Uncle-to-nephew advice between Chris Rumph and Donte Rumph has no doubt had a positive influence on the latter, Kentucky's senior defensive line prospect. But suffice it to say any sage wisdom Alabama's defensive line coach has for Donte now will have to wait a week with the Crimson Tide visiting Kentucky Saturday.
As kentucky.com reports, Uncle Chris drew the line in the sand on Sunday with a "Roll Tide!" text message. The younger Rumph replied, "We'll see on Saturday." But long before Saturday, Chris Rumph began helping Donte get to where he is today.
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"He's always been kind of a sideline coach," Donte said. "He's been a great influence on me and what I've become."
The man in the middle of the relationship has no doubts about whom to pull for Saturday.
"That's my son," said Donte's father, and Chris' brother, Dennis Rumph. "Gotta cheer for my son. I hope everything goes well for both, but I got to cheer for my son."
Rumph (6-foot-3, 320 pounds) has been slowed by a minor shoulder issue this season, but has played every game. He's made just 11 tackles, however, and as a marginal NFL prospect, he'll need a strong second half of the season to establish himself. And there would be no better time to begin that process than against the defending national champion Crimson Tide.
Miami Dolphins 2008 second-round pick Phillip Merling, also a defensive lineman, is a cousin to Donte.