Proud past of Pelluer

Sixth-year linebacker has rich family history in Cougar football dating back to 1925



Then-redshirt senior linebacker Peyton Pelluer returns an interception for a touchdown against Boise State University on Sept. 9, 2017, at Martin Stadium. Four generations of Pelluers have played for the Cougars, starting with Peyton’s great-grandfather.

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

WSU is a university filled with great tradition and family legacies. However, perhaps no one has closer family ties to the Cougar tradition than sixth-year linebacker Peyton Pelluer.

Pelluer is the anchor for the Cougar defense who has helped carry WSU to No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Under new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, sixth-year senior Pelluer has emerged as one of the top linebackers in the Pac-12.

Maybe more impressive than his on-field play this season is the legacy of Peyton as the latest in a long line of Pelluers here at WSU.

Peyton’s great-grandfather Carl Gustafson was a member of the WSU football team as flanker from 1925-27. The next Pelluer to line up for the Cougars was Peyton’s grandfather Arnie, who played in Pullman from 1953-55.

Scott Pelluer, Peyton’s father, was a linebacker at WSU from 1977-80 before going on to the NFL where he played for the New Orleans Saints.

However, after Scott, a few Pelluers decided to change the tradition and showcase their football skills in Seattle at University of Washington. That is where Peyton’s uncle Steve was quarterback from 1980-83 and his brother Cooper was a linebacker from 2010-13.

Despite his brother’s commitment to UW, Peyton decided to attend WSU as part of the 2013 signing class. That class is regarded as one of the best years of recruiting in WSU history and key in the turnaround of the football program under Head Coach Mike Leach.

In his final Dad’s Weekend game at Martin Stadium as a player, Peyton said he knows how important the Saturday game against Cal is.

“My dad is at every game, he supports me whether it is home or away,” Peyton said. “My family is awesome with traveling and supporting me. I guess Dad’s Weekend is more special for him than other weekends, so I just try to put it on for all the dads out there and have fun with it.”

Peyton will look to put on a show for his family and all the other dads gathered in Pullman to cheer for the Cougars at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in Martin Stadium.