ENGLEWOOD, Calif. — Emali Demercado smiled broadly as she imagined how she would feel Monday night.
For the first time in his life, he walks inside the SoFi stadium. A five-minute drive from his home in Inglewood, he will do so as a player fulfilling his most ambitious dream of playing in a national championship.
“You can literally walk to the end of the street and you’ll see the stadium,” said the TCU running back. “It’s almost scripted that you can grow up here, spend your childhood here, leave and go to Texas, and finish your college career here.”
The previous chapter was incredible in its own right. In his bowl upset at TCU’s Fiesta in Michigan, Demercado rushed for his career-high 150 yards and a touchdown, and after suffering a right knee injury, starred his running back Kendre. filled the mirrors. Miller has doubts about his championship game against Georgia. Demercado picked the perfect timing for his game his 100-yard rushing, the first of his career. He also became his first 100-yard rusher this season against Michigan. Helped his TCU underdog reach his game for the title in what was a miraculous season for the Big 12 school. .
“It was a special moment,” he said.
So the 5-foot-11-inch, 210-pound Demercado might not only play the biggest game of his life in his backyard, but he might also be the star of Horned Frogs. This is for players who were forced out of Downey High School and into junior college and had to wait their turn at TCU. There was a time when he considered a move, but he waited. He didn’t feel good about leaving. Under new coach Sonny Dykes, he produced career-best yards (622), carries (107) and touchdowns (7) as a senior in his fifth year.
“I think I always know what I am capable of,” said Demercado, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 team member and outstanding student. “It’s special for me to finally be able to exhibit. It’s just a matter of having the confidence to do it.”
Demercado brings his family, his girlfriend, his best friend Ryder Hawkins, and their parents to the game. Staying with them and arriving in time for practice at 5 a.m. became more manageable.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Demercado said. “When I first got in there, it was like a surreal moment and you look around and say, ‘This is crazy.’ must be ”