When K.D. Humphries received the invitation to compete on the South squad in the 2012 All-Star Sports Week football game, it wasn’t exactly an easy decision.
Humphries, the former Jeff Davis quarterback, had completed his high school eligibility after last season and signed a scholarship with Murray State.
But sentimentality won out.
“It was the last game I’d get to play in my hometown, ever,” Humphries said. “I couldn’t pass that up. I’m blessed that this game is in my hometown and in the stadium where I’ve played. I can’t pass that up.”
Humphries discussed his decision to play in the game with the Murray State coaches and got their blessing — “They told me to be there healthy on July 31,” Humphries said — which seems like an odd move.
After all, it seems like all risk and no reward for Murray. Their signee could be hurt on any play before he sets foot on campus. Why OK that?
As it turns out, there is a bit of a bonus for Humphries and his future team.
“I think this has really helped me learn how to pick up new things on the fly and play with new teammates,” Humphries said. “I’ve had to adjust quickly out here and learn my teammates, and it’s something I think will really help once I get to college and start trying to learn that system quickly.”
It’s not just the system that’s different at the All-Star practices. It’s also the speed.
“Everybody out here is a star and can really play, so it’s been a whole different level,” Humphries said. “It’s so much faster. It took me a little while to adjust.”
But he has adjusted.
South head coach Kerry Stevenson said Humphries quickly proved why he was a sought-after talent.
“He’s come right in here and been a real leader,” Stevenson said. “You can see that out of him. He takes command, and his teammates listen to him. I think he’s adjusted well out here and showed that he belongs on this team.”
But while competing and proving he belongs are important to Humphries, the biggest goal for the week is to have fun and create a lasting good memory from his final game in his hometown.
By late Tuesday, just three or four practices in, he was well on his way.
“There’s such a great camaraderie among the players on this team. It’s like we’ve been playing together for a long time,” Humphries said. “I’ve had such a great time already, and I know this will be something I remember for a long time.”