Pernell McPhee, ex-Pahokee football star, gets to the Super Bowl despite tough year on and off field

PAHOKEE, Fla. - From the Muck Bowl to the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee has come a long way.

It's especially true considering his great-grandma Lela Osborne's, small Pahokee one bedroom apartment is where he grew up.

"Where would he sleep," NewsChannel 5's Ryan Calhoun asked."

"In my bed," she replied. "I would sleep on the couch anyway. I'm small don't take that much for me."

At 6'3, 280 pounds, he was too big to fit on her little couch.

He was also too big for THE 4' 10" Osborne to wake him up in the morning so he could go to high school.  

"I'd go in there and get some water in a glass and I throw it in his face and he'd get up right then," she said.

As hard as it was for him to wake up in high school, the past year has been much tougher.

In February, his cousin Tabais Felton was found dead in a canal not too far from his great grandma's house.

"That was my grandson too," she said. "Yeah we took it pretty hard. That was hard."

Five months later, McPhee had to come home for the funeral of the girl who was like a sister to him, Shaqoya Butler.

The 26-year-old was found shot and killed in her car in Belle Glade in July.

Then in August, Edwin Coleman died of a sudden heart attack.

McPhee said Coleman was like a father to him.  

"He was a nice man," Osborne said about Coleman. "He was a nice and sweet good man and when he passed that hurt (McPhee)."

Now after three funerals  and suffering numerous injuries during the season, the second year player will play in the Super Bowl Sunday.

"I'm excited," Osborne said with a big smile on her face. "I'm so excited I don't know what in the world to do. I'm just glad for him. God bless him."

Osborne said she's leaving for New Orleans Thursday.

"I think they're going to win, 24 to 3," she said.

If her prediction holds true, it will be the happy ending to a very unhappy year.

"That will be so great for him," Osborne added.

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