2015 Pac-12 Football Media Days: Athletic family roots run deep for USC's Cravens
BURBANK, Calif. — It’s quite common for college athletes to be related to those who have played at the collegiate or professional level. Athletic department bios of student-athletes are full of “X’s mother played volleyball at Washington State” and the like. After all, it’s in the genes, right?
But it’s not often you see this:
“His brother, Siaki, was a defensive lineman at Hawaii (2010-12) who previously played at Utah (2008). His sister, Malia, was on the women’s basketball team at Hawaii in 2012 before transferring to USC, where she was briefly on the 2013 Women of Troy basketball team before joining the track team as a high jumper. His cousins, Jordan and Brynn Cameron, played football (2008-10) and women’s basketball (2005-09), respectively, at USC; Jordan also played men’s basketball at USC (2008) and BYU (2007) and now plays tight end for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. Another cousin, Colby Cameron, was a quarterback at Louisiana Tech (2009-12) before signing with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.”
That’s from USC linebacker Su’a Cravens’ bio page on usctrojans.com. Yeah, he’s pretty much related to anybody who has ever played anything.
“We’re all athletes in our family and we all get competitive,” Cravens said, before transitioning to his relationship with Jordan Cameron. “I just always loved ball, but it’s always nice to have somebody I can call whenever I have a question about the next level or how things should be done or how I should carry myself, and he’s just a phone call away.”
The above excerpt doesn’t even cover all of Cravens’ family ties. He is also a distant relative of San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o and is related by marriage to Utah coach Kyle Whittingham (his uncle is married to Whittingham’s sister).
“[Whittingham and I] don’t talk on a day-to-day basis, but whenever game week against the Utes comes, he’ll make sure to tell my aunt something and she’ll go ahead and call my mom and she’ll tell me,” Cravens said. “I’ll see him on the sideline and he’ll smirk at me, and it’s, like, ‘Alright, it’s on.’”
The Utes’ head honcho had nothing but nice things to say about the relative who plays in the second level of the Trojans’ defense, even if their branches aren't too close on the family tree.
“I wish he was in our program because he’s an impact player and a difference maker,” Whittingham said. “I can’t say enough good things about him. I’ve known him since he was seven years old, but he’s come a long ways in his development as an athlete, and he’s poised to have a big year.”