If you watch an NC State athletic event this year, you may think you are seeing double. Chances are, you are correct. This year, NC State has seven sets of twins competing as student-athletes:
- Gymnastics: Alexa & Paris Phillips
- Tennis: Igor & Ivan Saveljic
- Wrestling: Jamal and Jamel Morris
- Wrestling: Daniel and Thomas Bullard
- Football: Tyler and Will Dabbs (shown in photo above)
- Football/Track: Nyheim & Nyah Hines
- Cross Country: Aaron and Alec Thomas
Tyler/Will, Nyheim/Nyah, and Alexa/Paris are fraternal, while the other four sets are identical. Most agreed that splitting up for college was never an option. If they did consider it, it was only for a short time as Alexa and Paris stated, “we considered it, but it most likely wouldn’t have happened.” Daniel commented, “it just wouldn’t feel right to go to school without Thomas.” When asked about the best part of coming to college together, Jamal and Jamel and Ivan and Igor explained that even though they are far from home, they always have someone to turn to and lean on. Nyah commented that she always has a true friend on campus and her twin, Nyheim, added that he knows there is always someone to have his back. Daniel agreed with Nyheim stating, “I always have someone who has my back.” It’s clear that the twins all see coming to college as an advantage as Alec stated, “we’re best friends. He (Aaron) knows me well, holds me accountable, and genuinely wants the best for me. Having someone so close is a huge advantage.”
Of the seven sets, only the Dabbses and Phillipses have declared the same major. Tyler and Will are currently both majoring in Human Biology and enjoy having someone to always study with. Jamal contributes their different majors (Sociology/Science, Technology and Society) to the fact that they “have different personalities and like different things.”
Almost all sets agreed that coaches and/or their academic coordinators have confused them, but “have gotten better.” Assigning nicknames or assigning each twin a different wardrobe option are all tactics coaches have used to discern the two.
Whether it’s having a study partner, friend to lean on, or “someone to always eat with,” the Pack twins all strongly agreed that coming to NC State together was the right decision. The Dabbs claim that NC State gave them opportunity to play football at a high level and get a quality education. The next time you attend an NC State athletic event, no need to check your vision – you really might be seeing double.