To understand the motivation behind Romeo Doubs' greatness, you must understand his backstory.
The Wolf Pack wide receiver, fresh off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, fell in love with football at 4 years old thanks to his older brother Jarmaine, whom he credits his success.
“My oldest brother has definitely been my biggest inspiration growing up,” Doubs said. “Whenever I've got my own problems, I tend to go to him and just make sure I get the best advice possible. He has definitely been my inspiration, and I’m really appreciative for that.”
Jarmaine, who is four years older than Romeo, played cornerback for Southern Utah from 2016-17. As a senior, he tallied 47 tackles, four interceptions and a touchdown. Following his college career, Jarmaine played with the indoor football team, the San Diego Strike Force, until tearing his ACL.
Doubs believes his brother's path has helped shape his own.
“The Lord’s definitely blessed me with him because everything I learned was with him," the younger Doubs said. "Eventually I was going to have to come here to college and grow up on my own, so whenever things didn’t go my way, whether it was in a harsh way, he had to be on me. Or if it was just me talking to him being able to figure out and just get advice and learn then elevate from there.”
Doubs is one of five children who grew up in south Los Angeles where he was determined to focus on the present to do whatever he could do to set his future up for success.
“I grew up around hoods and I grew up around gangs,” Doubs said. “And we talk about that. That's not the topic to be spoken of, but with them they were always, like, ‘You’re already hard working with your older brother. Just keep it going.’ And as an African-American, you can be mistaken for anybody out there. Even some of the people back in the hoodlums of Los Angeles knew who I was and was giving me the encouragement, being able to help me grow. I was able to learn from them.”
Last year, Doubs lost someone close to him. And with the loss, it put things into perspective on how important it was for Doubs to lean into his football craft and focus on himself.
“Just being completely honest about it, there was a couple of people who I knew from playing Pop Warner that got caught up in gangs and got their lives took away,” Doubs said. “It was a heartbreaking moment because one of them, my friend Jordan, I went to Westlake back in Los Angeles, and you know he was a good kid, had (scholarship) offers growing up. He was on the right path and after high school got caught up in gangs and got himself in an altercation and ended up getting his life taken away. It happened back in 2020, so recent. I had to just let it sink in and think, 'Everything happens for a reason.' I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way.”
Doubs frequently thinks about his lost friend.
“I’m from the east side of L.A., and I represent it to the fullest," Doubs said. "He was a kid from that same area. A lot of kids that are from that specific area of Los Angeles don't usually take those next steps due to academics or some getting caught in gangs or what not. And he was he was one of those prospects that could have took it to that level. And just to see that happen, it was like he could have did so much.”
Doubs, who was a quarterback at lightly recruited Jefferson High, was pulled out of Los Angeles by former Nevada receivers coach Eric Scott, who coached high school ball in Los Angeles for a decade before joining the Wolf Pack staff in 2017. Scott took a job at San Jose State prior to this season, but his impact on Doubs was immense.
“He helped me mature and be who I am now," Doubs said. "Whether it was outside the football field or if it's in the meeting room because as a coach he's got to do his job getting on players and I learned from that. Even after the San Jose State game, I made sure I gave him the biggest hug because you don't get those often.”
Another influential man in Doubs' life is Nevada head coach Jay Norvell, who believed the Wolf Pack could turn Doubs from a high school quarterback into a college receiver.
“My relationship with Jay is also big because he's a West Coast guy," Doubs said. "I didn't really notice it until my second year here. But my relationship with Jay is a great relationship. And part of that is just being able to be grown men with each other. If I make a mistake on the field, I go up to coach like, ‘OK, that's on me.’ And vice versa."
Doubs is known as one of the "Three Amigos" along with tight end Cole Turner and quarterback Carson Strong, the three being roommates the last four seasons.
“I’ve been living with Cole and Carson since the day I got here," Doubs said. "My first day on campus, they helped me move my things in. I feel like our bond that we’ve build was really big. Everything just happened so fast. Our bond is huge, especially on the field. Because even if I’m not around them, I feel like on the football field is how our bond became this. That’s really how we grow with each other.”
Doubs leads the Wolf Pack in receptions with 75, in receiving yards with 1,012 (12th in the nation) and his nine receiving scores rank 17th in the country. A projected 2022 NFL draft pick, Doubs said he doesn't look too far into the future.
“I am a part of the University of Nevada football team, and I kind of feel like what's more important right now is just to focus on what I've got to do for the school, just doing my part and just being a part of the program," Doubs said. "It gets no simpler.”
While Doubs has been reticent to do interviews during his time at Nevada, he said he wants Wolf Pack fans to know a little more about him and his story.
"A lot of people see me as this quiet guy, and I kind of feel like I think part of that is just me expressing myself more to whoever wants to get to know who I am," Doubs said. "And I'm not no weirdo also. Because some people might just be like, ‘Oh, why doesn't he talk or why does he do this?’ I mean, I can talk, I can express. A lot of the times when I don't talk is really from the focus that I have to really have for myself, as well as the football field or in academics.”