Notebook: NFL Draft Awaits UW Football Products; ZTF continues to improve

A draft awaits UW products

Former UW cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon could each be selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday, with tight end Cade Otton and offensive lineman Luke Wattenberg likely to hear their names as well this weekend. -end.

None of them played for new UW head coach Kalen DeBoer.

But that does not lessen their impact on the program – both in the past and in the future.

“I know I haven’t had the chance to coach them, but they’re great people,” DeBoer said of UW’s draft class last week. “They come to the offices and they went to the field. I’m proud of who they are, even without really having the chance to impact them. I know they have an impact on this university.

“Overall, this program is known for putting guys through their paces again and again every year. That’s a big deal, because when we’re recruiting players, we want to know and see what the process was like, what that production was like up to the NFL. They all have this dream.

DeBoer has been keen to connect this offseason with UW alumni, whether they’re about to be drafted or have already finished their NFL careers.

One of these elders did not have to travel far from one establishment to another.

“Will Dissly was right here the other day, and it was fun getting to know him and some other guys,” DeBoer said. “I love our alumni. They are so proud of this program. I can’t wait to see these guys and cheer them on (in the NFL). I think our coaching staff builds strong relationships with them. It was funny.”

A ‘ZTF’ update

UW junior EDGE rusher Zion Tupuola-Fetui participated in all 13 UW practices this spring.

That, in itself, is cause for celebration.

“He’s gotten better,” EDGE coach Eric Schmidt said of the former All-American, who played just five games last fall after tearing his Achilles tendon. “I think I said on day one, ‘If we can get him here for 15 practices, he’ll get better and better and gain more confidence the more reps he does.’

“I think the passing rush is quite natural with him. It’s a natural bender. He can contort his body in different ways. It’s special when you look at it sometimes, in terms of being able to do some of these things. The racing game stuff is starting to happen. It is a bit heavier. It weighs about four or five pounds more than it was when we started. He’s in that 250 range. I think he’ll probably end up playing around 255 when all is said and done.

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