BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - When it comes to the NFL offseason, many players spend their time traveling and working out, but for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, he has another job.
Humphrey knows what it takes to be a national champion and play in the NFL, but before he made it to that stage, his journey began on the track.
“When I look back at my career at Hoover, I look at some of the coaches I had like Coach Hind, Coach Russ. They all have something different I took away from them,” said Marlon.
It’s coaches like these who have inspired Marlon to give back. During his offseason, Marlon volunteers to help coach the hurdlers at his Alma Mater, Hoover High School.
“I’m hoping there’s something that I say that might trigger with them in five, six years that I carried with me that I learned from high school. I think it’s a great time to learn how to grow,” Marlon said. “A lot of people can donate their money or supplies or gear, but I think time is a little bit more crucial and you make a bigger impact. So that’s just something I’ve enjoyed doing, just giving back my time.”
“Not only has he prepared me for hurdles, but also mentally. He’s been teaching me a lot about mechanics and that hurdling is an art and you really have to perfect it to be great and I work everyday with him,” said Hoover hurdler Mohammed Sakalla.
This is Marlon’s 4th year coaching track and it’s something he takes very seriously. Two days after the Ravens were eliminated in the NFL playoffs, he was back in Hoover to coach.
“A lot of times people, my teammates, ask what I do and I tell them I’m a high school track coach. I take it as a true job title. I’m here Monday through Friday,” added Marlon.
Malon, a seven-time high school state track champion, isn’t just coaching these athletes, they’re in return helping him perfect his game on the football field.
“It’s crazy how these kids inspire me sometimes. I was thinking about Mo, I was like man, if I could have his mindset, he’s probably one of the top five most confident people I know,” said Marlon.
While football is Marlon’s job and passion, his love is here, helping young athletes overcome life’s hurdles.
“We’re family here and he’s all part of that family,” said Sakalla.