Mexico running back D'Milo Nunnelly not letting feet slow him down
MEXICO - D'Milo Nunnelly knows how to get to the end zone. The Mexico Bulldog running back has done it 11 times this season. However, one year ago, Nunnelly was relearning how to find his way back.
Nunnelly had a bunion, a bony bump at the base of his big toe.
"As I was going, I realized my feet, they wasn't straightened, it wasn't looking the same," he said.
So he and his mother, Turkessa Nunnelly, realized something needed to be done.
"So, the first surgery that we got didn't go as planned, didn't fix anything, so I kept playing sports," D'Milo Nunnelly said. "So we went in on another surgery and fixed it all up."
The second surgery, however, was a bit more intense. Partial amputation and screws were necessary to make sure the toe would stay put.
"I was in every little pain you could think of," he said. "I was probably crying when I was leaving the hospital."
The trouble didn't end there, though.
"Beginning to run again, getting back to full speed, cutting, trying to do juke moves, jumping off of it. To this day I can't jump off of it," Nunnelly said.
His expectations were high and because of that they were difficult to attain.
"In practices, I felt like I couldn't do what I usually did last year," he said. "I would always get down on myself when I mess up on the plays or I didn't do a right block or I just dropped the ball or something. I felt like I let my team down because they know I can do better."
His mother said Mexico quarterback Spencer Thomas never let her son give up.
"Spencer told him 'I'm not going to let you.' It's actually almost come to a fist fight, but Spencer's willing to do whatever it takes to keep D'Milo out there."
Mexico head coach Steve Haag had a good idea D'Milo Nunnelly could come out of this successfully, despite being negative before the second surgery.
"You know he's a good athlete and I don't think missing a little part of toe was going to stop how good of an athlete he is," Haag said.
But, Nunnelly is back.
"100 percent," he said. "Back to the same old D'Milo that it was."
And he's making all kinds of plays with his feet.
"I just want to run down the field right along with him," Turkessa Nunnelly said. "He knows nothing can stop him right now. He's going to try as hard as possible. He might give you a little attitude, but he's going to fight through it."