RECRUITING: Pumphrey chooses Aztecs

Canyon Springs running back Donnel Pumphrey was born in San Diego, where he was raised early in his life.

He’ll be returning for college.

Pumphrey, who will be a senior for the Pioneers this season, made an oral commitment to San Diego State on Tuesday. He picked the Aztecs over scholarship offers from UNLV, Duke, Oregon State, New Mexico and New Mexico State.

“I just want to play in front of family,” Pumphrey said. “It’d be better for me, all the support they can give me.”

The 5-foot-9-inch, 170-pound Pumphrey is an elusive but durable runner. He rushed for 1,647 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior on his way to second-team all-state honors as the Pioneers (7-3) won the Northeast League title.

Pumphrey said he moved back and forth from San Diego and Southern Nevada after sixth grade before settling in at Canyon Springs.

He looks forward to playing in a major conference. In 2013, San Diego State will leave the Mountain West Conference for the Big East Conference.

“The Big East, they produce a lot of running backs,” Pumphrey said.

Pumphrey is at least the second local in the 2013 class to commit to San Diego State. Foothill receiver/safety Tyler Morris picked the Aztecs in May.