There Are “Humphrey” Days Until Alabama Football
Fall camp is underway, and football is close enough that you can smell it in the air. Students are returning to campus, ESPN is pushing out college football hype videos, and gameday outfits are being planned. With only 26 days until Alabama kicks off their national title-defending campaign in Atlanta against the Hurricanes, let’s take a look at two of the best to wear ‘26’ at the Capstone - Bobby and Marlon Humphrey.
Bobby, the father of Marlon, arrived in Tuscaloosa in the fall of 1985. That season, the running back joined a corps consisting of notable names like Craig Turner, Kerry Goode and Mike Bobo. Bobby Humphrey, a native of Birmingham, finished his freshman season with 99 rushing attempts for 502 yards, 146 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns. He was ‘Bama’s second-leading rusher. The Crimson Tide finished the season 9-2-1 with a Van Tiffin-led victory in the Iron Bowl and a 24-3 beatdown against USC in the Aloha Bowl.
In his sophomore season, Bobby Humphrey dramatically improved by averaging 6.2 yards a carry. He rushed for 1,471 yards and 15 rushing TDs. Not only could Humphrey run, but the back also became a solid receiving option for quarterback Mike Shula. Humphrey accounted for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 22 receptions. After losing the Iron Bowl in ‘86, Alabama took down Washington in the Sun Bowl to finish 10-3.
Bobby Humphrey’s junior year was just as kind to him in the stat book. Rushing 238 times in 11 games, he gained 1,255 yards and found the endzone 11 times. The 1987 Crimson Tide had a slight dropoff - they finished 7-5 and lost their last three games, including a meeting with Michigan in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa.
Unfortunately for Bobby, two foot injuries - one in spring of 1988 and one against Kentucky during the third week of the season - ended his college career. Humphrey ended his time at Alabama with 3,420 rushing yards, 523 receiving yards and 40 total touchdowns. He was named an All-American twice.
After Alabama, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos and also spent time with the Dolphins and Bills. Once his NFL career concluded, he returned home to Birmingham, where he coached the Birmingham Steeldogs of the Arena Football League.
While Bobby was coaching the Steeldogs, at home, his son Marlon was growing up in a household centered around sports. After graduating from Hoover High in 2014, Marlon decided to follow after his dad and wear the “crimson and white 26.”
Marlon was redshirted for the 2014 season, but he never missed a beat, making his debut in 2015 with a “bang.” Instead of being a running back, Marlon flipped to the defense and played defensive back. Marlon finished the year with 45 tackles and 3.5 tackles-for-a-loss. He also forced two fumbles and caught three interceptions. Alabama dropped an early season game to Ole Miss in Bryant-Denny, but the Tide recovered. The team won 12 straight games on the way to a 45-40 national championship victory over the Clemson Tigers. Marlon served a special role in this title game, recovering an Alabama onside kick.
The next season, the redshirt sophomore accumulated 36 total tackles and three tackles-for-a-loss. One of his two interceptions was returned to the house for a “pick-six.” The 2016 squad won 14 games in a row, blowing through Auburn, an SEC Championship against Florida and a semifinal against Washington before falling to Clemson in the national title game. Marlon, like his dad, was named as an All-American for the Tide.
Marlon was drafted 16th overall to the Baltimore Ravens, where he currently plays. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice and was named as a first-team all-pro.
The Humphreys are one of the most notable names in Tuscaloosa. Since the 80s, Alabama fans have been repping the Birmingham natives with pride. Both of the father/son duo wore No. 26, which is why today - 26 days from kickoff - we celebrate one of the royal families of Crimson Tide!