Both grew up with music, particularly country and Christian, and were writing and performing by high school. Hubbard headed to Belmont to study music, knowing he wanted to do something in the industry.
Kelley took a detour, first spending two years at Florida State on a baseball scholarship.
"I had a dream of playing for the Seminoles," he said, but by his sophomore year he wasn't getting the playing time on the team and realized he might have to change directions. He transferred to Belmont - the same college his dad attended - to major in entertainment industry studies.
He and Hubbard met when they were out performing. Kelley said he approached Hubbard after a gig because he liked Hubbard's songs.
"I knew there was something special about him," he said of Hubbard's music.
The two found they had an easy camaraderie writing songs together. Their first CD was released in 2010, and a song from it, "Black Tears," was later recorded by Jason Aldean. The second CD would follow in 2012, and its song, "Cruise," caught on fast - selling almost 2 million recordings.
Florida Georgia Line was attracting attention of fans - and performers like Luke Bryan, who called directly to ask the duo to join his tour.
Kelley and Hubbard have committed to 75 dates with Bryan, including Saturday's gig at the Civic Center with Thompson Square.
The tour puts them in big arenas and in front of much larger audiences than they've experienced in the past.
"It's like a dream, to be honest with you," Kelley said.
Added Hubbard, "I think we're getting more and more familiar to everybody. It has more of an adrenaline rush than anything."
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.