After all, when COVID-19 swept across the United States and beyond in 2020, it turned the college sports world upside down. Some conferences canceled their football seasons altogether. Others shortened their schedules. Games were postponed right and left.
The NCAA responded by giving all fall sport student-athletes an extra year of eligibility — a decision that couldn’t have worked out better for Dublin, an all-AAC lineman and honor business student who felt an extra year of play would boost his chances for an NFL career.
“They’re calling us Super Seniors,” Dublin, 22, said of the group of seniors who are returning for a fifth year.
“I wanted to take advantage of the extra year and really work on my skills. I do hope to play in the NFL, and I think the extra year will really showcase my talents.”
A New Orleans native who played high school football for the Jesuit Blue Jays, Dublin has already made a name for himself. In four seasons of competition, he never missed a game. That translates into 49 consecutive games, including three postseason bowls.
“I’ve been very lucky and very blessed,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by such good people and such an amazing training and sports medicine staff.”
Dublin described the COVID-19 season as “organized chaos,” never knowing from one week to the next what game day would bring. Miraculously, Tulane played a full season, albeit with cutouts of fans in the stands and piped-in fan noise and music.
He didn’t want his Tulane career to end that way and looks forward to a normal season, including a home opener against the Oklahoma Sooners in Yulman Stadium on Sept. 4.
Preseason, he was selected for a spot on College Football News’ All-American Athletic Conference team and the Phil Steele All-ACC First Team.
Regardless of where his future takes him, he said he wouldn’t trade his Tulane experience for the world.
“As a New Orleans native, it has been an honor to attend Tulane,” said Dublin, who is studying for his MBA. “These past four years have been nothing short of incredible. From earning my finance degree to winning back-to-back bowl games, I will forever cherish my time at Tulane.”