Northwest NEWS

September 9, 2002

Sports

Zach back to the offensive side of the game

by Russ Paris
   Special to the Weekly
   Zach Tuiasosopo's blocking and running led the University of Washington Huskies to a 34-10 win over San Jose State last Saturday at Husky Stadium.
   The Dogs outrushed the Spartans 152-35 yards. With the UW trying to upgrade their running attack for the 2002 season, they turned to a familiar name in the backfield: Tuiasosopo.
   No. That's not Marques, but his younger brother, Zach, who was the Woodinville High School leading rusher in the 1999 season with over 1,000 yards to his credit.
   Tuiasosopo saw action at the defensive linebacker position last year for the UW. Starting four games, he was the sixth leading tackler on the defensive stop unit.
   Head coach Rick Neuheisel liking Zach's tough-guy style of play, his blocking, running and ability to catch the ball this year asked him to switch over to the offensive side of the game.
   "There is not a lot of difference between linebacker and fullback. They both involve a lot of contact," said Tuiasosopo. "You have to like to hit and be hit while sticking your nose in there."
   Tuiasosopo has grown into the job at the UW. When he left WHS, he weighed in at 200 pounds. After he found his way to the weight room, he added over 40 pounds of muscle to his frame.
   Last Saturday, the game day program listed the still-growing sophomore at 245 pounds.
   Although his father, Manu, played defensive tackle for the Seahawks, Zach hopes this position switch to the offensive side of things will be permanent.
   "I just want to help the team," he said. "We have a lot of talent and I want it to be as good a team as it can be."
  
   Zach's younger brother Matt will be the starting quarterback for the Woodinville High School Falcons in the season opener this Friday at 5 p.m. at Memorial Stadium against Franklin High.