Plantation American Heritage coach Mike Rumph used to stand on the sidelines of NFL fields, cherishing the moments when military fighter jets would fly over the stadiums following the national anthem before his games on Sunday.
It gave Rumph, who was a defensive back on UM’s national-championship team in 2001 before stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, a sense of pride he still feels before leading his team through the national anthem during their games on Friday.
“It’s a feeling that I can’t explain,” Rumph said. “Just to come out there as a professional, and when those jets fly across the stadium, it makes what you’re doing so small. You’re just out there playing for fun. That kept me humble and kept things in context for me as a player.”
Rumph and running back Sony Michel were honored at their school Friday with invitations to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4, 2014, in San Antonio.
“I’m really, really honored to do this,” Rumph said. “I always thought as a person if I couldn’t make it in college, I would go to the Army. It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to represent the Army in some fashion.”
As for the soft-spoken and laid-back Michel, he thanked God, his teammates, family and staff at American Heritage during his brief acceptance speech.
“Not a lot of kids get this opportunity,” Michel said after the presentation.
“I just go out there and play for my family. That’s the only thing I could say I could play for.”
Even though Michel — rated a five-star recruit by several media outlets and considered the second-best running back in the nation by ESPN — has been orally committed to Georgia since April, he said the University of Miami is still trying to work its way into his consideration.
Michel, who will attend Saturday’s UM game against Wake Forest at Sun Life Stadium, said he’s still firm in his oral commitment to Georgia despite speaking with UM running-backs coach Hurlie Brown once every two weeks.