National Rank at DT: 8
Overall State Rank: 18
Star Rating: ****
An Inside Texas conversation with Cedar Hill defensive line coach Corey Jennings on Jarvis Humphrey.
Inside Texas: From talking with him, sounds like Jarvis is very involved in the athletics program.
Corey Jennings: Yeah, that's kind of an understatement. He's going to throw track for us. He's done powerlifting before. Pretty much anything we've asked him to do he's done.
IT: What makes him so special as athlete? I mean, he's big, we all know that, but what makes him special?
Jennings: I'd say his motor. Very physical on the football field and he runs well for a big guy. He gets off very fast. He's very coachable as well. Sometimes you get guys, when they are seniors, who are like, "I know this already." But he helps me teach techniques to the younger guys and very in line with everything we want to do as well.
IT: Is there a signature moment or situation when you realized how good he was going to be?
Jennings: I was actually the freshman head coach when he was a freshman and kind of moved up with him. I remember this one time, as a freshman, he was playing one-technique in a four-man scheme and these two kids tried to double team him and the center was grabbing him from behind, trying to hold him, and the guard was trying to get in front of him and he went right on through to the quarterback. He didn't get the quarterback, though, and he was so mad he was getting held from behind by the center that he reached back and threw the kid. We were sitting back saying, "This kid's a man." We had a lot of older kids on varsity at the time and he was able to step up as a sophomore into a rotation with a lot of kids who went to college. We have a three-man front now and last year all three kids went to college to play. You could see him develop.
IT: Sounds like he was really big as a freshman. Did he continue to grow through high school or did he show up really tall and big and just fill out?
Jennings: Freshman year he was kind of big baby fat. Sophomore year it was tough getting in with all of the other great players. His junior year is when he really thickened up and became very dominant on the varsity level. He slimmed down a little bit this last year.
IT: You mentioned his motor. What else would you consider to be his strengths? There are also areas where he needs to improve to go to the next level. Right now, what are his apparent strengths and areas he needs to show some improvements?
Jennings: His best strength is how fast he gets off the ball. Extremely quick off the ball for a guy of his size. I think, as far as what he needs to get to the next level, I'd say the weight room. He's strong for a high school kid, but especially for the line, when you're playing with college juniors and seniors, that's a huge jump to make. I would say that. He lost a little weight this past year. He needs to put it back on in the weight room.
IT: How's he received by the general student population, outside the scope of football?
Jennings: He's received pretty well. He's surprisingly humble. Despite all the success he's had he's a very humble kid. He's actually very quiet around most people. People always like him, very likable kid. His teachers always like him. I wouldn't say he's the popular kid that does everything, but he's really likable.
IT: What kind of a leader is he? Is he a vocal leader? Does he lead by example?
Jennings: It's actually changed over the last couple of years. His junior year he was kind of quiet, kind of led by example. We had some pretty dominant leaders on the defensive line. This year he was a little more vocal, but I'd say more lead by example than vocal. He did become more vocal at the end because we really needed him to.
IT: But that's not his nature?
Jennings: His nature is...not sure how to say it...Balls out, flying to the football.
IT: You mean he changes when he's on the football field.
Jennings: Right. Very aggressive kid on the football field. Not into the hoopin' and hollerin', he just wants to play.
IT: Sounds very focused.
Jennings: Very focused. Yes. That's probably a better way of putting it.
IT: I like 'balls out'.
IT: How well did he handle the recruiting process? Once he got into the process, he got some big offers. How did he handle the attention?
Jennings: He handled it pretty well. From early on as a sophomore, he was getting letters. We were always saying, "Fill everything out because you don't know what's going to come back and who's going to look at you." He was kind of surprised, more than anything else, that everybody was offering him. All the bigger schools were really looking at him. He handled it very well. It's not like an ego thing. He thought very hard about all the schools. He narrowed it down to two, came back, talked with me and (Cedar Hill) Coach (Joey) McGuire.
IT: So he took his time and he made a good, informed decision.
Jennings: He really did. He went on his trips, his dad took him places. The biggest thing I told him from the beginning was "Don't commit on your trip. No matter where you go, don't commit on your trip. Come back home. Think about it." Family was a huge reason why he chose Texas, just cause it's still in an area where his mom can go down and see him play. That was kind of the trump card over everybody else. Very tight with his mom and dad.
IT: How was Coach (Mack) Brown's visit to the high school? Were you there for that?
Jennings: I was there for a little bit. He came this past week, talked with Jarvis.
IT: Was it an event? When Mack comes around to the high schools, it can get a little crazy sometimes because he's like a rock star and people will come out of the classrooms and from everywhere asking him to sign autographs and such.
Jennings: He just stayed up around here (in the coaches' office). I don't know if McGuire got him to sign anything or not. Did Mack Brown sign that helmet in there?
Assistant coach in another room: Yeah, Coach Brown did.
Jennings: Mack Brown signed a helmet for our coach.
IT: How was Jarvis as a senior in terms of leadership? Was he louder? Did he do more through personal relationships?
Jennings: In my drills it was very apparent, not really getting loud, but definitely correcting people for goofing around in personnel drills. He'd show people how to correctly do things, take the time out to do that kind of stuff. On that too, just a side story for you off the subject, last person off the bus coming home from games is going to be Jarvis. What's he doing? He's picking up trash other kids leave.
Jennings: Yeah. Humble, a worker, humble kid. You just don't see that very much anymore.
Also see: Jarvis Humphrey Names Favorite
UT Signing Day Bio: Prep All-American, all-state and two-time all-district selection ... three-year letterman at defensive tackle ... named second-team USA Today All-USA ... played in the 2008 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game ... a member of ESPN's top 150 national prospects and ranked as the fifth-best defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN ... ranked as the fifth-best defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals and is a member of the Rivals top 100 national prospects ... voted the state's top defensive tackle by Dave Campbell's Texas Football ... a first-team member of Dave Campbell's Super Team ... notched 153 tackles, six sacks, 40 TFL, 38 pressures, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in helping Cedar Hill to a 31-8 record over his final three seasons ... tabbed first-team 5A all-state by the Texas Sports Writers Association and second-team all-state by The Associated Press as a senior ... also named all-district 8-5A ... recorded 62 tackles, three sacks, 15 TFL, 19 pressures, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as a senior ... named second-team all-district 8-5A as a junior ... helped Cedar Hill to the 2006 5A Div. II state championship and a 16-0 record ... posted 59 tackles, two sacks, 20 TFL, 12 pressures, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries ... posted a career-high four TFL, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a fourth-down stop in the state championship win over Cypress-Fairbanks ... recorded 33 tackles, a sack, five TFL, seven pressures and a forced fumble as a sophomore ... a four-year letterman on the power-lifting team, who posted personal bests of 570 lbs. (squat), 355 lbs. (bench) and 550 lbs. (dead lift) ... Born 9/6/89 in Dallas, Texas ... full name is Jarvis O'Neal Humphrey ... enjoys playing basketball and video games.
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