With 2014 point guard Robert Cartwright in tow, and with frontcourt seniors Dwight Powell, Josh Huestis, and John Gage all set to graduate this spring, the Stanford coaching staff has focused its recruiting attention on several 2014 big men. Among them is 6-foot-9, 205-pound Phoenix Sunnyslope center Michael Humphrey.
Few, if any, prospects saw their stock rise as precipitously as Humphrey's did this past summer. A relative unknown with no scholarship offers in June, Humphrey turned himself into a national commodity with some impressive performances on the AAU circuit, drawing the attention of the likes of Louisville and Indiana. The four star prospect has since cut his list to a final five of Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona, and Stanford.
Humphrey has scheduled official visits to all five, and, after traveling to Vanderbilt in early September, took a trip up to The Farm this past weekend.
"I really enjoyed [my trip to Stanford]," Humphrey said. "It was fun. I went to the football game [against Arizona State] and that was awesome. And the rest of the weekend, I just spent time getting to know the team and the coaches better. Also getting to see the campus was something I really enjoyed. I really got a sense for how great a place it was."
Humphrey, the starting quarterback on his high school football team, arrived early Saturday morning and almost immediately had to switch gears after a Friday night football game in Phoenix.
"When I got there Saturday, I played pick up with the guys, and it went really well," he said. "I was a little bit sore after the game on Friday, but I definitely held my own."
Humphrey admitted that playing football has made the basketball recruitment process a bit difficult, but not so much so as to overcome his love for the gridiron. Humphrey did assure that he will "definitely" be playing only basketball at the next level.
In addition to getting to know the current team, Humphrey also spent much of his time on The Farm with fellow 2014 recruit and Stanford commit Robert Cartwright.
"Robert was up there, and I got to know him really well," he said. "I got to play with him a little bit, so I enjoyed that. He was the only one [recruit] up there while I was up there, but it was great getting to learn more about him."
Humphrey, listed as a center in Scout's database, also mentioned that the Stanford staff foresaw him playing almost exclusively power forward if he were to come on board.
Looking ahead, Humphrey said he plans to complete all three of his remaining visits before making a decision. He is off to Notre Dame this weekend and will finish off with UCLA (Oct. 12) and Arizona (Oct. 19).
Academics may end up taking on a leading role in his decision making process.
"I want to be in a great place, definitely somewhere where I feel really comfortable," Humphrey said. "And obviously, I'm going to the school for basketball, but I also want to go there and get a great education."
Distance from home, conversely, may not factor in much at all.
"[Playing close to home] something that I've taken into consideration, but I don't really think distance is a big deal at all," he said. "Everything is just like an hour or two plane ride away, so that's not bad at all. I think that I'd feel comfortable going away to places, so I don't think distance is an issue."
Humphrey plans to commit by the November signing period.
David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.
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