Modest Tuiasosopo says, ‘I have faults’

  • Larry Henry / Sports Columnist
  • Thursday, December 14, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Not a Monday goes by during the football season that Marques Tuiasosopo doesn’t show up to have lunch with the media after coach Rick Neuheisel’s press conference in the Don James Center.

It’s one of the duties of the quarterback to answer a seemingly unending number of questions about not only football, but about life.

Tuiasosopo does this with an ease of manner that makes it appear as if he almost enjoys this constant probing into every facet of his being.

Truth be told, he probably does.

He’ll hang around for an hour and, between bites of a growing-cold mound of food, fill reporters’ notebooks.

He’s an easy kid to like, delightful, mannerly, respectful, attentive, thoughtful, patient to a fault. He’s obviously had some good upbringing.

“I’ve been taught to treat people the way I want to be treated and to respect my elders,” he said. “I try not to burn too many bridges.”

As good a kid as he is, Tuiasosopo isn’t perfect.

“I’m just like everyone else,” he said. “I have faults.”

Name one.

“I’m pretty stubborn,” he said. “I think I’m right a lot of times. You can ask any of my friends. They’ll say, ‘This person did something,’ and I’ll say, ‘No, it was this person.’ I’ll fight it forever.”

That stubbornness is borne out on the football field. He refuses to give up. Witness the several fourth quarter comebacks he engineered this season to get the Huskies a 10-1 record and a Jan. 1 meeting with Purdue in the Rose Bowl.

His recalcitrance got him in trouble during one spring practice. On an option play, he was supposed to pitch the ball but instead he hung onto it and cut upfield.

“Coach Gilbertson (the offensive coordinator) asked me why I did that,” he said. “I argued with him. That’s not a good thing to do. He told me off. From then on , coach was always right.”

Any other so-called faults? Poor house-keeping tendencies?

“I’m a neat freak,” he said. “I’m definitely into cleanliness. That’s from growing up around my dad. He’s a neat freak, too.”

Except on the football field, where Manu, a defensive lineman in college and the NFL, marked many a quarterback’s and running back’s jersey with grass stains after dropping them to the ground.

Marques’ competitive zeal extends beyond the football field.

“I hate losing,” he said, “and I lose a lot in Nintendo. I go against (backup quarterback) Cody (Pickett). He’s figured out the game. I never get the ball. He onside kicks every time. He beats me 80-0.”

Tuiasosopo has built a healthy legacy, as the all-time UW career leader in total offense, but what is more important to him is what this team has accomplished.

“I hope I was able to help get back that spirit of Husky football, that excitement,” he said. “If that’s the case, then I’ll be happy.”

None of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for his resolve to play quarterback in college. Several schools, including UCLA (his father’s alma mater), California, Notre Dame and Colorado, wanted him to play defensive back. The Colorado coach at the time was a fellow named Neuheisel.

Washington, of course, recruited Tuiasosopo to play quarterback. When Neuheisel replaced Jim Lambright as the Husky coach, he was thrilled to inherit a player with Marques’ ability to throw and run the ball rather than try to intercept it.

If there was one game that marked a turning point in the resurgence of Washington football, Tuiasosopo said it would have to be the 31-24 win over Colorado a year ago.

“It was a huge game at the time,” he said “not only because we were 0-2 but because it was a nationally known opponent. That was the first game where we believed we were a pretty good team. From that time on it’s been different around here. We knew we could compete against good teams.”

From that time on, the Huskies have put together a 17-4 record. And they will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1993.

Tuiasosopo’s counterpart in that game will be Drew Brees, a tremendous talent who will make some team a nice first-round pick in the NFL draft next spring.

The two quarterbacks got to know one another during a football camp last summer in Southern California.

Did they ever imagine that they would be meeting in a bowl game a few months later?

“That’s the last thing we said to one another, ‘See you in the Rose Bowl,’” Tuiasosopo recalled. “We kind of laughed when we said it.”

It’s doubtful they’ll be able to squeeze in a round of golf during Rose Bowl week but if they were, Tuiasosopo could predict the winner.

“We played some golf last summer,” he said. “He can swing a club a little bit.

“Me? No. I shoot like 200. I still slice it.”

He could live with one more slice: through Purdue’s defense on New Year’s Day.

Talk to us

More in Sports

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Mukilteo’s Beard nominated for youth award

Plus, locals receive D-I softball honors, Edmonds-Woodway alum Ali Gaye invited to NFL combine, and more.

Lynnwood’s Aniya Hooker weaves her way ups the court against Everett on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, at Norm Lowery Gymnasium in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Contenders again: Lynnwood girls primed for postseason run

After winning a state title in 2015, the Royals have slowly built back into a team ready to make waves in the playoffs.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Feb. 8

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Feb. 8: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Multiple Mariner players surround Jackson’s Sylas Williams to block his shot during the game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
5 things to know as prep district hoops tournaments start

Local 4A and 2A squads face daunting paths to regionals. Meanwhile, opportunities abound in 3A.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford (13) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) for a 10-yard loss during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Seahawks position overview: LB corps enters offseason of uncertainty

The position group underwent major change last season after the departure of Bobby Wagner and a shift in defensive scheme. The results were spotty.

Seattle Kraken forward Brandon Tanev skates with the puck during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Seattle. The Kraken won 4-1. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Tanev’s effort endears him to Kraken teammates

“He can fly around all night,” teammate Will Borgen said.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Jan. 30-Feb. 5

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Jan. 30-Feb. 5. Voting closes… Continue reading

Prep results for Tuesday, Feb. 7

Prep results for Tuesday, Feb. 7: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Silvertips’ Tyler Palmer (31) and Ty Gibson (6) defend the goal during a game between the Silvertips and Kamloops Blazers at the Angel of the Winds Arena on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. The Silvertips fell to the Kamloops, 3-6. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Silvertips have best week of second half, snag 5 key points

Everett wins twice and loses one game in overtime over a challenging weekend three-in-three against division leaders.

Most Read