Ryan Luehrman lined up as the slot receiver in a spread offense formation.

Ryan ran down the seam and hauled in a pass that went just over the outreached arms of the safety.

The next play, the same thing happened to the slot receiver.


Only it wasn’t Ryan. It was his brother, Adam. 

Adam and Ryan Luehrman, freshmen for the Bobcats, are not deceiving people. The two are twins, who both happen to play tight end. They even wear similar jersey numbers, with Ryan’s 88 doubling Adam’s 44.

“We didn’t really go in as a deal together," Ryan said. "We did our own thing."

Their strikingly similar body frames and looks have caused some confusion for members of the team who are unable to tell the two apart.

But for Adam and Ryan, it's had not to compare the two.

Born and raised in Athens, the twins made teams see double way before they suited up for coach Frank Solich.

With respectable careers at Athens High School, the two helped guide the Bulldogs to the state championship game in December 2014. After each caught two touchdown passes in the title game, the twins turned their attention to college football and the weight room — but not right away.

The two grayshirted last season, meaning Adam and Ryan worked out but weren't a part of the Ohio roster. That ensured they didn't waste playing eligibility. Waiting to enroll in classes until after football season ends, grayshirts then enroll in spring classes and have five years to play four seasons. They can redshirt in the future, too. 

Since enrolling, Ryan and Adam have quickly assimilated into the Bobcats’ roster, not to the surprise of Athens coach Ryan Adams, their former coach.

“They were prepared. They never missed practice,” Adams said of the Luehrman brothers. “They embraced the grind. I can’t remember once that we as coaches ever said, ‘These guys don’t seem to be themselves.’ ”

Adams understands the Athens resident-turned-Bobcat football player challenges. He did the same thing.

"There’s definitely an added pressure to want to do well, represent your hometown well,” Adams said. “When you’re actually going through that experience in your hometown, it’s definitely a little different.”

With the potential hometown pressure, Ryan and Adam now have to focus on impressing their coaches to stand out. Rather than competing with one another, they're fighting for a higher spot on an already scarce depth chart. 

The twins don't seem to mind. Each values the brotherly competition, and their coaches are noticing, too. 

Tim Albin, the offensive coordinator and running backs coach, praised the brothers for their catching abilities as tight ends, a positive attribute that requires the ability to catch while also blocking in the pass or run game.

“There is no question in my mind they can catch the ball for us at tight end and receiver,” Albin said. 

Ryan, who stands one inch taller (6-foot-5) and seven pounds (224) heavier than Adam, had seen slightly more reps this past fall, occasionally working with the starting team.

Even with Ryan seeing slightly more playing time, that doesn’t make it any easier for his teammates, or even coaches, to tell him and Adam apart.

“In the locker room, it’s a little difficult to tell which one is which, so I just say ‘Luehrman!’ " Jordan Reid, a redshirt senior wide receiver, said. "And whichever one pops his head up, that’s the one I talk to."

That sentiment also is shared with the coaching staff, because both Albin, who has known the two since they were little, and Solich have trouble telling them apart.

“It’s good that they have different numbers," Solich joked. "That certainly clears it up for us. (With) their body build and athleticism, it’s tough at times to tell them apart.”

The twins will try and keep opposing defenses seeing double throughout their careers and try to replicate the success that started on the youth fields of The Plains.