LOS ANGELES (AP) — TCU’s Emary Demercado grew up in Inglewood, Calif., and watched the Hollywood Park grounds transform from an old racetrack into a multi-billion dollar development that includes SoFi Stadium.
On Monday night, the running back will play his final college game less than five minutes from where he grew up. It’s time for the No. 3 Horned Frogs (13-1) to face his No. 1 Georgia (14-0) in the College Football Playoff Championship. game.
“It’s almost scripted that you can spend your childhood here, leave there, go to Texas, and finish your college career here,” Demercado said at Media Day on Saturday.
SoFi Stadium opened in 2020, but it’s still a new place for Demercado, and he’s like a tourist every time he drives past. The horned frogs visited the stadium on Friday after arriving in Southern California.
“It’s going to be a surreal moment to look around (before Monday’s game). It’s nice, but we have to adjust it and prepare for the game,” said Demercado. .
Seniors are important as the Horned Frogs play in their first National Football Championship since 1938.
Demercado rushed for a career-high 150 yards in the Fiesta Bowl victory over Michigan in the CFP Semifinals.
Coach Sonny Dykes said Miller, who has 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, remains in question heading into Monday’s game.
Demercado has proven he can pick up the slack when Miller is restricted or unable to play. I am averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He has also scored six goals after scoring a total of four goals in his first four seasons at TCU.
Demercado was the first running back to have a 100-yard game against Michigan this season. He had a 1-yard TD run and a 72-yard carry in the third quarter to set up Max Duggan’s 1-yard sneak.
“I always knew what I was capable of. I think it’s something special for me to finally be able to exhibit. It’s important to have confidence,” Demercado said. rice field.
TCU (12-1) faces a Georgia defense that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher or a touchdown run longer than 7 yards.
Downey High School had only four college offers when Demercado decided to go to junior college. He had his 1,469 scrimmage yards (including 1,026 rushing) and received an offer from TCU. .
“JUCO is not easy. A lot of people didn’t make it and I was one of the lucky ones,” he said. There is light at the end of the.”
Last season, Demercado was TCU’s only available scholarship to return late in the season, playing a 115-yard game against Oklahoma State. During practice, he showed that he could be a second running back.
“It was a big piece for us to have him spend a year with him and Kendre as a two-headed monster in the backfield. Garrett Riley said.
Demercado’s academic performance is equally noteworthy. He already has a master’s degree in business analytics after being selected to the Academic All-Big 12 team three times and posting a 3.744 grade point average.
Dykes said whatever path Demercado pursues has the potential to be successful.
“I believe he’s going to continue playing in the NFL and have a great career. But when he’s done playing football, he’s just a great guy, so he’s going to be really successful.” When he finishes his football career, he will be an incredible businessman.
“In 20 years there’s a good chance I’ll ask him not to forget me.”
Twenty friends and family attended the Fiesta Bowl in Demercado, but they’re having trouble securing tickets for Monday night’s game. Demercado’s mother, older brother, and his three friends join the game.
No matter what happens, Demercado is going to take it all in on his last college game.
“I have never regretted my choice,” he said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be on this journey, learn so many life lessons, and be in the moment.”
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