8 youthful questions for Mkristo Bruce

BEFORE MKRISTO BRUCE became a household name among Pac-10 football fans -– heck, before he'd even taken a snap in a real game -– he was my favorite Cougar. That's because he was kind enough to give my brother and me his wrist bands after a WSU scrimmage in 2002 when he was a redshirting freshman. On the field and off, Mkristo has continued to meet or exceed everyone's expectations.

Last week the Lombardi Award finalist and sack-master supreme took the time to answer a few questions from me -- a 13-year-old Cougar fan -- as part of a new weekly column aimed at asking WSU players the questions adults don't seem to think of asking.

So here we go with the guy CBS Sportsline.com recently anointed "the best defender in America."

CF.C: If you had to pick one teammate to be a role model for your son Mkristo Jr., who would it be and why?

Mkristo: One teammate right now I would pick is (junior free safety) Husain Abdullah. He's just a great guy. He does all the right things, he's funny but he is also responsible. He just got married last year and he is doing all the right things. I would say it's between him and (senior strong safety) Eric Frampton. They both have their heads on straight and they walk down a straight path.

CF.C: If there was going to be a movie made about your life who would you want to play you and who would you want to play your fiancée?

Mkristo: Ah…Will Smith and Jada (Pinkett) because I really liked watching him in ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' back in the day and he is kind of a goofball like me, and Jada's kind of like my fiancée.

CF.C: If you had to pick a lineman to play QB, who would you choose?

Mkristo: Sam Baker at USC. I'd pick him because he is one of the best tackles I have played against and I want that rematch again.

The File On
Renton, Wash.

Defensive end

Fifth-year senior

6-6, 249 pounds

He had no other Division I offers. Was discovered by Mike Price and Bill Doba at WSU's annual summer camp for high schoolers.

Has started 30 consecutive games since 2004 and played in 42 straight games since 2003.

Enters this Saturday's game against UCLA third on WSU's all-time sacks list with 28.5, four shy of former teammate D.D. Acholonu and nine shy of DeWayne Patterson's school record. Has 50 total tackles this season, including 10 sacks.

As senior at Liberty High he was a first-team all-league linebacker and second-team all-league at quarterback. He also starred in basketball and track.

His first name is Swahili for "Christian."

Has three brothers and four sisters. He and fiancée Evelyn have a son, Mkristo Jr.

CF.C: What is was your most memorable high school football game?

Mkristo: My most memorable high school football game…wow that's a good one….we played Interlake and we beat them like 58-0.

CF.C: What is your favorite stadium, other than Martin Stadium, to play in?

Mkristo: Husky Stadium is nice when we go in there. Even better when you go in there and beat them? Yeah.

CF.C: What has been your most memorable moment so far in your WSU career?

Mkristo: Most memorable moment would be my five sacks (earlier this season) at Stanford. That was great!

CF.C: Given the popularity of your summer columns for Cougfan.com the last two years, have you given any thought to a career in media when you're done with football?

Mkristo: You know, media was my first dream. I was actually a communications major and I wanted to be a broadcaster or something like that, so yeah, I would love to do something in the media in the future.

CF.C: You've said you were a Cougar fan since you were a kid? Can you remember your favorite player as a kid?

Mkristo: Oh man…back in the day I really liked Drew Bledsoe. But you know what, one of my favorite players, actually, would be Jason David. I played with him. But Billy Newman, I remember watching him play. I also liked Leon Bender, and another favorite would have to be (all-time WSU sacks leader) DeWayne Patterson. But Billy Newman -- he was really fun to watch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hayden Eller, 13, is an eighth grader in Chelan, Wash., where he plays quarterback and safety for the fightin' Pirates of Chelan Middle School. His addiction to crimson and gray started four years ago when he attended his first game at Martin Stadium, a Cougar win over Idaho. His father, Jeff, is a 1985 WSU graduate. Hayden has named his dog Butch, and currently is working to turn his little brother and mom into avid Coug fans.


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