Apple Cup splits allegiances in number of families
Trufants, Lockers just two examples of families that have devotion to both Purple and Gold and Crimson and Gray
Raised as a Washington State football fan, and the younger brother of one of WSU’s favorite sons, Trufant will try to take the Cougars down this weekend.
Trufant, the younger brother of former Cougar and current Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, is fairly sure he knows which team his parents want to win this Saturday.
“They’d better be rooting for me,” he said. “I’m pretty sure they’ll be rooting for me. I mean, we’ve got history (with WSU), but they’ve got blood out there playing now.”
One of several players who will divide their family’s allegiances this week, Desmond Trufant is hoping to make his own name in the 102nd installment of the Apple Cup on Saturday.
“I think that maybe he can bring that Trufant name over to our side (of the state) a little bit,” said Fred Wiggs, a junior linebacker for the Huskies. “Hopefully, when people say the name Trufant in a couple of years, they’ll think of the Purple and Gold.”
Like his freshman teammate, Wiggs has a sibling who might not be favoring the “Purple and Gold” this weekend. Younger sister Tangerine Wiggs grew up a Husky fan, having had both parents and four siblings attend school there, and yet her heart — and then rest of her, for that matter — is in Pullman these days.
When asked whether she’s rooting for the Huskies or Cougars this weekend, the WSU sophomore volleyball player stood squarely on the proverbial fence.
“My heart’s torn,” she said, adding that some of her best friends are WSU football players. “But my brother is always first with me. I don’t know. Maybe on gameday I’ll decide (which team to favor).”
Fred Wiggs, whose older brother Sekou Wiggs played for the Huskies from 1995-97, said he understands his sister’s split colors.
“She grew up a Husky like everyone else in the family,” said Wiggs, whose father Fred Sr. now has a split license plate holder in the colors of both teams. “She’s got her allegiances over there, and I can understand that. As far as when I’m playing, I’d hope she has my back.”
Among the other players whose families may be torn this week:
n UW safety Nate Fellner, whose grandfather, Jim Sweeney, was a longtime coach at WSU;
n WSU backup quarterback David Gilbertson, whose father, Keith Jr., used to coach the Huskies;
n WSU linebacker Andrew Kreutz, a Marysville-Pilchuck graduate whose father, Mark, played at UW;
n Injured WSU safety Kyle McCartney, an Edmonds native whose grandfather, Bud McCartney, played baseball at UW;
n WSU linebacker Omari Guidry, whose cousin, Pedro Hawkins, played football for the Huskies.
If the Trufant name is not the biggest surname in this year’s rivalry, then the Locker name is. UW junior quarterback Jake Locker is well-known in college football circles, but few people know that his cousin, Casey Locker, is a freshman safety for the Cougars.
The Lockers’ common grandparents have split apparel — their grandmother has a purple-and-crimson scarf, and their grandfather has a hat that features logos for both schools — while each player’s parents will have opposite rooting interests this week.
“I knew that (Casey signing with WSU) would immediately cause some turmoil within the family,” Jake Locker said Monday of his cousin, who has yet to play in a game this season. “I was happy for him; it was a place he felt he could be comfortable in and he’d be able to excel at.
“I was happy that he had the opportunity to do that, and I look forward to the opportunity to watch him play (in the future).”
While Casey Locker’s day will come, the Huskies have a true freshman who has already made an impact at the college level. Desmond Trufant has started seven games this season and has two interceptions, four pass breakups and a fumble-return touchdown.
The youngest of three Tacoma-based Trufant brothers — middle brother Isaiah went to Eastern Washington and played briefly in the Arena League — has already made a name for himself on this side of the state.
The question is whether Desmond Trufant has his family on his side this week.
“They had better be rooting for me,” he said, “or we’re going to have to deal with it.”
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