Magazine for McKendree - Winter 2018

Deckard Triplets Make McK Their Home

Andrew, Brandon and Curtis Deckard
by Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney ’10

Having spent just one day apart in 18 years, triplets Andrew, Brandon and Curtis Deckard knew when it came to choosing a university, they needed each other to make college feel like home. The first-year students from Bethalto, Ill., decided McKendree University offered the best opportunity to gain a quality education and to play NCAA football on an all-star team. During last year’s highly anticipated National Signing Day event at Civic Memorial High School, each put on a McKendree Bearcats ball cap, revealing their college choice to the world.

Growing up, the inseparable triplets shared many interests and got along better than most siblings. “They’ve always had this strange bond,” said their mother, Marsha Deckard. “The one day they were apart from each other, I was out of town, and they each stayed with a different relative or friend. They didn’t function well at all, and it was a very long night for the people watching them.”

While the brothers say they aren’t really believers of “triplet telepathy,” their mom recalls several times they brought home the same book from their school book fair despite being in separate classes. It also happened at Christmas, when their school held a shop for children to buy gifts for their families. Unaware, each bought identical gifts for the same family members. “It happened year after year, and the teachers thought it was so funny,” Marsha said. “I tried to encourage them to be their own person and make their own choices, but they pick the same things even when they’re not together.”

From playing childhood sports together to sharing a truck in high school, the Deckards have always felt more comfortable with each other than on their own. “We’re almost the same person,” Andrew explained. On and off the football field, they describe themselves as very competitive, but each with unique qualities. Brandon, they decided, has the best sense of humor and lifts the most weight; Curtis has the best grades; and Andrew has the biggest heart.

All chose the same major: business administration. They play the same position on the Bearcat football team: offensive lineman. Consistently their team’s largest players, Andrew stands at an impressive 6'1" 360 pounds, Brandon at 6'1" 310 pounds, and Curtis at 6'4" 360 pounds, earning them the nickname “the 900-pound wall.” It’s more than size that makes them intimidating opponents on the field. The brothers’ unique connection and natural instinct for the sport have always made them valuable players.

“As kids, they were too aggressive in pee-wee soccer,” Marsha said. “They knocked all the other kids down, and the coach told me he had to kick them off the team because they had too many penalties. He recommended they go into football.”

In high school, the Deckards earned All-Conference accolades and received widespread attention for their synergy on the field. Receiving offers from 13 universities, the brothers were attracted to McKendree’s well-organized football program and friendly, supportive and close-knit atmosphere, on and off the field.

“It’s nice to have brothers playing for us,” said Bearcats Head Football Coach Mike Babcock. “It means they know what it’s like to be part of a family.”