“Big Things-Little Packages”
He shows up this morning with talent and with attitude.
Players, all 330-of them, pour into Indianapolis for the NFL-combine, for short workouts, measuring metrics, short meetings with prospective NFL teams.
It’s all a prelude to Pro Days that are coming up, then of course the NFL draft, where careers start, and futures are plotted.
And he’s there, all 5’9 of him, all 170-pounds of speed, skill, grit, confidence, explosiveness.
They’ll chart alot of things the next couple of days for Aztecs legendary running back DJ Pumphrey. He’s the one walking onto the artificial turf at Lucas Oil Field with the all time NCAA rushing record, over (6,000) yards, all those 100-and-200-yard games, big TD runs.
He’ll also walk into meeting with a 25-pound chip on his shoulder, for all the schools, people, coaches, media, fans, who doubted him.
Pumphrey’s career should not be decided on a (4.34) time in the 40, or his time in the cone drills. It should not be decided on whatever pass routes and balls he catches, his explosiveness when he gets to the second level, or what he does returning kicks..
It should be decided by all the game videos coaches and scouts will watch, when he put up great numbers at San Diego State, against defenses loaded in the box to stop him.
Ask any of the Mountain West Conference defensive coordinators about him, his style, what he does in space, and what he does in practice.
It is odd, with all the success the Aztecs had while he wore Red & Black, his star never shined as brightly as Marshall Faulk’s. Maybe SDSU’s tough-as-cement defense had as much to do with Aztecs success over the last four years, but Pumphrey’s big play ability, anywhere-anytime-any play, helped make SDSU the next Boise State.
Faulk set the table for everything else on offense in his era, with a team that did not play defense.
He’s not a number 1-pick like Faulk, but that does not negate all he did, nor should it spell out whether he will be successful or not.
It’s a loaded draft of running backs.
Say running back and you think Dalvin Cook-Florida State…Leonard Fournette-LSU….Sammy Perine-Oklahoma…Joe Mixon-Oklahoma…Christian McCaffrey-Stanford…D’Onta Freeman-Texas and more.
Maybe Pumphrey won’t be mentioned in the same sentences as those other big time names, who played in big time games and put up big time numbers.
But as a spot runner, as a receiver, as a return man, as a 3rd down guy, he will get things done.
So root for the hometown kid who made good. Give him credit for all these great accomplishments. Respect the work ethic, the attitude, the heart, the toughness.
Oh one other thing. Big things can come in Little Packages.
Think Pumphrey, think Danny Woodhead, Darren Sproles, before that Gary Anderson and before that Joe Washington.
That’s not a bad group to be put in with…in the NFL.