It’s been quite the year for Donnel Pumphrey Jr. The Super Bowl-bound Eagles running back is a North Las Vegas hometown hero.
"I told someone please pinch me because this is just unreal. You just don't expect all these things to happen so quickly," Pumphrey Jr.’s mom, Gina Padua said.
For Gina Padua, watching her son's football career has been like a flash. Just five years ago, she was back here in the stands at Canyon Springs watching her son play high school football. Sunday, she'll see him on the sidelines of the Super Bowl.
"It means the world to me as a mother, to see my son living out his dream and to actually go the Super Bowl as a rookie is an amazing feeling," Padua said.
In his final collegiate game for San Diego St., Pumphrey set the NCAA career rushing record, right in his own backyard at Sam Boyd Stadium. The following April he was drafted in the 4th round by Philadelphia.
"I always kind of thought he'd be in this situation, growing up, seeing him from these stands," his younger brother, Angelo Shelby said.
"It's amazing to me, because I've seen him put in the work, put in the effort, day in and day out. Just proud of him," his older brother, Tyree Erskin said.
"He's always proven that he can get the job done and I always knew he would make it though. It's just something that's in the heart," Padua said.
Pumphrey will be on the sidelines, but not the field. The rookie runner hasn't played since the preseason due to a torn hamstring suffered in Sept. But on the field or not, Pumphrey has proven to be a hometown hero.
"Going to the school my brother graduated from, I witnessed how proud everybody is of him and how much of an inspiration he is to the players," Shelby said.
"Everybody is just so happy for him and the city it's a great feeling for everybody," Padua said.
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