USF and Florida State meet on the football field for the first time Saturday, and Debra Love faces a conundrum: How can she possibly pull against one of her children?
Her son, A.J., is a junior receiver for the Bulls, but her daughter Angela - his twin sister - is a senior at FSU and works for Seminole Boosters, often hosting recruits on visits to FSU football games.
"One of them obviously has to lose," said Love, a registered nurse in Sarasota. "How can you be happy for one child and not the other? It certainly is going to be very difficult. I'm going to wear a USF shirt to support my son, and an FSU cap for my daughter."
Complicating matters further, Debra went back to school and got her nursing degree from USF in 2001. She said she'll sit in the USF section, but the family has relatives in Tallahassee, so counting grandparents and uncles and aunts, there will be some on both sides, literally.
"I'm going to be so torn," said Angela, who will graduate from FSU with a biology degree in December and has worked for Seminole Boosters for three years. "I love my school, but family also comes first. Anytime he has the ball, I'll be cheering for my brother, but when he doesn't, I have to cheer for FSU. He knows I support him 100 percent, but at the same time, I'm okay with them losing."
Angela grew up a cheerleader at her brother's football games, then played volleyball at Bradenton Southeast High with A.J. cheering for her. Because FSU opened on Labor Day, Angela saw A.J.'s first game this season and said she was thrilled to see her brother return after tearing the ACL in his knee in the St. Petersburg Bowl in December.
A.J. - that's Anthony Jr.; their father, Anthony Sr., is a Florida A&M graduate who will also be at the game - is the older twin, born one minute earlier. Angela said it's something A.J. often reminded her of: "He used to make me wait a minute to blow out my candles on our birthday," she said.
Love, who has eight catches for 100 yards in three games but is waiting for his first touchdown this season, said his sister might seem torn, but he knows where her heart is.
"There's nothing as personal as being a twin, so I know deep down, she'll be rooting for me," he said.