Murray State football has Racer fans seeing double with the McCray and Downing twins.
Redshirt freshman Jarad and sophomore Jared McCray are identical twins and freshmen Isaiah and Elijah Downing are fraternal twins.
Getting to Murray State was easy for the Downings as they were recruited at the same time, but for the McCrays the process took a little longer.
“At first, I got offered to [come play at] Murray State my junior year and they didn’t know about Jared,” Jarad said. “I guess they didn’t know I even had a twin. We went to a camp in Memphis and they saw that he was playing good at wide receiver then they looked him up and offered him on the spot.”
Since Jared plays offense and Jarad plays defense, to tell the brothers apart, Head Coach Mitch Stewart refers to Jared as “O-McCray” and Jarad as “D-McCray.”
Though Stewart has a little trouble telling the McCrays apart, their high school coach had no problem at all.
“He had grew up with some twins so he knew off the rip who we were and how to tell us apart,” Jared said. “That was surprising, though, because that’s never happened to us.”
As for the Downings, telling them apart has never been an issue. Isaiah and Elijah said they are twins but they don’t really tell people unless they ask.
The Downings like to show their brotherly love by helping one another excel on and off the field.
“In practice we don’t really go up against each other unless we do, like, one on one,” Elijah said. “After our rep we’ll go and watch film and I’ll tell him like some tips and tricks of what receivers tend to do and he’ll tell me some stuff about what DBs tend to do.”
Isaiah believes competition creates and strengthens their bond as brothers and Elijah agrees.
“We don’t really get mad at each other,” Elijah said. “We come back to our room and we’ll talk about it. We just learn from one another at the end of the day that makes us better, so that’s really it.”
The McCrays also use competition to tighten their bond, Jared especially.
“Okay, so I’m the bigger brother,” Jared said. “It’s like, when we get in trouble, I literally take all the blame. I’ll take it all, because that’s my son kind of. When it comes to stuff like that I will take the charge I don’t let him get in trouble.”
Jarad enjoys that the Racer football family accepted him and his brother with open arms.
“It all pretty much correlates and Murray State does a real good job of reminding us while we’re here,” Jarad said. “We obviously have a bigger purpose of being here and we’re trying to fulfill that purpose and just flourish in it.”
Racer fans can catch the two sets of twins when they hit the gridiron next against the Panthers of EIU at 1 p.m. on Oct. 5, at Roy Stewart Stadium.