Alabama Recruiting Update: Marlon Humphrey college choice about more than football
By Dave Friedman
Marlon Humphrey is one of the top football recruits in the country. The 6’1” cornerback from Hoover High School will decide at some point whether he is going to play college ball at Alabama, Mississippi State, or Florida State. The son of former Tide, Denver Broncos, and Miami Dolphins running back Bobby Humphrey weights 180 pounds but interestingly, his college choice might not fully be a football based decision.
Humphrey is probably the best prep football player in Alabama. He is definitely the best hurdler. He has won 13 state titles in track, captured two events at the World Youth Track and Field Trials in Illinois, and during July finished second in the world in his age group in the 110 meter hurdles at an event in Donetsk, Ukraine.
“He loves track, he wants to do both in college,” said Hoover football coach Josh Niblett. “I think running track is a major concern. He wants to run during his first year in college, during that first spring. There’s no doubt about it.”
Marlon Humphrey is the middle of Barbara and Bobby Humphrey’s five kids. His older brother Mardrecus is a receiver at Arkansas. His older sister Breona runs track at UAB. While Bobby ran for nearly 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore at Alabama in 1986, and finished his four-year career with over 3,400 yards rushing and 40 touchdowns, Barbara was no slouch on the field either. Her 400-meter sprint record still stands at UAB more than a quarter century after she ran 53.30.
While track is something that Marlon Humphrey loves, his football coach believes that Humphrey’s success is more than simply talent.
“He does what it takes to be the best,” said Niblett. “He works to be a success. He’s an intense competitor. He trains so much that there’s not a lot of time for other things.”
The training has paid off on the gridiron. Niblett is impressed by Marlon Humphrey’s entire arsenal of talent.
“He has great ball skills,” said Niblett. “He has unbelievable speed. He’s so physical. He is great in run support and he reads the offense. He’s also an excellent kick returner. He’s just a really special athlete. If we had to play him at wide receiver, he has good enough ball skills to succeed.”
There is no set date that Humphrey is scheduled to make his college choice but he is planing to play in the Under Armour All-American Game in January. Players frequently make their announcement at that event in Florida.
Niblett has urged Humphrey to enjoy his senior year of high school because, “when school gets out, life will go fast.” That being said, the coach is confident that whatever school he chooses, fans of that team will thoroughly enjoy his talents for three or four seasons.
“If he adapts to college life, and makes good decisions, he has a chance to go play one day in the NFL,” said Niblett. “We talk about making the most out of opportunities day in and day out. He has ball skills, elite speed, and is physical. The sky’s the limit for him. He can raise the bar when he wants to.”
Maudrecus does not play football for Arkansas. He started at Arkansas but got into some trouble and is now trying to gain eligibility at UAB. He sat out last year and now has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the 2013 season.