Early in the year Ben Humphreys and Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei are enjoying a 5-0 overall record with a huge matchup against fellow power St. John Bosco looming this Firday.
“The season has gone very well so far,” Humphreys said. “I’ve been limited to two games with a knee injury, but I’m back to 100 percent now with no issues.”
The knee injury in question was classified as just a strain that required rest. It cost him three games, but the future Blue Devil says he’s not experienced any further aggravation since returning to play receiver and free safety for his team.
A season ago Humphreys played outside linebacker, the position he was recruited to play for Duke, but with his team’s roster needs this year, his coached changed his positions which brought along some new challenges.
“Open field tackling is a huge adjustment for me with the move. It’s a big part of the game and it’s an adjustment and, really, a totally different game when you have a running back coming at you full speed. Dealing with it will help me in the long run though and I’m getting more comfortable.”
The extended tryout at safety seems to fit the Duke mold and projection of the four star prospect as well.
“They are recruiting me as an outside linebacker first, but they’ve told me I could play any of four positions in their defense. It just depends on where they say I fit.”
Regardless of where he fits on the field, Humphreys says he’s found his complete fit on and off it by selecting Duke from a high major offer sheet that included much of the Pac 12 - many of whom still reach out and test his resolve to sign with Coach Cutcliffe’s program in the Spring.
“Most schools backed off when I announced, but not all of them. I am being respectful toward them when they contact me, but I won’t be changing my mind. I’m solid to Duke.”
The visit to Durham for the game against Kansas helped solidify his feelings toward his future program thanks to the atmosphere and relationships he found.
“I’d followed them every week, but the visit was everything I expected and more. Coach Faris followed up by coming out here last week to watch my game. My relationship with Duke gets stronger every day and they know how much I love the school. Our relationship has changed since the commitment in that now it’s more about how my team is doing, and what I’ve been up to. On the field we talk about how my game will translate to the next level. Really, the way the people, players, and staff embraced us on the visit was special.”
Having put the recruiting process to bed after a couple of years of hard sales jobs by a who’s who of college coaches, Humphreys has a bit of advice for younger players looking to begin the process.
“Remember that the school that is best for you is the one you can see yourself attending if there was no more football tomorrow, and which one gives you the best opportunities to be successful if that happened.”
Humprheys is rated as a four star prospect by Scout.com and the No. 15 outside linebacker in the nation.