By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The stoic, steely veneer Kyle Shurmur always wears on a football field leaked for a brief moment. It came in an emotionally cracked voice, as the La Salle senior standout stood there before the area’s high school football elite in accepting the Maxwell Club’s Pennsylvania state player of the year honors.

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Once Kyle saw his mother Jennifer get a little misty eyed, he almost broke, too.

“But I didn’t, I didn’t,” Kyle said, laughing. “It’s an honor to be a part of this special fraternity. This is something that I will carry with me well beyond football. But I was nervous being up there thanking everyone, and when I saw my mom tearing up a little, that kind of got to me. I’m comfortable playing football, not talking in front of a bunch of people.”

Shurmur better get used to it—and fast. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound quarterback, who is headed to Vanderbilt, threw for 2,524 yards and 28 touchdowns last season, according to Tedsilary.com. He was by far the most dangerous quarterback in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and his work is about to be appreciated at another level when he’s honored in Atlantic City at the Maxwell Club’s national banquet at the Tropicana on Friday, March 13.

That night, Shurmur will be honored with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, the Maxwell Club’s Collegiate Player of the Year, and J.J. Watt, as the prestigious club’s Bert Bell pro player of the year.

It’s been a whirlwind 24 months for Shurmur, since being transplanted here from Ohio with his family, when his father Pat took a position with the Eagles as Chip Kelly’s offensive coordinator.

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“We’re extremely proud of Kyle, and he’s really grown a great deal the last two years. We’re fortunate he went to a terrific school,” Pat said. “We’re also extremely proud over the fact Kyle has moved around the last few years. It’s not easy moving around in ways that we have to sometimes as an NFL coach. Kyle came to a new town just before his junior year, he settled into a great place and was really embraced, which is something me and my family won’t forget.

“You’re forced with the adversity of moving and Kyle has stood up to it very well. Kyle is very fortunate. God blessed Kyle with the ability to throw a football. Drew and Brett Gordon [La Salle’s coaches] did an outstanding job of coaching him. I always thought I’d stand in the background and watch it happen, and it was very easy to let it happen.”

Pat said his son has always been serious—especially when it comes to competing. Kyle is a state-caliber competitive swimmer, which means intense morning practices and then a whole day of school ahead.

“I don’t think it’s pressure as much as it is preparation, and Kyle has always prepared himself,” Pat said. “The pressure is something that maybe other people may say that they see. But it’s not the case with him. He’s very even—and he has a good mindset for a quarterback. He keeps it flatline and keeps everyone going. It’s a great quality to have as a quarterback. For Kyle to be a part of the national banquet is going to be a great experience for him. This is something for Kyle that he’ll never forget.”

 

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