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Nick and Bradley Chubb can trace their roots back to a historic town in Georgia founded in the 1800s

Chubbtown, founded by the NFL Draft picks’ ancestors, was one of the only free black towns during the Civil War.

Former NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb and former Georgia running back Nick Chubb are two of the many NFL prospects about to have their names called during the draft in Dallas. Bradley was taken first, at No. 5 overall to the Denver Broncos in the first round. Nick was picked at No. 35 overall in the second round by the Cleveland Browns. You’re probably wondering — since they share the same last name, are Bradley and Nick Chubb related?

Yes, they are!

They aren’t brothers, but the two are second cousins who grew up in Georgia. In fact, they both have family in Chubbtown, Georgia, which was founded by Nick and Bradley’s ancestors in the 1800s. Via Dawg Nation:

That’s the given name bestowed upon him from one of the eight original Chubb brothers who settled this area in the 1850s or ’60s, depending on which account one believes.

What’s certain, and verifiable in historical documents, is John Henry Chubb founded this community along with his wife, eight sons, a daughter, and a small colony of free blacks sometime around the Civil War. They came from North Carolina, near the Virginia border, and put down roots on a hillside above a creek in what then was and still is the middle of nowhere.

Most of the direct descendants of the family are named for one of those eight brothers: William, Henry, John, Thomas, Jacob, Isaac, George, and, of course, Nicholas.

The ancient history of Chubbtown sounds fascinating. According to a local article, Union soldiers in the Civil War spared the town during Sherman’s March.

“A regiment of the Union Army, walking a trail of conquest through Georgia in 1864, spared the folks of this hamlet from plunder, making sure no one seized their livestock and their chickens for booty,” an excerpt from a 1989 story in the Wilmington Morning Star reads.

“The story is not apocryphal,” insists Kenneth Jones, a descendant of the family that settled Chubbtown. Jones heard it from his grandfather, who heard it from his father, who saw it happen.

A further explanation comes right at the 2:37 mark below:

“General [William Tecumseh] Sherman, when he left Atlanta, he was burning everything that was in sight,” Eddie Washington, Nick’s cousin said to ESPN. “Once he got to Chubbtown, when he found out that the Chubb brothers were self-supporting, he just told his soldiers to leave ‘em be.”

Per records obtained by the Wilmington Morning Star, the land was purchased sometime before or right at the start of the Civil War in 1864. The town was actually more diverse than the area around Chubbtown:

In addition to sprawling farms, there was a saw mill, a grit mill, a post office, a distillery, a general store, and a blacksmith. With wood from the sawmill and nails from the blacksmith, the Chubbs built the church, several cabins, and a lodge.

“It amazed me that blacks in the South were living free and thriving during the Civil War,” Jones said.

The cousins are related through an aunt, according to Bradley, and the two grew up about 45 minutes from each other. Nick is from Cedartown, which is closer to Chubbtown, and Bradley grew up in Powder Springs.

Football runs in the Chubb family — Bradley’s brother, Brandon, played linebacker at Wake Forest from 2012-15. He went undrafted in 2016, but spent time with the Los Angeles Rams’, Detroit Lions’, and San Francisco 49ers’ practice squads. He’ll get another chance to make the Lions’ roster this summer.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The three didn’t all grow up together, however.

As it so happens, the first time they all met was five years ago, when they bonded over football during Christmastime in Georgia. From ESPN:

“Christmas 2013,” begins Brandon, a redshirt senior at Wake Forest. “I was home during bowl season. That was the first time we all caught up. Nick, with his success at Cedartown — word started spreading around Georgia. So, me and Brad kept up with him. There was definitely a football connection all around.”

Bradley, a sophomore at NC State, chimes in: “I remember walking around our high school, and my coach asking me, ‘Do you know that Chubb kid from Cedartown?’ I started asking my dad, ‘Do we know him?’ So I think that helped get us together.”

”When I heard there were Chubbs around, I had to meet them because we all love football. We’re all very athletic,” Nick, a sophomore at Georgia, adds. “I wanted to get in touch with them to see how everything was going with them.”

Bradley and Nick almost didn’t enter the NFL Draft in the same year, either.

Nick had made a name for himself for three years as Georgia’s running back, but given the running back depth in 2017’s draft class, with the likes of Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette, he came back for his senior season last year. Bradley had his best season in 2017, too. It seems both of them were on the same page about coming back last year, for the most part:

“I saw him over New Year’s Eve. ... That was around the time he made it public he was staying, and I asked him what went into his decision,” Bradley Chubb told last fall. “At that time, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do yet. Talking to him, seeing where his mind was at, my mind was at the same place. One of the reasons he told me is because he felt he didn’t want to go off on the bad note his team went out on last year. And I just had a lot of similarities in the thought process. I felt it was best for me to stay.”

Both of these guys’ NFL dreams came true real quick in Dallas.