Creed Humphrey’s NFL dream came true on Friday night.
The talented fourth-year junior from Oklahoma is the newest member of the Kansas City Chiefs, who selected Humphrey with the 31st pick of the second round in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Humphrey grew up rooting for Oklahoma and has long dreamed of a professional football career in the NFL.
He originally committed to Texas A&M out of Shawnee, OK, in 2016, but then two months later flipped his pledge to the team he and his family grew up cheering for. He signed with the Sooners over offers from A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and others.
Humphrey arrived at OU in 2017 as a 4-star prospect and U.S. Army All-American.
He redshirted the 2017 season, then won the starting job in a preseason battle with senior Jonathan Alvarez in 2018 and went on to anchor the most prolific offense in the nation, engineered by Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. Humphrey also anchored an offensive line that now has all five starters in the NFL (Bobby Evans, Dru Samia, Ben Powers and Cody Ford) and won the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s top o-line unit.
Humphrey was eligible to come out of college last year, but instead chose to return to OU for his junior season.
Having to replace not only a high draft pick but a three-year starter, two-time captain and two-time Big 12 Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year is one of the Sooners’ primary jobs this offseason.
“It’s tough,” said OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. “As good as Creed was as a player, he was probably an even better leader leader last year.”
“Creed,” said guard Marquis Hayes, “is a guy that always did everything right, was always there. So it’s gonna be tough.”
Sophomore Andrew Raym started in last week’s Red/White Game and appears to be the heir apparent to step in for Humphrey.
“Coming after Creed, those are some big shoes to fill,” Raym said. “But he left us with a lot of information and taught us a lot last year, me especially.
“Biggest thing Creed taught me was consistency for sure. Coming in every day, whether it's a practice, whether you got to just workouts that morning or just meetings, and being 100 percent locked in, you know. Every rep, whether it's a walkthrough or it's a full team, you know, taking that with intent, trying to get better every rep, whether it's your first two steps, whether it's your hands. But yeah, he taught me how to stay locked in at all times and come to everything, not just the live stuff, with the intent to get better.”
Bedenbaugh believed all along that Humphrey “is a first-round guy. I don’t think there’s any doubt.”
The question, Bedenbaugh said, was always whether a give team needs a center. He said he’s gotten questions from scouts about Humphrey being left-handed, as well as about his athletic ability.
Bedenbaugh said he didn’t see any concern with the former — it didn’t give Murray, Jalen Hurts and Spencer Rattler any problems — and said Humphrey’s stunningly good pro day results answered the latter.
“A lot of times, I’m like do you watch film?” Bedenbaugh said. “We changed screens to pull him on screens. We’ve changed protections to pull him on protections.
“He's a 300-pound center, but he's probably more flexible than some of our skill guys,” said NFL-bound Sooners defensive end Ronnie Perkins. “Man, it's just like, watching him is like watching Frankenstein. He's like a freak, really. It's like a freak in my face every day for the last three years, like I've been watching a freak.
“He's the strongest dude in the weight room and he's the most flexible dude out of all the linemen and most of the skill guys. He's been a leader of the offensive line since his freshman year. Just watching him as a man and a player, I admire him a lot because of the way he carries himself and the tools he possesses as a football player.”
Bedenbaugh added that Humphrey’s football IQ will serve him well in the NFL.
“I know from talking to people,” Bedenbaugh said, “he’s going to blow them away with how smart he is.
“I think the guy is going to be a perennial All-Pro player for 10 years,” Bedenbaugh said. “I don’t have any doubt in my mind.”