain relationships with all the other current Husky commits despite them being in different states.
“Our whole U-Dub commits, we have our group chat, so I just talk on there,” he said. “We all get to know each other. All of them are funny. They are all funny.”
When is the next time Tuipulotu plans on visiting Montlake? “I plan on going to the game against USC,” he said. “So I’ll be at that game. It’ll be an unofficial visit.
“I want to focus on my last year here, so just focus on that and worry about my official to U-Dub later.”
Any final words for Husky fans?
“Go Dawgs!” said Tuipulotu. “Keep going.”