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Ravens Have Two Track Star Rookies, Including Marlon Humphrey

Posted May 12, 2017

First-round pick Marlon Humphrey was a world-class hurdler and undrafted wide receiver Tim White participated in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials.

The Ravens didn’t just bring in really good football players in this year’s draft.

They also added a pair of world-class track athletes in first-round cornerback Marlon Humphrey and undrafted wide receiver Tim White.

Humphrey followed in his mom’s footsteps, as she still holds the University of Alabama (Birmingham) record in the 400-meter dash. Humphrey was on the University of Alabama track team and anchored their 4x400-meter relay team as a true freshman.

He won the 100-meter hurdles (13.67 seconds) and the 400-meter hurdles (50.75) at the 2013 World Youth Track & Field championships. Humphrey won seven events at the indoor and outdoor track championships as a senior at Hoover High School.

Humphrey chose to focus exclusively on football during his second year at Alabama, once he was starting on the football team.

Humphrey said he never wanted to focus solely on track, but he appreciates the path of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.

Goodwin, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round, has been a reserve wideout and returner for the past four seasons. Before reaching the NFL, he made the 2012 United States Olympic track team in the long jump (he finished 10th at the games). He picked up the sport again in 2016 and travelled around the world competing, but didn’t make the Olympic squad again.

“[I wanted to] kind of play football, but then also do track,” Humphrey said. “But there was never really a time when I wanted to be a track star. I did not ever want to do that; I always wanted to be in the NFL.”

But what if Humphrey had just followed track. Was he good enough?

He’d have to keep improving [to reach the Olympics],” Hoover cross country and track coach Devon Hind told AL.com in 2013. “College is a whole new level. So then are the Olympics beyond that. … But right now you can say that he’s on par with the elite hurdlers that there have ever been in high school.”

White set the school long jump record and triple jump record at the College of the Canyons before transferring to Arizona State.

At ASU, he placed fourth in the triple jump in the 2016 track and field championships and participated in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, where his best jump of 52 feet, ¾ inches didn’t get him out of the qualifying round.

White took the disappointment in stride. He grew up in a low-income family with nine siblings. At times, the family was homeless and left to sleep in a car.

“You know, growing up, this is what I wanted to do. I just want to compete in track and compete in football at the Division I level,” White told azcentral.com last July. “Coming from where I came from, this is a true blessing to me.

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