Jan. 29, 2013
Samantha Ketcham -
Orange blood has run through the veins of junior safety Zack Craig's family for four generations.
Craig's great-grandfather, grandfather and father all attended Oklahoma State, and Craig's parents and grandparents met on campus.
However, Craig almost ended the family tradition.
"Growing up I was always a big Cowboys fan, but I didn't know if I was going to be able to play football here," Craig said. "I got recruited by OSU late and when they ran out of scholarships they told me to go ahead and commit to another school."
Four days after Craig committed to Colorado, the OSU program came back with a scholarship offer.
"OSU was always my first choice. Obviously, when the spot was opened, and they offered me a scholarship, I took it," Craig said.
OSU didn't just acquire Zack, but his older sister, Mallory, as well.
Mallory Craig, another athlete in the family who not only ran track but also played softball for the Baylor Bears, finished her undergrad work as Zack was graduating high school. She decided that she would become a Cowgirl, and attend grad school while becoming an assistant in the OSU strength-and-conditioning department.
"I made the decision that wherever Zack went for his undergrad, I would try my best to follow him," Mallory said. "I wanted to be able to watch him play football, and I didn't want to miss this big part of his life."
As a freshman football player, Zack was required to live on campus, but now the brother and sister are roommates.
"My freshman year I got to be able to be on my own, but I liked moving in with my sister my sophomore year because it was a more familiar environment," Zack said. "It's nice knowing you have someone there that understands you and that you can talk to about anything."
Janet and Steve Craig have come to visit their children and their alma mater many times over the years. Zack's parents have not missed one of the Cowboys' football games since Zack has been on the roster and are glad to see their children carrying on the tradition.
"When we were younger our parents always pushed for us to attend OSU," Mallory said. "But they were always really good about letting us decide what the best decision was for us."
Not only do their parents agree with their school decision but their living arrangements as well.
"My mom knows that Mallory watches out for me and then if Mallory has a flat tire or runs out of gas, I can be there for her," Zack said. "It makes her feel more comfortable that there is always a dependable person that will stop what they're doing to help."
Best of all, the siblings are able to help each other in their careers. Mallory helps Zack in football by recommending ways for him to stretch and treat his sore muscles, while Zack helped Mallory get her position in the strength-and-conditioning department.
"I came up with Zack on one of his visits after he committed and introduced me to Coach Glass [strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass], and he let me come in as an intern," Mallory said. "So because of Zack, I met a lot of people, and it helped me get my foot in the door."
As a sports management major, Zack might even end working alongside his sister after college.
"We've never sat down and talked about it but it's always a possibility," Zack said. "We could end up being roommates for the rest of our lives."