Washington, Cal hold slight lead for Tupuola-Fetui

Pearl City senior defensive end Zion Tupuola-Fetui saw his college recruitment blow up in the offseason between his junior and senior seasons. His first offer, from Washington, is the one he's decided to accept according to online reports. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Pearl City senior defensive end Zion Tupuola-Fetui has had quite the year.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound college prospect has received eight scholarship offers since the calendar turned. He’s also played a big role in getting the Chargers to the OIA Division II final against Waipahu a week from Thursday at Aloha Stadium.

He was the feature in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which you can read here.

Among the highlights in the story is that his high school coach, Robin Kami, believes he has the chance to play in the NFL one day.

“Whoever gets him in college will be putting 30 to 40 pounds of weight, muscle, speed and strength on him and it will forge him into that complete player,” Kami said. “He is young (will turn 18 next July) and he may even grow 1 or 2 inches, and that might make a big difference.”

Tupuola-Fetui can play multiple positions. He has blocked a field goal to preserve a win over Kaimuki during the regular season and has also caught two touchdown passes.

But where he excels the most is on defense, attacking the quarterback with relentless pressure.

That skill attracted eight different schools interested in his services, including reigning Pac-12 champion Washington, which offered him first. That started the chain reaction.

Tupuola-Fetui divulged to reporter Nick Abramo that the Huskies and Cal are his two slight favorites at the moment, but anything could happen.

Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, Vanderbilt and Washington State have also offered.

“In college, I just want to grow as a player,” he said. “I think that that’s what I’m going to need to do to excel at that level. Whatever I have to do to maintain that scholarship. It’s a huge blessing for my family, and to lose it would be not only disappointing for me, but also for them.”



  1. Douglas Hu October 17, 2017 12:25 pm

    Happy for any homegrown kid who has these opportunities…but the coach needs to calm down. Tupuola-Fetui seems to be grounded. The NFL? Let him enjoy the process.

  2. Alpha October 17, 2017 12:31 pm

    If it where up to playahatersanonymous this boy will go to UH to be hometown hero lol, cause competition fly here or they fly to it😂

  3. ??? October 18, 2017 12:00 pm

    What’s wrong with UH?
    Satele, LaBoy, Owens, Lelie, Hunter: All made the NFL & one CFL player of the year and are hometown heroes. Absolutely positive role models to Hawaii Keiki…. it’s not what college you choose it’s what you do with your opportunities in life.

  4. Dafun October 22, 2017 3:16 pm

    I hope he made noise in off season camps where he would have been going up against other D1 competition because I been to the Pearl City vs. Waialua game and he looked like a man among elementary boys, any body with his size would have dominated.

    I wouldnt knock a kid for playing in D2 but he needs to prove himself in game action going up against 6-4 280lbs linemen, not 5-4 180lbs linemen.

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