Washington State freshman Casey Locker is redshirting, so he won't have a shot at his cousin, UW quarterback Jake Locker, when the teams play in the Apple Cup.

Washington fans can only hope that in a year, they might be able to ponder the possibility of a Locker vs. Locker collision in the Apple Cup.

For now, it’s on hold as Washington quarterback Jake Locker will explore options for leaving for the NFL after this season while cousin Casey is redshirting at Washington State.

Casey Locker, a 5-foot-11, 177-pound freshman safety, was three years behind Jake at Ferndale High, like his cousin, playing both quarterback and receiver. Jake’s father, Scott, and Casey’s father, John, are brothers, each former football players at Western Washington.

Casey Locker received early recruiting attention from UW but that was put on hold last fall as the school made a coaching change, and he then committed to WSU in mid-December after taking a recruiting visit to Pullman.

Jake Locker said Monday he was fully on board with his cousin’s decision to become a Cougar.

“I was happy for him,” he said. “It was a place he felt he could be comfortable in and he’d be able to excel at.”

Casey Locker was ticketed early for a redshirt season, and despite numerous injuries in the defensive backfield, the coaches decided to continue with the plan of preserving his year of eligibility, so he’ll just be watching Saturday.

Still, having Lockers on each sideline Saturday will cause a few complications in the family, said Jake Locker.

“I think it will be the most evident with my grandma and grandpa,” he said. “My grandma, one of her friends made her a scarf with half of it red and gray and the other half purple and gold so she plans on wearing that. I think my grandpa’s got a hat that’s half-and-half. For them, I think it’s a little different.

“I’m sure for Casey’s family, my aunt and uncle, will be in their Cougar stuff, I know my parents will be in their Husky stuff. It’s not something that’s causing problems or anything but I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun Saturday.”

Wulff said he’s been told he’ll be back

WSU coach Paul Wulff said in a conference call with Seattle reporters Monday that he has received assurances he and his staff will return for the 2010 season.

WSU athletic director Jim Sterk told The Seattle Times on Saturday that he was happy with the progress the program is making under Wulff despite a 3-21 record the past two seasons.

Said Wulff on Monday: “Jim Sterk has come in and talked to our staff and is very reassuring about what we’re doing and very excited about how much work we’ve done and moving forward.”

Notes

• Wulff said again that he is “cautiously optimistic” true freshman Jeff Tuel will be able to recover from a kneecap injury and start at quarterback. If not, senior Kevin Lopina, who started against Oregon State on Saturday, will get the nod.

Cameron Elisara, who hasn’t played since the Arizona State game Oct. 17 due to a stinger, was cleared to return to action and practiced with the Huskies on Monday, putting him in position to play Saturday. However, LB E.J. Savannah (hand) has not been cleared and remains out.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.