Coming out of Carroll High School in Southlake, sophomore Lil’Jordan Humphrey was a player without a set position. His 6-foot-5 frame and athletic ability gave him the ability to become a great wide receiver, but since he had so many responsibilities for the Dragons on offense, his role was that of a playmaker with the ball in his hands.
When Humphrey first signed with Texas, former head coach Charlie Strong said he was going to play outside receiver for the Longhorns. Adjusting to receiver full-time took some time, as Humphrey had just two receptions in ten games last season.
In Tom Herman’s first year, Humphrey began the offseason practicing at the X receiver role on the boundary. Joining him on the depth chart were two of Texas’ best receiving options, sophomore Collin Johnson and senior Dorian Leonard.
The coaches knew they needed Humphrey’s athletic ability on the field, so they moved him a few yards closer to the offensive line and put him at slot.
“I’ve been open to anything,” Humphrey said. “Anything the coaches want to put me in to help this team win, I’ve been open to it. It’s just up to the coaches. Whatever they want to do, I’m with it.”
For Humphrey, there was no problem making the position change.
“It was real easy,” Humphrey said. “(WR coach Drew Mehringer) was just saying that we might want to switch you around a little bit. I was open because in high school I did a lot of things. It was an easy transition.”
The move has allowed Humphrey to show off an elite athletic ability with jump-ball height. Through nine games, Humphrey already has 28 receptions for 357 yards and a score, including a career day against TCU where he hauled in six catches for 109 yards.
Though Humphrey is thriving, there is one flaw in his game, his throwing ability. Herman and the offensive staff have put Humphrey in at wildcat quarterback several times this season. Against Baylor, Humphrey finally attempted a pass, but it fell to the ground without ever posing too much of a threat to the Bear defense.
“That’s something I need to work on,” Humphrey said with a smile. “I didn’t work on it too much in high school.”
Growing up, Humphrey said he idolized Adrian Peterson, but noted that since his position changed, who he wanted to model his play after should as well. “I’m looking to Larry Fitzgerald and Julio (Jones)-type players now,” he said.
Despite his successes, Humphrey is a part of an offense that has struggled time and time again this season.
The struggles are not for lack of effort, and Humphrey sees improvement each day in practice.
“We just go out every day and try to work hard,” Humphrey said. “We haven’t had the success we’ve wanted to, but we’ve got to go practice it hard every day and make sure that we’re getting better in practice so we can have success in the game.”
“As a unit, we can do a lot better. It’s the ultimate team game, so we’ve got to all do better.”