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Utah-BYU: It bleeds both blue and red, but Reilly clan still stands together

Trevor plays for Utes, Drew plays for BYU and the rest of the family has chosen sides.



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A.J.: "If we got in a fight with each other, we had to fight Dad."

Russ: "Anything I caught you doing to your brothers, I’d do to you."

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Kris: "If they fought, they had to hug and kiss each other."

Growing up in Long Beach, Calif., Russ Reilly learned sports from his father. After Russ’s own successful athletic career — he played football, basketball, baseball in high school, and later went to Utah to play basketball under Jerry Pimm. Following an LDS Church mission, Russ transferred to BYU to play under Frank Arnold. When Arnold left, after Russ met and married Kris, and went on their honeymoon to Hawaii, Russ decided to play ball at BYU-Hawaii.

Thereafter, he set up shop as a building contractor in Valley Center, and, with Kris, raised up their kids in church, school, and especially sports: football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, and track. At one juncture, all five of the Reilly sons played junior baseball on different levels on different fields on the same day at the same complex.

A typical family activity was something called Dunkball.

Russ: "It was a mix of 2-on-2 basketball and MMA played on a trampoline we had in our side yard. It got pretty rough."

A.J.: "Trevor got one of his teeth caught in the net one time, his eye tooth, and it pulled that tooth clean out."


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Kris: "And he kept right on playing."

On the other side of the house, located at the corner of Wizard Way and Yellowbrick Road, off of Dorothy Lane, was an expanse of grass that served as a football/soccer/Wiffleball field, where the Reilly kids sharpened their skills.

Turned out, they were all tough, talented athletes.

In high school, A.J. led San Diego County in receiving in football and scoring in basketball. Trevor was recruited as a linebacker and tight end by schools such as Texas Tech and Utah. Drew signed as a safety at Colorado State, as did Beau, the quarterback.

Russ: "A.J. earned 13 varsity letters in high school in four sports and the others followed behind him. I hate to admit this, but I used to take them to pickup basketball games around San Diego and just drop them off, and let them play. I thought they needed to be exposed to the best competition around, even if they were strangers."

Kris: "They took care of each other."

Russ: "Trevor knew the second he was born on this earth that he wanted to put something on his head and hit somebody, hurt somebody. He was a football player. We knew he was different when he was 2-years-old and he came running around a corner into the kitchen, and ran straight into a breadboard that was extended out. It completely de-cleated him. He slammed his forehead into the board and hit the back of his head on the tile floor and just kind of got up, never cried, and kept on running as though it was nothing. We sat there and said: ‘What just happened?’ We knew he had a high tolerance for pain."

That tolerance was proved again last year, when Trevor played a good portion of his junior season at Utah with a torn ligament in his knee.

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