Former Bama great and 1st Round Draft Pick Bobby Humphrey couldn’t be more proud.
The elder Humphrey was recruited by and played for Ray Perkins in a “new” pro-style offense as a running back. The kid who grew up parking cars and selling cokes at Legion Field tore through defenses and record books playing for the Tide.
Three decades later, his son Marlon is doing just as much damage, but “little” Humphrey is wreaking his havoc on Nick Saban’s defense.
Another thing that’s changed is Bobby’s perspective on the game.
“It’s a different level of excitement,” Humphrey said. “When you are playing the game you are so involved in the outcome, you have to control your emotions. I’m not a former player when it comes to watching the game now. I’m just a fan, I can let myself go.”
The Birmingham native was a featured guest at the annual Chattahoochee Valley Bama Club spring dinner Monday night along with defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley and university president Dr. Stuart Bell.
Before speaking at the Green Island Country Club, Humphrey smiled describing the experience of watching Marlon start for Alabama in a 45-40 win over Clemson for the national title.
“Unbelievable,” Humphrey said. “I was very happy to enjoy that moment with him and be able to enjoy it with my wife. It’s an appreciation. I never won a championship playing football at any level.”
In the national title game, Marlon Humphrey recovered the Tide’s onside kick in the fourth quarter and had five tackles, one for a loss, with two pass breakups. Winning a championship was one of the goals Humphrey set for himself before stepping on campus two years ago.
“He’s trying to achieve greatness,” Bobby Humphrey said. “He has a goal of being an All-American, he has team goals and other individual goals. He wrote them all down before he got there and he set those goals high.”
Underclassmen are notoriously forbidden from speaking to the media, but there’s no doubt that the son has all of the drive, ambition and athletic ability of the father. He’s assuredly as proud of his father as is father is of him.
As a defensive back in Saban’s juggernaut defensive machine, Marlon is not likely to smash record books like Ol’ Dad did. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t making a name for himself. He made a key interception against Georgia in Samford Stadium last season, and we all remember his textbook catch of the fourth quarter onsides kick, a play many point to as the Gettysburg of the 2016 National Championship Game.
When the game is on the line, the Humphreys have always seemed to be at the right place, at the right time, making the right play.
The elder Humphrey never won a championship in football. Humphrey the younger already has at least one.
They sky is the limit for Marlon and Ol’ Dad looks on proudly.