During elementary and middle school Isaiah Humphries said he had to deal with people talking negatively about him and even the sport of football in general. He maintains he wasn’t bullied or anything like that but what was taking place did bother him.
Going to a predominantly white magnet school, he was different from everybody else in terms of skin color. He was black kid who could play sports but also was very intelligent and it wasn’t received well.
“When I got to school, everybody [had a problem], they hated that I could do both, they hated me and they kind of tried to cast me out because of that. At first I didn’t realize it was happening. You could see it with certain people who would try to interfere with what I wanted to do with my life. ‘You need to stop playing football, it’s not good for you, stop doing this, stop playing sports, it’s never going to work out’ [they would say]. Teachers and the principal were telling me that and in P.E. I was discouraged even though we had to do it because it’s the law but I got discouraged because nobody wanted me to do anything. Going through middle school, when kids get older, kids are mean honestly.”
From his perspective, people were jealous that he can do what they do and they couldn’t do what he could do. He was smart and he was an athlete.
“When I got there, we didn’t have a good football team but we had a couple guys that were really good so we’d have our game and in class [the next day], the teacher would tell us how much football isn’t going to work out and it’s not going to take you anywhere in life. You hear that for seven or eight years straight, it kind of takes a toll on you. You hear that from everybody and [they] don’t want to hang out with you because you’re an athlete. It’s really because they’re jealous that they can’t play and you’re smart so you can do what they do and they can’t do what you do. So they make fun of you, talk about all the time and you feel like everybody is against you.”
He still got some of the same early on in high school. He set a goal for himself. Isaiah Humphries said he was going to make the varsity football team by his sophomore year at Sachse High School/Sachse, Texas.
People told him he wouldn’t and he proved them wrong by beating out seniors for playing time and once that happened the view of him in people’s minds changed.
“…That’s when I realized after all these years and all this stuff happening, guys saw the light. Then [they were saying] ‘hey you want to hang out?’ ‘You want to go somewhere?’ Everybody split. When everybody split, I realized I started making a name for myself and people started taking me seriously. They actually appreciated that I was smart and I could play football.”
Isaiah Humphries has learned so much from his father, Leonard Humphries, who played in the NFL and CFL in the 90s. Isaiah Humphries started playing football when he was nine years old and talked about the time he realized that he was a special player.
“When I was nine, I was just trying to be like my dad. In seventh grade was when I really started liking it a lot. I remember we played one game, this game had the kind of feel [where] there was a lot of people so it was a big game,” he said. “You start hearing people cheering and stuff and you start to get a feeling. That’s when I realized, when I scored for the first time in seventh grade and everybody just went crazy, I was like, ‘I’m hooked on this, that’s what I like. I love this feeling.’”
Isaiah Humphries was born in Indianapolis, moved to Chicago and now lives in Rowlett, Texas. He believes family is very important. Since he has no other family living in Texas besides his grandmother he said, him, his parents, little brother and little sister have grown very close.
“…It’s good to have a good relationship with your family because most of the time, they’re the ones that have your back when [no one else does].”
He also believes that his father has had the biggest impact on him growing up and even now. That is because Isaiah’s father doesn’t want him to go through the same things that he has gone through. Isaiah’s father didn’t have his father in his life so he made it his mission to be there for Isaiah and his siblings.
“…Everything that his parent’s did he’s not doing so that inspires me a lot to work through issues, persevere through anything and just stick with it. Once you make a promise, keep it. That really inspires me so just seeing my dad trying to make a better life for me than he had, that just means a lot to me,” Isaiah Humphries said. “With football, he played at the highest level so obviously that inspires me too and has been a big influence because he’s been through everything I’ve been through and more. In learning what to do in certain situations, he’s created a path for my life.”
In regards to football, Humphries said his father gives him advice but also lets him figure out things on his own. Things like: Get an education and stay humble. Those are simple things and common knowledge to most but for Isaiah Humphries, those pieces of advice mean a lot more because his dad played on the highest level.
Humphries is now a junior safety for the Sachse High School Mustangs. He is a four star 2018 recruit, ranked as the 18th best safety and 24th best player in Texas according to the 247Sports Composite. He has 12 scholarship offers from the following schools: California-Berkeley, Colorado, Duke, Houston, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Penn State, Southern Methodist, Texas-San Antonio, Vanderbilt, Illinois State and Jackson State.
