The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Living life as a married Mustang

 Living life as a married Mustang
Living life as a married Mustang

Living life as a married Mustang

Standing on the field at 6-2 and weighing 287-pounds, Lute Croy, #92, is very intimidating, racking up a total of 20 tackles and one sack. This season NCAA.com ranks Croy , a Mustang Nose Guard, as one of SMU’s top defensive players.

However, Croy isn’t always in football mode.

“Lute is an extremely nice, outgoing, christian guy [off the field],” Allan Adami, a fellow defensive player, said.

Croy, of Duncan, Okla., is in his fifth and final year at SMU after being red-shirted his freshman year of football

Last July Croy, married his girlfriend of four years, Keri Beth Morgan, who attended Oklahoma State University.

The Croys decided in the summer of 2000 to end the long distance relationship that had lasted three years.

“I knew that this was the person I would end up with so there was no reason to delay the inevitable,” Croy said.

“Lute is just a funny guy,” laughs Keri Beth. “He makes it a point to surprise me every day.”

While most parents would run screaming from the idea of their children’s marriage, both sets of parents were excited about their decision.

“They had seen the phone bills and the tears,” Beth said.

The families, both residing in Duncan, Okla., have been close for a long time. Coincidentally, the couple’s grandparents sang in a quartet in the 1960s, when their parents were in high school.

When they were married, Beth moved from Oklahoma to Dallas taking a job at a rehabilitation center.

“Keri had to get used to me being at football all day at first,” Croy said. The couple had not lived in the same city for three years and she didn’t understand that his daily schedule consisted of eating, sleeping and playing football.

“It’s ok because I know [football] makes him happy,” Beth said. “Lute gives everything 110 percent: football, marriage, everything.”

Juggling football, school and Keri Beth took some adjusting to, but after the first semester, Croy’s grades showed that he was capable of all three.

While other college athletes talk about where they are going to go “pro,” Croy is concentrating on the present season and to make it a winning one.

“We need to learn to finish a game, take the knock out punch,” Croy said.

After the Mustangs’ 24-14 loss to Texas Tech last Saturday, hopes are high for the game this weekend against TCU.

Of course, no player would slam a door in the face of a pro scout.

“I won’t actively pursue it now, but if the opportunity came up after graduation, I would definitely think about it.” Croy said.

“Being a four-year starter, each year he came back better than the last,” said Gary Hyatt, the director of football, said.

Players and students were curious about coach Bennett when he arrived on the Hilltop last spring but Croy knew and liked Bennett prior to starting his career at SMU.

Bennett recruited Croy to play for the University of Oklahoma in high school.

Although Croy didn’t end up there, he and his family got to know Bennett very well.

The only person that sees Croy more than Keri Beth during the season is the assistant head and defensive coach Bob Fello. Fello is a tough coach on the field, but in real life, he is very caring, Croy says.

“I was sick last week and when I went into [Fello’s] office he gave me a ‘great chicken soup recipe’ and told me to take it home and let my wife make it for me,” Croy said.

If Croy wasn’t an athlete he would have graduated last year and probably would be teaching and coaching high school football. But this semester Croy is taking a mammoth load of three hours. This leaves plenty of time for football and Keri Beth.

When Keri Beth moved to Dallas, she had one year of classes left before graduation.

“I’m waiting for him to graduate and settle into a job before I start again. Right now I’m just working and supporting him,” Keri Beth said.

Some players jump around, scream, or listen to music before a game to get pumped up. Croy opts for solitude and concentration for his pre-game rituals.

“I stand there and I’m very quiet,” Croy said.

After playing the sport for 14 years, Croy says, “I play football because I like being around the guys, football is the most demanding sport, time wise, and the reward makes [time spent] worth it.”

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