While growing up, Mike Rumph used to spend all day outside playing football with his neighborhood friends. And don’t get him started on how serious his family was while watching games on TV. “My family made a big deal about football when I was younger,” the 6-ft cornerback for the St. Louis Rams said. “I remember seeing them as gladiators. After watching them on TV, I knew I wanted to play professional football, too.”
A native of Delray Beach, Florida, Mike knew that his work ethic—combined with his passion for the game—would prove to be an equation of success. “After I realized I wanted to play football, I knew I had to be more responsible and work harder than everybody else,” he explained. “While playing high school and college football, I was always the first on the field and the last to leave. I knew that I would have to outwork others in order to have an advantage. Over the years, I’ve learned to play smarter and understand what would work for me better in order to be a better player.”
Mike’s hard work on the field in high school led him to the University of Miami, where he was a quiet, but productive player compiling 117 tackles, two forced fumbles and six interceptions. He was second team Big East selection his sophomore and senior years and a first team selection his junior year. He was also part of the Hurricane squad that won the National Championship game against Nebraska in the Rose Bowl in 2001.
When he entered the NFL draft in 2002, Mike was the 27th overall pick in the first round and was selected by the San Francisco 49ers. Originally a cornerback, the 49ers switched him to safety due to his strong tackling ability, and in 2006, he was traded to the Washington Redskins. In March 2007, Mike joined the St. Louis Rams.