DeMarvin Leal grew up around the All-American Bowl.
“Since I was really little, I went to every game every year. Just to be able to play this game is crazy.” he said. “The Alamodome is like probably 30 minutes away from me, so it wasn’t even that far.”
That will January a little easier for the Judson (Converse, Texas) High School star. Next month, he can hop in the car as his All-American Bowl teammates fly to Texas.
Leal was selected to play in the bowl game.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said.
Leal is the No. 3 defensive tackle in Texas and the No. 4 player in the state, according to 247 Sports.
This season, he had 85 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and six sacks to go with four forced fumbles.
“(I’m) explosive,” he said. “Being able to get through two, three people to make a tackle … I can play any position on the defensive line. I’m pretty versatile.”
Getting through multiple defenders sounds like a challenge, but Leal brings a simple approach: “Beat the person in front of me and then onto the next one.”
There’s typically another one waiting.
At 6-foot-4, 280-pounds, there aren’t many who can stop him alone.
Leal already looks college-ready. He is committed to Texas A&M, citing the atmosphere and Aggie network. Though a few hours away, it was one of his favorite universities growing up.
And though Leal said he can play on any position on the defensive line, he’ll be slotted on the strong side.
“I love being a defensive end and being on the strong side (gives) a lot of space to work with,” he said. “I love the pass rush of the game.”
As Leal finishes up his high school career and looks forward to college, he won’t even have to leave Texas.
In a state with a strong high school football culture, he takes pride in being one of the top representatives. But it goes beyond the football field for Leal.
“I just know I have to show that I’m a good person as a whole and just represent my community,” he said.
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.