Natalee Falk: singer, sister & wide receiver?

NATALEE FALK doesn't sound like a wide receiver, either on the phone or in any of the songs on iTunes featuring her and sister Alexa. And based on the photo on the cover of their last CD, she certainly isn't going to be confused for Vince Mayle or Tyler Baker. Yet a wide receiver she once was for little brother Luke, she told this week from her home in Nashville.

Washington State second-year freshamn Luke Falk is the reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and the national Manning Award Quarterback of the Week, but to Natalee, 23, and Alexa, 24, he'll always be "baby brother."

There's just the three siblings in the Falk clan and with Luke being the only boy, "it was inevitable that I would play sports with him growing up," Natalee said. "Being three years apart, we were close. I was the wide receiver a lot of the times for his passes."

She also taught him a thing or two about getting sacked. When they would get in heated fights when he was a little kid she'd tackle him to the ground, sometimes ferociously, she said chuckling.

It's hard to envision that sight today when you compare Luke Falk's sturdy, 6-4, 208-pound self to the melodic voices of Falk, the country duo that Natalee and Alexa formed in 2009.

“He’d drag me to do sports," Natalee said of their younger years. "But after that, it’d be right to the trampoline and we’d goof around a bit.

"What people don’t know about Luke is that he’s such a funny guy. He jokes around with us all the time. He really appreciates football too. That’s such a big part of his life.”

When Falk's now-familiar tale of a lost junior season of high school football dried up major-college recruiting interest in him, he accepted a full academic scholarship at Cornell and was going to play QB for the Big Red when Mike Leach came calling with an offer to walk on at WSU.

Cornell was a blessing, because things to that point hadn't been going Luke's way, Natalee said. But Pullman has been "a great fit for Luke,” she added.

“We’re from Logan, Utah, which is a small town surrounded by the university (Utah State). There’s no question in my mind that (WSU) was the right place to be for him.”

SHOULD FOOTBALL NOT work out for Luke as a vocation, his sisters have assured him he always has a place as a full-time bus driver for their tours.

“We’ve been singing since we were two and four years old,” Natalee said. “We really started out in the music business when we were eight and 10 years old. We were getting success at young ages and over the years it’s just kept evolving.

“We started out with country music and we’re back in country music. We’ve released either six or seven albums! Our most recent one just went up on iTunes on Oct. 14. It’s weird because I’ll go on Twitter and look up Luke’s name and people sometimes don’t know he has sisters. Now they know, though. Our numbers have gone up overnight and I told him we’re going to ride his coattails.”

The two Falk sisters have had plenty of success in their young careers. Before they hit their teens, the sisters co-wrote music for Brazilian star Wanessa Camargo, and teamed up with Nashville producer Jason Deere. Shortly after submitting their songs to Camargo, the Falk sisters had five platinum hits as song writers. Platinum songwriters at ages 10 and 12? Impressive.

The question naturally begs, though… What about Luke? Is he a fellow song writer? Can the QB at least carry a tune? Was he a young Frank Sinatra as a child?

“Growing up, our parents always wanted us to sing 'Sweet Home Alabama' together,” Natalee said with a laugh. “He’d always change the words to 'Sweet Home Salt Lake City' and he’ll always change the lyrics to some of our songs now and make it inappropriate. He didn’t want to be involved in music growing up, though (laugh).

“He loves sports. He’s just a football person. Ever since I can remember, Tom Brady has been his idol. He studies him religiously. That’s been kind of our thing for a while. We’ll send each other YouTube clips of him. Brady is definitely who he models his game after.”

Falk's first collegiate start, last Saturday at Oregon State, turned heads nationally.

But for the Falk family, it wasn’t a major surprise.

“You know, it took me back to a time when Luke was questioning what his future was,” Natalee said. “The offers weren’t really rolling in, but he never lost faith in the sport. I think his effort can be attributed to his mentality that he always needs to be ready when an opportunity shows up. He worked his butt off and it showed on Saturday.

“Right now, we’re all trying to take in one week at a time and one game at a time. We know that maybe down the road maybe Luke won’t do so well, or maybe the team might lose, but in this moment, we’re all enjoying it. We’re honoring his teammates for the great win and we’re all just on cloud nine right now.”

In a way, looking ahead to the future, so are Cougar fans.

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