The Broncos drafted NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb on Thursday, using the fifth overall pick to do it. Here’s a story from March about Chubb’s fun personality:
Chubb likes to play head games with opposing players. Several times during his college career at NC State, that meant going up to guys on the other team — usually quarterbacks — and stealing the hand towels that were tucked into their pants.
The most prominent victim was Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant in 2017:
Bradley Chubb is America’s finest troll pic.twitter.com/bLOCVDNNdm— Steven (@akulawolf) November 4, 2017
Chubb has also been spotted making towel heists in games against Notre Dame, Florida State, and Syracuse. Most crimes go unseen, which raises the question: How many times has Chubb swiped an opponent’s towel without anyone noticing? Possibly many.
Chubb portrays his towel-stealing habit as a sort of mental warfare.
“It’s just something I do to get in people’s heads,” Chubb explained to reporters at the NFL Combine. “I do it in light-heartedness, then it came to the point where I saw it really bothered him So if I see something bothers you, I’m just going to keep doing it.”
It doesn’t always lead to victory. It didn’t against Clemson.
“That’s just who I am,” he said. “You can ask my brother. If I see something that bothers him, I just keep doing it. I saw that it bothered him. They ended up winning the game, but it got in his head a little bit.”
The towel thefts are a small part of Chubb’s widespread trolling.
At NC State, he was a world-class heel, almost like a professional wrestler. One of his greatest hits came after the Wolfpack beat Florida State in 2017, when Chubb made a beeline for midfield and spat directly on the Seminoles’ logo:
In another game, Chubb turned in one of the most elaborate flops in sports history, attempting (successfully!) to draw a flag against a Syracuse offensive lineman:
And this part’s not trolling, per se, but it’s further illustration of how little Chubb cares about appearances when he’s on the field. He once played a whole fourth quarter against Pitt after suffering a dislocated finger that looked like something out of a bad horror flick. Only play the video below if you’re not squeamish and are OK seeing a deformed extremity:
Bradley Chubb's gruesome finger injury--hopefully just a dislocation; expected to come back in the game pic.twitter.com/ihGqZewoGQ— Pack Pride (@PackPride) October 14, 2017
And then there’s this dance, which he’s referred to as “breakdancing” for people who are too big to get all the way down:
This guy is a treasure pic.twitter.com/V5UUw4tDXY— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) November 11, 2017
Chubb’s teammates’ policy has always been to let Chubb be Chubb.
The man is eccentric, but he produces.
“That’s just his thing. He gets in the quarterback’s head, and it works. So why stop it? I’m not complaining,” former NC State defensive tackle Justin Jones said.
“Chubb was just being Chubb, so we just let him do his thing,” former Wolfpack defensive end Kentavious Street said.
Chubb didn’t try to take his own teammates’ towels, which likely boosted his support.
“No, he knew better than that,” tackle B.J. Hill said. “I ran the D line, so he knew better.”
But ask anyone who’s played with him: Chubb is the total package.
Chubb’s theatrics are a small, relatively unimportant part of what he brings.
“He’s a great person, man,” former NC State all-purpose back Jaylen Samuels said. “I trained with him out in San Diego, been around him for four years now. Our relationship has gotten closer. He’s a heck of a football player on the field and off the field. He does all the extra stuff — take care of the body, watch extra film. He’s the best.”
Amid all the fun Chubb has, he’s intensely focused on his craft.
“First and foremost, he’s a humble guy,” ex-Wolfpack defensive end Kentavius Street said. “I mean, he works hard. Even given all his accolades and stuff, he works harder than most of the guys. He’s a guy who’s gonna put in the hard work first, and the results will just come. So he’s an outstanding person.”