Ask any major college football coach about the prototype of an ideal recruit and three qualities will almost certainly pop up.
Foremost is major, burgeoning talent. Second is a superb academic track record and third is a high-grade off-the-field character presence.
Look no further than homegrown product Creed Humphrey.
At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, the nationally-coveted Shawnee senior center more than fits a recruiter’s stocking list.
Ranked as the No. 3 high school center in the nation by Rivals.com, Humphrey committed to Texas A&M June 29, citing its top-10 business school ranking as a major factor in his decision.
Humphrey had whittled 18 major college scholarship offers to his Final Four — Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama and Texas. He made official visits to all four schools as well as trips to Northwestern, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, before committing to the Aggies.
A little more than one month after his initial A&M commitment, Humphrey called Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, saying he had a change of heart.
“I grew up an OU fan since I was five,” said Humphrey. “My grandpa had season tickets.
“I had a really good relationship with coach Bedenbaugh during my recruiting and also with coach (Bob) Stoops and coach (Lincoln) Riley. I just felt OU was the best fit for me. When I called coach Bedenbaugh, he was a little bit surprised but excited.”
Humphrey has run the 40-yard dash in 5.2 seconds, a quality time for his mammoth athletic frame. He also benched 405 and squatted 570 this summer.
“I can definitely get better on the squats,” Humphrey said.
Since the 2015 campaign, Humphrey has grown from 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-5 and upped his weight from 280 to 310.
“Creed is already above average size for Division 1 linemen,” said Shawnee football head coach Billy Brown. “His work ethic is unbelievable. He has worked out twice a day all summer — once with us and once by himself.”
Creed’s athletic prowess is matched by his academic excellence. A 4.0 Shawnee High School student who is ranked second in his class, Humphrey hasn’t recorded anything but an A since — well he couldn’t exactly remember.
“I’m not sure but I think it was in fifth grade in an English class.”
While Humphrey has football goals to achieve toward his college experience — a sub-5.0 in the 40 and improving his technique —“You can never perfect technique” — he has a more immediate goal.
“Hopefully we can get that gold ball in my senior season. I think we definitely have a good shot. I try to focus on everything in the present.”
When speaking to coaches in various SHS sports, one gets the same impression about Humphrey — a highly polite and driven student athlete. An interview is dotted with ‘Yes Sir’ and ‘No Sir’ responses.
Like his father, Chad, Creed has had success in wrestling, finishing as a state runner-up last season.
Chad was also a state runner-up at Shawnee and a three-time All-American at UCO in the 90s.
“Creed is a real good all-around kid,” said SHS wrestling coach Larry James. He’s an awesome kid.”
There’s another reason OU’s coaching staff should be all smiles about Humphrey’s change of heart.
“As a coach, you know one thing about Creed,” Brown said. “You don’t have to worry about him because you know he’s going to do his job. You can worry about someone else.”