The One Player Representing Utah in the College Football Championship
When the Michigan Wolverines and the Washington Huskies kick off at 5:30 tonight they will vie for the ultimate prize in College Football.
For one of these teams, months of hard work, perseverance, and dedication to their craft will be met with the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an FBS team.
When they take the field at NRG stadium in Houston, Texas both teams will be representing a variety of things.
Michigan will represent the Big Ten conference while Washington sports the patch of the Pac-12 for the last time.
On a more personal note, players will represent their hometowns and family groups as they take the field or go through player introductions.
For those of us here in Utah, there is one and only one player out of potentially 250 active members tonight that hails from the beehive state.
Ute fans get a pass here, but if you’re looking for a player or team to cheer on, look no further than Voi Tunuufi, the 6-1, 260-pound Edge rusher from South Jordan.
Per Gohuskies.com Voi’s High School career can be summed up this way:
“Captained the Leopards to an 8-5 record and to the semifinals of the state 6A playoffs as a senior in 2020 ... credited with 126 tackles and 14 sacks in 2020 ... named to MaxPreps' 2020 All-Utah first team on the defensive line ... made the Deseret News' 6A all-state first team as an offensive guard ... also made it all the way to the 6A state semifinals in 2019, when the Leopards finished 10-4 ... named second-team 6A all-state at defensive tackle by the Deseret News as a junior .. also a first-team All-Region 3 first-team selection as a junior ... team went 7-3 and earned a berth in the 6A state tournament in 2018 ... selected to play in the Polynesian Bowl ... rated the No. 37 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 8 prospect in his state by 247Sports.com ... ESPN.com's No. 27 defensive tackle prospect ... rated by Rivals.com as the No. 21 DT and No. 5 overall prospect in Utah ... also an experienced rugby player ... played football for coach Brandon Matich.” (https://gohuskies.com/sports/football/roster/voi-tunuufi/16027)
Per 247 sports, Washington was the first team to offer Tunuufi back in 2019, followed by Arkansas and UNLV.
Voi would commit to the Huskies in April of 2020 before Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, and Virginia came knocking as well.
Tunuufi never wavered and signed h https://gohuskies.com/sports/football/roster/voi-tunuufi/16027is letter of intent in December of 2020 prior to enrolling in March of 2021.
Since the former Leopard stepped on campus he has been constantly involved and active for this Huskies defense:
“2021: Enrolled at the UW on Mar. 29, 2021, for the start of the spring academic quarter ... played in 11 games, starting two ... missed only the Cal game... returned for the Oregon State game, notching one tackle ... two tackles against UCLA ... started at Arizona, where he had one tackle ... had three total tackles, including two quarterback sacks, in the win at Stanford, earning the UW coaches' lineman of the game ... started the Oregon game, making three tackles ... had a sack vs. Arizona State ... one tackle at Colorado and also vs. WSU.
2022: Played in all 13 games in 2022 ... three tackles in the season opener vs. Kent State ... had a sack in the win over Portland State ... had a 12-yard sack in the win over No. 11 Michigan State ... one tackle in the win over Stanford ... one tackle at UCLA ... also had one stop at Arizona State ... made two tackles, including a sack deep in UW territory late in the game, in the win over Arizona ... two tackles, including a sack, in the win at Cal .. made one stop in the win at Washington State ... had two tackles, including a sack, in the Alamo Bowl win over Texas.
2023: Has played in each game this season ... two tackles, including a sack on a fourth-down play, in the win over Tulsa ... two tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, in the UW win at Michigan State ... had four tackles, including one for a loss, in the win over California ... named the Husky coaches' defensive power player of the week following the Cal game ... had one tackle and a pass break-up in the win at Arizona ... one stop in the UW's win over No. 8 Oregon ... made one stop in the win over Arizona State ... one tackle in the win at Stanford ... had a key, late, 12-yard sack that forced a punt in the win at USC ... one tackle in the win over No. 13 Utah ... four tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, in the Huskies' win at No. 10 Oregon State ... one tackle in a start in the Pac-12 Championship Game win over No. 5 Oregon.”
Tunuufi has appeared in 38 total games with 30 tackles and 19 assisted tackles for a grand total of 49 tackles.
Voi has brought down the ball carrier for a loss 12 times, and has 10 sacks on his resume.
In the Huskies thrilling victory over Texas last week, Tunuufi had two tackles.
Be sure to impress your friends or even date tonight when you see #52 on the field donning that Husky purple by stating “He’s from Utah.”
If you needed help choosing who to cheer for and you’re not a Utes fan (sworn enemy of Washington) then hopefully Voi Tunuufi’s pedigree gives you a vested interest.