Learning the ABCs of Alabama Crimson Tide Football: "H"

Christopher WoodleyContributor IIIFebruary 22, 2017

Running back Bobby Humphrey of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs down the field during a game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscawosa, Alabama.
Allen Steele/Getty Images

The University of Alabama has had some great running backs in their history. Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram and Shaun Alexander are some that immediately come to mind.

Another great running back who wore the crimson and white in the late 1980s was Bobby Humphrey.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Humphrey began his Alabama career in 1985. It was during his sophomore campaign in 1986 that Humphrey began to receive national attention.

He started the year with a pair of touchdown runs in a 41-10 win over Vanderbilt in the second game of the season. Later in the season, he recorded multi-touchdown games in wins over Florida and Memphis State.

But, Humphrey also had some impressive rushing performances. In the 56-28 win over Tennessee, he rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns. 

Two games later, Humphrey rushed for a season-high 284 yards and three more touchdowns in a 38-3 romp over Mississippi State. His mark stood as the single-game rushing record until it was broken by Shaun Alexander's 291 yards at LSU in 1996.

Humphrey added 129 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-14 win over Temple. In the Sun Bowl against Washington, Humphrey finished the season with 159 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-6 victory over the Huskies.

Humphrey finished the 1986 campaign by setting the school record with 2,016 all-purpose yards. It is a mark that still stands today. He also set a school record with 1,471 rushing yards. Mark Ingram later broke the record with 1,658 yards in his Heisman Trophy winning season in 2009. For his efforts, Humphrey earned All-American honors.

Despite an inconsistent 7-5 record in 1987, Humphrey once again excelled in his junior season.

After rushing for three touchdowns in the season opener against Southern Mississippi, Alabama traveled to Beaver Stadium to face defending national champion Penn State.

Humphrey set the tone of the game with a 73-yard touchdown in the first quarter en route to a 24-13 triumph. He finished with 36 carries for 220 yards, as Alabama snapped Penn State's 13-game winning streak, which was the longest in the nation at the time. 

In the fourth game of the season, Humphrey totaled 162 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Vanderbilt. He added 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 41-22 win over Tennessee.

After rushing for 135 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown run against Mississippi State, Humphrey followed that performance with 177 yards and a touchdown to help the Crimson Tide defeat LSU.

Despite rushing for 149 yards and a touchdown in the Hall of Fame Bowl, Humphrey and Alabama lost to Michigan, 28-24.

For the second consecutive season, Humphrey earned All-American honors. He also finished the year with 1,781 yards, which is the fifth-highest single-season rushing total in Alabama history. In December, Humphrey placed 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Crimson Tide fans' excitement for Humphrey's senior season was dampened by a foot injury in April. Even though he scored two touchdowns in the second game of the season, a 44-10 win over Vanderbilt, Humphrey re-aggravated his foot injury and missed the remainder of the season.  

Despite missing 10 games in his senior season, Humphrey still holds the Alabama career rushing record with 4,958 all-purpose yards. Humphrey also shattered the school record with 3,420 rushing yards. Johnny Musso (1969-1971) previously held the mark with 2,741 yards.

Alexander later broke Humphrey's record with 3,565 rushing yards. His 40 career touchdowns (33 rushing, seven receiving) was a school record that Alexander also broke. 

After graduating in 1989, Humphrey was selected by Denver in the first round of the NFL Supplemental Draft. He helped lead the Broncos to Super Bowl XXIV as a rookie and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1990. Humphrey finished his career in 1993 after two seasons with Miami.

Seven years after retiring from the NFL, Humphrey turned to coaching. He served as head coach of the Birmingham Steeldogs of the Arena Football League 2 from 2000 to 2005. In 2004, Humphrey was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Humphrey shined at Alabama for only two seasons. However, in 1986 and 1987, he did his best to put fear into opposing team's defenses.