Carson Bruener finished 2021 second on the team with 70 tackles with 1.5 sacks, an interception, and 2 forced fumbles. Bruener was named the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week following the Stanford game. He also won the Travis Spring Most Outstanding Freshman Award and was named to the Pac-12 2021 Fall Academic Honor Roll. Carson was rated the No. 28 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN. His father, Mark Bruener, was a standout tight end at the UW for the 1991 National Championship team and was a first-round NFL Draft pick who played 14 years in the NFL.