LODI (CBS13) — Not everyone can go to the Super Bowl, unless you’re family with the Carolina Panthers’ David Mayo.
The rookie linebacker and the youngest of seven is flying his family to his Super Bowl debut at Levi’s Stadium, including his sister Heather Schlenger and her husband Chris.
“He’s the baby of the family, but we always like to say, ‘Save the best for last,’” she said. “It’s really a dream come true to see him achieve his goals that I knew he had from a very young age. He’s a very determined kid.”
And her opinion isn’t completely biased.
Former trainer Latef Grim says Mayo knows how to put in the work to get where he wants.
“I said, ‘Alright man every day we are gonna start here with 500 pushups and every week I need you to add five.’ So, that’s where we started at with the 500 pushups and he started adding five and I remember he would text me that hey man I banged them out and I would go wow, OK,” he said.
Mayo turned down a full-ride scholarship to live in a shed while playing at Santa Monica College, so Division 1 schools would give him a chance. He went on to play at Texas State where he graduated before signing with the Panthers.
Sunday will be a day no one in the family plans on missing.
“We’re all coming together from all over the United States, where we all ended up, to go to the Super Bowl. When it’s your younger brother and it’s his rookie year and the Panthers are gonna be on the field, are you gonna go? The answer is yes,” Schlenger said.