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Junior defensive backs Logan Nash and Lawson Nash hug after the football team's win against Dartmouth at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 30. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

They’ve always said that football is a team sport. But for Logan and Lawson Nash, it’s also a family sport. From pee-wee, to St. Edward High School in Cleveland, and now to Penn, these twins have played alongside each other for almost all of their lives.

With the Quakers, the Nash brothers — both juniors — have seen considerable action, playing in each game so far this season. Combined, they've managed 26 tackles through the first six contests, with Logan Nash even snagging a key interception during Penn's home bout with Lafayette.

But it all started when they were five years old, and the Nashes drove by a football field every day on their way to elementary school. Curious by what they would see on the gridiron, they approached their mother if they could try football. She agreed, and soon after, Logan and Lawson Nash were playing tackle football.

By the sixth grade, they were playing for the Pop Warner National Championships.

After countless games and plays, their Pop Warner team won their city and regional championship. They went down to Florida to compete for the national championship — the Pop Warner Super Bowl — and while they lost in the finals, according to Lawson, it was still one of the most formative experience they had in their football career.  

Pop Warner was just the start of the Nash brothers’ career: they continued to play football, but as their careers went on, their places on the football teams changed. As kids, both brothers played offense and defense. They also had to play linebacker because of their stature when on defense. But now, they have transitioned into new positions. Logan Nash is a cornerback, and Lawson Nash is a safety.

But why defense? 

“It’s a lot more fun making the tackles rather than getting tackled,” Logan Nash said. “You have to be reactive and not proactive. The offense knows what they’re gonna do — the defense just has to react to it, and it’s just a different type of challenge.”

Additionally, while the twins were still only in middle school, there was a group that topped headlines nationwide for their defensive firepower: the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom.

The Legion of Boom is the nickname given to the Seattle Seahawks' defensive squad of the early 2010s that helped bring the team to prominence — and to their first Super Bowl title ever. This defensive juggernaut was an inspiration for a young Lawson Nash, who had a burgeoning love for the defensive side of the ball. He looked up to them, especially players like Earl Thomas.

“[I liked] being able to watch how he [Thomas] was able to be really successful at a below-average size for the position he played in the NFL — just seeing the techniques he liked to use and the off-the-field work he did,” Lawson Nash said. “That sort of thing is what I like to model my game after.”

All that time spent watching the Legion of Boom on primetime television paved the way for much success for him and his brother.

In 2018, four years after the Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl, the St. Edward Eagles won the State 1 Division State Championship of Ohio with Logan and Lawson Nash helping contain their opponents Colerain High School to only 10 points. It was that same school year that they were offered to come play for Penn.

Coach Ray Priore and his recruiting staff were drawn to brothers immediately.

“When you play for good programs, it comes with a lot of things — great leadership, great ability. You played at the highest level, so you've played against the best football players perhaps in the state, in the country,” Priore said. “They have a tremendous amount of football skills, and they’re showing that on the field.”

But recruiting brothers — especially twins — is not as easy as some may assume it to be. There are many of factors to consider.

“Not all brothers want to got to the same school. And you want to make sure you’re satisfying both players’ needs,” Priore said.

But Logan and Lawson Nash never intended to go their separate ways for college football. As per Logan Nash, they didn't sat down and had a formal conversation about their plans about college ball. Rather, they both felt that it made the most sense for them to play for the same team.

A major benefit of coming to play for Penn meant getting through the highs and lows of college together.

“It helped having my brother, especially when we were freshmen and sophomores trying to acclimate ourselves to a new environment,” Logan Nash said. “I always say I have a built-in best friend because if I feel uncomfortable doing something, I always have someone with me by my side … I always have a piece of home with me.”

The two brothers admire each other. They’re each other’s best friend and biggest fan. And like most best friends, they see positive qualities in their twin that they aspire to emulate and admire.

For Lawson Nash, he praises the confidence that his brother radiates.

“He’s always confident about what he’s doing,” Lawson Nash said. “He’s not always the biggest or the fastest, but he gets the job done. When push comes to shove, he’ll be out there with the best of them.”

Meanwhile, Logan Nash — often described by his peers as the the jokester of the two — says that his brother’s natural killer instinct is one of his most special qualities.

“A lot of the times I want to take that killer instinct that he has,” Logan Nash said. “He just kind of locks in when it’s time to lock in … and it’s not just in athletics, it’s also in academics. Seeing him staying up late at night studying for a test and getting a good grade inspires me to do better.”

Getting to share their football career with each other is something that both Logan and Lawson Nash hold dear to their hearts. From the Pop Warner Super Bowl to a high school state championship to a currently undefeated season with the Quakers, the Nash brothers have been through a lot together, and they’ll never want to downplay the importance of that.

“Even though I lose sight sometimes, I’m out here playing with my brother,” Lawson Nash said. “It comes full circle when you have a lot of success and you’re able to do it with someone you spend every day with and are going to love for the rest of your life.”