He likes Penn State, Florida State, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma, California-Berkeley, Northwestern and Ohio State because of their academics, the way he fits into the defensive schemes and how the coaches are.
He wants to make his commitment decision at the end of his junior season this year and feels he could make it comfortably with the choices above. If he doesn’t do it after his junior season is done, a decision will definitely come before his final year at Sachse High School so he can just focus on making the transition to the school he commits to.
Sachse Mustangs head football coach Mark Behrens praised Humphries for being a smart player who has become more physical and has a solid understanding of the game. He said that he will remember Isaiah when he leaves the program because Behrens never had to worry about his play on the field, it’s all business to him.
In 2015, the Sachse Mustangs went 7-4 (4-3 District) and Humphries recorded 22 tackles (13 solo), two fumble recoveries and an interception. He recalls his excitement when he got his first offer from Southern Methodist University as a freshman.
“It’s been pretty hectic but it’s been great actually. I got my first offer sometime after the season my freshman year. The first one is the hardest one to get. I remember when it happened because I was in class and my coach called me down and I was like ‘coach what’s up?’ He was like ‘Isaiah I have to tell you something.’ I was like ‘Ahhhh I’m in trouble, I’m in trouble. Man I’m going to have to run.’ I didn’t know what happened. [I asked him] ‘Coach did I miss a workout? I don’t even miss anything. I’m supposed to be somewhere on the weekend,’ because it was a Monday. …So I went down there and he’s like ‘congratulations.’ I was like ‘hold up wait what?’”
He was so excited that he almost jumped out of his skin he said and was smiling for the rest of that day. After that, more offers and letters kept coming in and more coaches were showing up at Mustang practices.
“We have a couple other guys at my school that are high profile guys so sometimes we’d be practicing and there would be 10-15 coaches out there watching. There are schools out there struggling to get one to come,” Humphries said.
He added that the coach exposure is great for the players because coaches who may be coming to see one player can see a guy like Isaiah or someone else.
“Before I got an offer, my dad was talking to my friend Jalen Mayden, his mom, Ms. Katrina. He’s been going places since freshman year, since eighth grade because I guess he’s been one of the top people. My dad was like ‘we’re not going to all of these places.’ He had the old school mentality where they come to you when they come to you [and in your] senior year, you might get some offers. ‘We’re not going to have to go to those places ever. Too much money for no reason.’ He didn’t know it was different because he’s never been through the new [way].”
Isaiah Humphries and his family have travelled from California all the way to Florida with recruiting stops in Maryland, Arkansas and up the coast.
The thing that Humphries enjoys most is the traveling and he is thankful that football has been able to take him places that he has always wanted to go and help him meet people that are where he wants to be.
“If you were to ask me in [middle school] would I be doing this, I would’ve never said yes. Even freshman year of high school, I would’ve never thought that the turnaround would be like that. I always followed the four star, five star guys and I was like ‘dang, I wish I could be like that.’ Next thing you know, I am that. That’s probably the coolest thing.”
On and off the field, a football program is going to get the best out of Isaiah Humphries.
“On the field, you’ll get interceptions, get turnovers, and get everything, great play and a hard working [individual] and definitely a leader. Off the field, you’re getting a great student, you’re never going to have to worry about me failing a class, and you won’t have to watch my grades. [I won’t be] like one of those people that always seems to fail something. …I have all A’s all the time and I don’t take normal classes, everything’s advanced placement. Definitely the academics part, [I could] bring up the team GPA I guess.”
As far as who models his game after, Ed Reed, Jalen Ramsey and his father are guys he studies.
“My dad, he always throws his VHS tapes in the TV and stuff. He puts them in there and [says], ‘watch this Isaiah, watch this,’ and he was pretty great, he was pretty cold. He shows me the stuff that he did. Jalen Ramsey’s in the league now but when he was in college, I was watching him and he’s a very versatile, he goes everywhere and plays everything pretty much. I try to take pieces from everybody because I want to be an all-around good player, have certain attributes.”
Isaiah Humphries just wants to get better, make plays, win a state title and district title and get a couple more offers.
“…I just want the ones that I want. Everybody is always like ‘I want 40 or 50 offers,’ Why? Forty or 50 letters from 40 or 50 schools, your mailbox is going to be full, you’re going to have nowhere to put it. That’s a good problem to have,” Humphries said.
If scholarships were transferrable, Humphries said, his entire team would have offers. He doesn’t like to see people left behind and he’ll help out any way he can whether it’s on the field or off of it.