At only 20 years old, Marlon Humphrey is one of the youngest players here in Indy. But spend any amount of time talking to him, and you’ll think you’re in the presence of a grizzled veteran.
“I had to mature quickly in college at Alabama,” Marlon said. “During my freshman year, I participated in two sports—track and football. That’s not something that just anyone can do and it really made me grow up quickly.”
His time in track also shows on the gridiron where his explosiveness, acceleration, and quickness are second to none. “I ran the 400 and that definitely helped during football,” he said. “It really benefitted my speed but it also helped me stay out of trouble. Whereas most guys were in their offseason, I was still in an actual season and still competing.”
That’s another thing that makes Marlon stand out—his competitive fire. He always wants to take on the opponent’s best receiver and is singularly focused on winning every snap.
“Part of what made Alabama so great for me was the level of talent,” Marlon explained. “There are so many 5-star recruits and great players on that roster. Every practice, you’re taking on some of the best that college football has to offer.”
Those practices, which had to be legendary, will go a long way at the next level. “In the pros, almost every player was an All-American when they were in college,” he said. “It’s going to be a whole new speed.”
Marlon will be put to the test early and often during his rookie season as he’ll be asked to go toe-to-toe with some of the most freakish athletes in the game. “It’ll be crazy going against receivers like Odell and Julio,” he said. “These are guys who I’ve always watched on TV, but it’s what’s next for me and I’m excited for the challenge.”
It also helps that he has the ultimate lifeline to turn to when he needs advice. His dad, Bobby, was a legendary running back at Alabama and went on to play for Denver and Miami in the pros as well.
“The advice he gave me for the pros is the same advice he’s always given me,” Marlon said. “He told me ‘You got to this point in your career by being yourself on and off the field. Just keep doing that and everything else will come naturally.’”