ARLINGTON, Va. (7News) — The DMV is a hotbed for athletic talent. What has, for years, been described as a basketball area is, in reality, so much more.
Look no further than the University of Michigan football roster.
Not only is Michigan star running back Blake Corum from Marshall, Virginia, roughly 50 miles west of D.C., but a handful of other players also have ties to the area.
For freshman tight end Jalen Hoffman, it wasn't long ago he was making an impact on the football field at Lake Braddock High School.
"Really thinking about it, a year ago, if I told myself that I would be playing for a National Championship in a couple days, I would tell myself I'm crazy," Hoffman told 7News Sports Natalie Spala. "It shows that anyone can get there if you work hard. It doesn't matter what anyone says. Hard work will always pay off."
His father, Terry Hoffman, has had a front-row seat to his son's hard work and now gets to watch him reap the benefits.
"It doesn't get any better than this as a freshman to come into a program like this and you win the Rose Bowl, you win the Big Ten, and now you're going for a National Championship," Terry Hoffman said.
"He doesn't realize the magnitude of it yet I don't think," Terry added. "If they win this National Championship, they're going to go down in history as probably the best football team in Michigan history, and he's going to be remembered."
While the Hoffman's journey is just beginning, John and Karen Johnson know theirs is coming to a close. Their son, Quinten Johnson, is currently a graduate student and defensive back for the Wolverines. Monday will be his last game with the maize and blue.
"He was a champion at Beacon House, he was a champion at St. John's [College High School], and now he's going to Michigan and he's a champion at Michigan," John said. "We've been fortunate to have a really good ride."
"We've been to The Fiesta Bowl, The Citrus Bowl, The Orange Bowl, The Rose Bowl," Karen added. "Now we're going to Houston, and we get to enjoy these opportunities off of his back. We are just so proud of him and the memories our families are creating because of his hard work."
7News also spoke with Sharlene Wallace, mother of Michigan defensive back, Josh Wallace.
"This journey has been very exciting, but at the same time, everything has happened so fast."
Josh played four years at UMass before transferring to Michigan in June.
"He entered the portal two days before graduation so we haven't had a moment to breathe since," Sharlene said. "It has been an incredible journey and we could not be more happy for him."
No. 1 Michigan kicks off against No. 2 Washington from NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday at 7:30 pm.