Eight things to know about Ravens first-round draft pick Marlon Humphrey

By now you know the basics about Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens' top draft pick. The cornerback, taken No. 16 overall Thursday night, is big, fast and aggressive. He comes from Alabama, same as 2014 first-round selection C.J. Mosley.

He's also a former track star, the son of a Crimson Tide legend and among the ever-growing number of athletes who tweeted midgame, only to have an excuse. Here's what you didn't know you absolutely needed to know about the face of the Ravens' rookie class:


1. Humphrey's football career has gone according to plan.

Seven years ago, he wrote down a list of goals. Among them:

  • Play in the Under Armour All-America Game (Humphrey was a must-have prospect and five-star recruit)
  • Win a national championship in college (Alabama beat Clemson in 2015 to claim its third title in five years)
  • Earn All-America honors (Humphrey was among a glut of Crimson Tide stars to do so last season)
  • Leave college early and get taken in the NFL draft (Humphrey departed after three seasons in Tuscaloosa and landed with the Ravens at No. 16)

Ravens fans should hope he has some other team goals farther down that list.

2. Humphrey has lost a combined four games over the past five seasons.

In his junior and senior seasons of high school, he helped lead perennial powerhouse Hoover (Ala.) to a combined 30-0 and consecutive Class 6A state titles.

When Humphrey arrived in Tuscaloosa, in 2014, the winning did not stop. Alabama went 12-2 as he redshirted his first year; 14-1 during his redshirt-freshman season, including that College Football Playoff national title; and 14-1 in his redshirt-sophomore season, which ended with a CFP final loss to Clemson.


3. Humphrey was a world-class hurdler as a teenager.

The summer before his senior year at Hoover, he was 0.12 of a second shy of becoming the world's best 110-meter hurdler ... at least, among 17-year-olds and younger.

His time of 13.24 seconds at the 2013 IAAF World U18 Championships (formerly the IAAF World Youth Championships in Athletics) in Ukraine trailed only Jaheel Hyde's 13.13. Humphrey, meanwhile, was in pain "with every step," which makes his showing all the more impressive: Hyde's mark was a championship record, and he finished first in the 400 hurdles at last year's World U20 Championships.

At Alabama, his track-and-field career lasted only one season.

4. Humphrey's not the most famous family member to have played at Alabama.

Humphrey's father, Bobby, rushed for a then-school-record 3,420 yards and 33 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide from 1985 to 1988, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He also graduated as the all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 4,958.

Bobby earned All-America honors as a sophomore and junior, even finishing 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1987, when Notre Dame's Tim Brown claimed the sport's top individual award.

He later was named to the Alabama All-Century and Alabama Team of the Decade teams, and for the past two years has been on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

5. Humphrey is, however, the most accomplished sibling in his family — for now.

Older brother Maudrecus, a wide receiver, signed with Arkansas coming out of high school but was charged with burglary in May 2012 and later transferred to Alabama-Birmingham.

Older sister Breona ran track at UAB.

Younger sister Brittley is a rising star in hurdles at LSU. Two years ago, she followed her brother Marlon's lead by winning silver at the IAAF World U18 Championships in the 110 hurdles.

Younger brother Marion is a junior at Hoover who runs track and plays basketball. He received recruiting interest from the South Carolina football team as an eighth-grader but has so far avoided the gridiron path his brothers and father took.

6. Humphrey was involved in an "accidental" midgame Twitter controversy.

Two years ago, this message was posted to Humphrey's Twitter account during halftime of a game against Arkansas: "At every Football game somebody extremely drunk wants to test my patience and commitment to God. Every game lol."

Teammates on the Alabama track-and-field team quickly took responsibility. It was all a mistake, if you can believe that.

7. Humphrey held Southern California star JuJu Smith-Schuster to by far his worst game of the season.

In the season opener, a 52-6 Crimson Tide rout, Humphrey finished with as many catches as Smith-Schuster, likely a second-round pick. He also had one more touchdown.

A year after finishing second in the nation in catches, Smith-Schuster was held to one catch for 9 yards on six targets. Humphrey came up with an interception he returned 18 yards for a score.

He had help — from other defensive backs shading over, and from Trojans quarterback Max Browne, who was later benched — but it was a highlight-reel kind of night nonetheless.

"They bracketed him the whole night," Browne told reporters afterward. "But, yeah, did a good job shutting down one of the best receivers in the country. Looking back, maybe there's — like I said, mentioned earlier, we got a 1-on-1 matchup with him and didn't connect. So, obviously, that stings."

8. Humphrey didn't want to talk about the NFL draft last season, not even with his father.

He followed the college-athlete handbook to the letter by declining to talk to reporters about his professional prospects while the Crimson Tide prepared for the Peach Bowl in December.

His father's inquiries didn't fare any better, either. And Bobby Humphrey played in the NFL.

"Anytime he would bring it up, I'd tell him don't bring it up to me, so he really hasn't had the opportunity," Marlon Humphrey said.

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