The hug that Bears defensive line coach Chris Rumph Sr. shared with his oldest son, Chris II, lasted about 10 seconds. But it was two decades in the making.
The emotional embrace in their Houston home came last Saturday after the 22-year-old, a promising edge rusher from Duke, was selected by the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
"It was surreal," said the elder Rumph, a long-time college assistant who's in his first season with the Bears. "You always see it on TV. Whether you know someone you coached or a friend or somebody you played against, you see them in that situation, you see guys cry and you see emotions and you understand it—but you really don't understand it.
"To be in that situation and to feel it is just remarkable. It's just like all of the goals, all of the sacrifices and the little things in life that you gave up to get to this point is realized, and it was all worth it, so it was unbelievable."
Rumph II watched the draft with his parents, 15-year-old brother Elijah and a childhood friend. After being selected, the Duke product signed autographs for the neighborhood kids who had flocked to the home after hearing the news.
Rumph II appeared in 35 games over the past three seasons for the Blue Devils, registering 124 tackles, 17.5 sacks and 33.0 tackles-for-loss. Last year the 6-3, 235-pounder established career highs with 52 tackles and 8.0 sacks while also recording 11.5 tackles-for-loss.
Most NFL analysts predicted that Rumph would be selected on the second or third day of the draft. But when Day 2 ended Friday night with him still on the board, there was no sulking.
"That wasn't a problem," Rumph Sr. said. "After the third round was over, we basically said, 'Hey, look, don't worry about it. It's going to be a blessing regardless of where you go. It's not if you go, it's when you go. We didn't get drafted today, but we will get drafted tomorrow.'"
The Bears defensive line coach proved to be correct; his son was chosen with the 13th pick in the fourth round by the Chargers. Chris II was upstairs in his room when he received the call from Los Angeles.
"When the call came through, he came running out of the room and running downstairs," Rumph Sr. said. "That was it. You could hear him talking and answering questions, so it was really good."
Having no idea which team would select his son, the Bears defensive line coach didn't waste much time fretting about where Chris II would go.
"My prayer the whole time was that he got around good people and a good system that was good for him, that's going to bring out the best in him," Rumph Sr. said. "That's all I was worried about. I just wanted him to go to a place that he can grow and continue to mature and gives him the best opportunity to display his abilities."