NORMAN — Former Oklahoma quarterback J.C. Watts led the Sooners to two Orange Bowl titles in the early 1980s and is a proud OU alum.
But this Saturday, when the Sooners host Tulsa on Owen Field, Watts will be in the stands wearing blue and gold. His son, Trey, is a senior running back for the Golden Hurricane.
Watts, who represented Oklahoma as a Republican congressman for four terms, spoke with The Oklahoman about his son's college football career and throwing his old allegiances out the window for family.
Q: Will it be strange to cheer against the Sooners inside that stadium?
A: I've got some experience with it now. Tulsa played OU during Trey's freshman year when he was redshirted, but he got to suit out. The whole weekend was a little bit strange, and then a couple of years ago, Tulsa played OU again, and obviously it was still a little strange, but I had a game under my belt where I was on a different side than my alma mater.
It would take pretty special circumstances for me to root against the University of Oklahoma. There's only one circumstance that I can think of, and that's my son or daughter is playing for the other team.
Trey walked on at Tulsa before going on to a great career there. How proud have you been of his success?
Obviously, it's a tall order to walk on in any program, and not just make the team, but really be an integral part of the team. That's quite an accomplishment. In my five years at Oklahoma, I experienced it with one player. Jim Culbreath. Jim was a walk-on fullback that made the team, and not only that, but Barry Switzer would tell you that Jim Culbreath was pretty relevant to the success of our team.
When Trey decided he wanted to walk on, did you tell him how tough it would be?