After starting most of his sophomore and junior seasons, Tupou (6'2 300lbs RS Senior) looked poised to be paired with fellow star Jurrell Casey for his senior season and cause havoc in the middle of the defensive line.
This did not come to be as Tupou tore ligaments in his left knee during the 2010 spring game, forcing him to redshirt. However, Tupou did not miss a single practice or game, cheering on his teammates while he worked hard to recover. This earned him USC’s Courage Award and USC’s Co-Lifter of the Year Award.
To his name, he has 21 career starts with 37 tackles, seven for a loss and 1.5 sacks, as well as a 2009 All-Pac-10 honorable mention, USC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year Award and the Bob Chandler Award, given to an underclassman based on his athletic ability, academic scholarship as well as character on and off the field.
With the departure of Casey to the NFL draft, the uncertainty of fellow senior DL Armond Armstead's health and only one other upperclassman defensive tackle in Da’John Harris, the importance of Tupou is very high. His experience and talent will be heavily relied on.