Bobby Humphrey to speak at Fort Dale Tuesday

Published 11:16 pm Friday, November 20, 2015

Most know Bobby Humphrey’s name from his numerous accomplishments on the football field.  But despite his storied collegiate and professional football career, Humphrey would prefer his name be remembered for what he’s done off the field.

Humphrey made a name for himself at the University of Alabama, rushing for 3,420 yards (a school record at the time), catching 60 passes for 523 yards and scoring 40 touchdowns between 1986-1989.

The Denver Broncos chose the 6-foot-2 halfback during the first round of the supplemental draft in 1989, and he became the first Bronco rookie running back in franchise history to rush for more than 1,000 yards.

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His efforts earned him a trip to the Super Bowl, an AFL Rookie of the Year title and a Pro Bowl selection.

But these days, Humphrey is making noise off the field as a motivational speaker for youth groups around the region as he spreads a message of positive goal-setting and making good decisions.

The next group to hear his message will be the youth of Fort Dale Academy on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Humphrey said that a rather chance meeting with Fort Dale Academy headmaster David Brantley during the summer set the wheels in motion for his visit.

“The headmaster brought his grandson to a youth football camp that I put on this summer,” Humphrey said.

“I had a chance to talk with the headmaster and we had a good conversation.  His grandson enjoyed the camp, and he enjoyed what we were trying to do and convey to the students at the camp.  And he just asked ‘hey Bobby, do you do any speaking?’ And I said ‘yes, I do.’ And we worked out a date that was good for him and good for me, and now I’ll be down there on Nov. 24.”

Humphrey got his start in public speaking after returning to the University of Alabama to finish his degree after retiring from the NFL in 1999.

A particular program became available through the Tuscaloosa County School System that gave him an opportunity to work with the county’s at-risk youth.

“Through that, it led me to get more involved in working with not just at-risk youth, but youth in general, to help with decision processing,” Humphrey said. “And it actually led me to motivational speaking and encouragement. I’ve just done it over the years not just for youth, but also for adults.  I really get joy out of it, and I’m just trying to give back to all of those who made an impact in my life, and the way I do it is through events like this.”

Though Humphrey said that he draws upon his own experiences as a youth in middle and high school, and even throughout his collegiate and professional experiences, the goal of his message is to cause positive change in young people’s lives through positivity and allowing them to challenge themselves.

“One of the things that I learned back in 1999 and 2000 when I was working with some students is that sometimes we say too much about don’ts—don’t do that, or don’t do this,” Humphrey said.

“So I felt the positive thing would be to give kids an opportunity for what they can do.  I realized that you let them solve their own problems by letting them think through what they could’ve done better to resolve the problem.  It worked a lot for the students that I was working with back then, and it still works today.”

Humphrey will speak at Fort Dale Academy Tuesday beginning at 1:20 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.  For more information, contact the school office at 334-382-2606.