Zach Attack Back for More

At 6-2 and 240-pounds, Zach Tuiasosopo has never been known as a small man. In fact, he's always been the biggest brother of the famous Tuiasosopo clan. But with older brother Marcus in the NFL and younger brother Matt playing professional baseball, it might appear as if Zach's stature may have diminished somewhat. Don't tell middle brother. He's got an important role to play in his final season as fullback on the University of Washington football team.

As was the case with older brother Marques, Zach was named captain - an honor that brings a lot of responsibility. As the 2004 season approaches, the gravity of the position may carry a little extra burden with it, looking back at the roller-coaster ride the Huskies took in 2003. In talking with Tuiasosopo, he relishes the challenge and says that bringing the team together will not be as difficult as it may appear from the outside.

"I think we have a good group of guys here right now," Zach told "We've bonded well together. There's a closeness there, but I think there's always been a closeness when you're here. I know people think there was a lot of turmoil last year, but Husky football has always been a family away from home. Something guys can always count on through thick and thin. Like past years, I think this year will be one where we all come together."

Part of that 'closeness' is developed during the summer voluntary workouts, and Zach was there for every one - front and center. "I just kept coming down to the school and did what Coach Kaligis and Coach Emtman told me to do," he said. "I think we had a pretty good off-season workout for us."

But for Tuiasosopo, something was missing. That something was younger brother Matt - who had signed a letter of intent in February to play football for the Huskies. The Seattle Mariners bought Matt's baseball dreams by signing him to a mult-year contract worth in excess of 2 million dollars. In the end, the pill won out. And the younger Tui has done everything right since becoming a Mariner, rocketing through the Arizona rookie league straight into Class A ball in Everett. Outside of pitching phenom Felix Hernandez - considered by many to be the top pitching prospect in the major leagues - Matt just might be the most exciting prospect the M's have in their entire farm system.

And he's just 18.

"It was hard," Zach admits, when asked about seeing his younger brother choose baseball over college football at Washington. "I would have liked to have played with him. I got to play with Marques for one season. It's always been a dream for us brothers to play together. But I'm as proud as a brother could be for where he's at and what he's doing right now."

Zach does, however, get to break in another Tui - cousin Trenton. The 6-2, 225-pound linebacker, who played high school ball for John Ondrezeiek and Mariner, will be a true freshman for the Huskies this fall. "I love him," Zach said when talking about Trenton. "I've grown up with him and he's like a brother to me. He's a very, very tough guy who handles himself really well. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on the field."

And as much as anything, Zach Tuiasosopo hopes to lead his team by example, something his family is well-known for. Top Stories