Long’s crew facing short odds as football season nears
He’s calm enough and respectful enough to walk into a reporter-filled room with an Aztec shirt and finely cut hair, lines sharp as the razor that cut him.
But when you look at his neck, you see the gold encrusted "D" hanging from a strand of strings.
There’s a cross, too – we’d all pray for safety and security if we skipped a pile of cash to come back for records, both team and individual.
No denying it, though – San Diego State has a bonafide pro on their hands, even if he scoffs at his new found fame.
"I’m just a regular guy," Donnel Pumphrey laughs in between questions.
That’s the thing… he isn’t. Nor is the team he leads, one that could play in the New Year’s bowls if it can go unbeaten and unquestioned.
"Everyone thinks we’re pretty good," head coach Rocky Long says. "I think we’re pretty good, too."
The greatness starts with Pumphrey, who sits 318 yards shy of Marshall Faulk’s rushing record, and one game shy of his 100 yard game record as well.
“I never thought I would be in this situation," Pumphrey said. "I came in at 154 pounds ready to work and everything has gone in the right direction for me. The coaches have put me in perfect situations.”
It’s part of a lineage. Ronnie Hillman was the first to shatter the books. A bevy of backs stand behind him. But none according to Pumphrey can surpass the man who set the standard.
“I wouldn’t ever say I’d replace him on top of the list, because he was only here for three years. To have those incredible stats in three years was unreal. He’s also a Hall of Famer. It’s just a blessing and an honor to even have my name besides his.”
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