By Don Bell


EXTON, Pa. (CBS) — The gym at Saints Philip and James School in Exton was full of love and support for Matt Ryan. They held a pep rally for their most famous alum who’s playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Matt’s parents were there and the reality is starting to set in.

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“This is it, there is no bigger game than what he is about to play in on Sunday. That realization has just set in. It’s massive, it’s massive,” said Ryan’s dad Mike.

His mother echoed that sentiment. “This is a big deal. We are all excited,” said Bernie Ryan. “We never really…Matt always had aspirations that this would happen for him. His father and I, not so much,” she admitted.

She proved that her son always had lofty dreams. “Matt’s yearbook here…when they asked what his aspirations were, it was to be an NFL player.”

Even when Ryan was in grade school, he had one trait that all quarterbacks have.

“We played a lot of football in gym and a lot of football at recess. You never know when they are that young whether or not they are going to be that good, but I knew he was going to be a leader,” said his former gym teacher Wendy Schenk.

His parents can’t wait for the game, even though it’ll be hard for mom to watch.

“I have a hard time watching. I usually have my head in my hands, you know, head down and Mike fills me in whether it was good or bad.”