CHASE AND SYDNEY BROWN
The Brown identical mirror twins were born two minutes apart, Chase at 5:33 and Sydney at 5:35 a.m., on March 21, 2000.
This week, they will become just the sixth set of twins selected in the same NFL draft in 40 years.
“Everything they’ve done, they’ve done together,” said their mother, Raechel.
And this was no easy path to navigate.
Start with an unsettled living situation in London, Ontario–moving to twenty-plus homes or shelters with their mom and younger sister Mya, before they were 16.
The twins became football heroes, but in Canada hockey is king.
Football offered a much smaller platform.
“Our goals were to play college football, but we didn’t know how we were going to get there,” Chase said.
They knew nothing about college football, actually.
“If I’m being honest, I thought South Dakota and fucking Alabama are on the same level,” Sydney remarked.
Six years later, their understanding had broadened, and their perspectives sharpened.
They played 3 years of college ball together at Illinois.
Chase finished the 2022 season as the nation’s №2 rusher with 1,643 yards.
A Doak Walker Award finalist; he had 10 games with 100+ yards rushing.
He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection and on December 14 he won the Jon Cornish Trophy, given to the best Canadian player in college football.
Sydney earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, leading an Illini defense ranked №1 for much of this past season.
He tied for the national lead with six interceptions and made 59 tackles.
In the regular season finale at Northwestern, he had two defensive touchdowns.
They are thought to be one of the first set of twins to earn All-Big Ten accolades in the same season.
Travel, sacrifice, resilience and the maturity to assess their lives and make hard choices, all played into where they find themselves today.
In the 2023 NFL Draft, Chase and Sydney Brown in fact became the sixth set of twins to be selected in the same draft.
Safety Sydney was selected by the Eagles in the 3rd round with the 66th pick.
Running back and mirror twin Chase was taken in the 5th round by the Bengals with overall selection №163.
They haven’t been apart from one another very much in their lives.
And when they collide violently at one point or another on the NFL gridiron, at least they’ll be together again.
[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in May 2023.]