0513 humphrey track Hoover
Siblings Marlon and Brittley Humphrey pose together after both took home state titles in hurdles events during the 2013 State Indoor Track Meet in February.
Hoover High School junior Marlon Humphrey has a lot to live up to. He’s the middle child of a former Alabama and NFL running back and a UAB track star. The third of five children, he has followed in the footsteps of his two older siblings, while setting the bar high for his younger sister and brother.
Marlon capped off the 2012-2013 indoor track season with state championships in the 60-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles and the men’s 4x400-meter relay. He holds state records in all four events.
During the outdoor championships in May, Marlon claimed a state sweep of the 400-meter and shattered a 23-year-old state record by nearly half a second en route to victory in the 110-meter hurdles.
His third state championship of the weekend was also a state record; his 36.33 time in the 300-meter hurdles was .55 seconds ahead of the old record and nearly two seconds faster than second place.
“It’s pretty special to win,” he said. “To me, it always feels better to know you ran a better time than you ran previously. If I won with a pretty bad time, I wouldn’t be that excited.”
In addition to running track, Marlon has followed in his father’s footsteps and plays football as a star cornerback for the Buccaneers.
By the start of his 11th grade year, Marlon had drawn massive attention from major college programs. So far he’s received offers from seven Southeastern Conference schools, three Atlantic Coast Conference teams and Michigan State University. A total of 14 colleges have shown interest in Marlon.
While Marlon has one more year of high school to complete his Hoover legacy and decide on his future, his younger sister, Brittley, has burst onto the scene at Hoover as a freshman.
Already she has started to live up to the Humphrey legacy at Hoover; Brittley and Marlon shared the medal podium several times in her ninth grade season.
This year, Brittley helped the Hoover girls reach their fifth Class 6A state championship in a decade. She dominated the field in both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.
“In elementary school, I would see Marlon doing hurdles,” Brittley said. “I would always want to try it, and I actually started racing in fifth grade summer track.”
Athletics have been programmed into the Humphreys’ life from an early age. Their father, Bobby, was a two-time all-American in the mid-1980s before playing in the NFL for five years.
However, Brittley and Marlon learned their track skills from their mother, Barbara. She holds a 25-year-old UAB record in the 400-meter sprint, which has become one of Marlon’s signature events at Hoover.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Barbara Humphrey is one of her children’s biggest supporters, as well as a coach to Marlon and Brittley.
“She always helps us out with whatever we need help with,” Brittley said. “Whenever we need tips or anything track-related, she always has the answers.”
Two other members of the Humphrey family had left their mark on the Hoover track program before Marlon’s career began. Breona followed in her mother’s footsteps and is in the midst of her freshman year at UAB. Maudrecus, the first of the Humphrey children, ended his career at Hoover in 2010.
With all of his success, Marlon still has one more goal in mind before his time at Hoover is done: beating Maudrecus’ time in the 100-meter.
“He’s a fast guy, and looking back on last year, I never thought I’d run anywhere as close as him in the 100,” Marlon said. “Now I’m about .2 (seconds) off, so I think if I work hard I can get pretty close to his record.”