NFL Draft prospect Siosifa Tufunga was the center of the Washington Huskies offensive line that fostered freshman All-American running back Myles Gaskin’s 1302 running yards and 14 touchdowns, both of which are school records for a UW true freshman. Tufunga was also named a team captain during his senior season. Let’s get to know more about Tufunga.
Q: What was your upbringing like?
A: I am the fourth child out of five siblings. My parents are from the Kingdom of Tonga. With the Tongan culture, same any other Polynesian culture, we were brought up with different morals and values. My parents are very religious in which we believe that there’s a God and everything goes through him. Without God, we are nothing. They taught us right from wrong, about respect, the importance of family and education. Growing up we didn’t have everything but we had what we needed to get through our struggles.
Q: What is something you learned from your parents that translates into being a great football player?
A: Respect, being humble, and coachable. My parents always talked to us about treating others right because it’s part of who we are as people and our culture. The humble part I got from my dad. My dad doesn’t talk a lot and everyone knows that. He actions speak for itself because he’s the hardest working man that I know. So for me, I don’t like talking a lot too. I like to just listen and learn from others, which leads me to being coachable. Being able to take the criticism and learn from your mistakes and become a better player. Whatever is being taught, take that to improve your game to play better.”
Q: What is something you learned from your coach that translates to your pro game?
A: I learned a lot from both of my offensive line coaches that I played for. The most important thing that I learned that translates to the pros is being consistent. Consistency is the key for a player to continue their play on the field. As a player, you have to know what you’re doing in order to play. Also, the mistakes have to be limited or have none at all in order to build the trust between a player and a coach to keep playing. Stay consistent with everything you do.
Q: What was a time in college where you had to overcome adversity (on or off the field) and how did it make you better?
A: At one point in my career at Washington, I was told by one my coaches that I wasn’t going to play or ever see the field and was asked to transfer. There are only a few people who know about this. Not even my family knows about this. I thought about it hard because it was my choice whether I wanted to leave. I decided to stay because I wanted to prove something and I also wanted to graduate with a degree from a prestigious university. It made me step my game up and made me think about not taking things for granted. I continued to improve and became a starter.
Q: Do you believe your college program is better now compared to your first day on campus?
A: I believe that our program is better than when I first got onto campus. There was a huge change when we had the coaching change. The culture of the team changed and our team came closer and tighter to one another. We are ready for anything that happens in our lives. Thanks to our program, we are prepared to become great men in the future. We continue to learn from each other as every senior class continues to move on. Our program is much better than when I started on campus.
Q: What is your strongest trait?
A: My strongest trait would be dedication. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Blood, sweat, and tears to reach the goal.