ATHENS — Vanderbilt hadn’t scored on Georgia in four years, but it took less than three minutes for London Humphreys to change that last season.

Humphreys found a soft spot in UGA’s lauded secondary, caught the ball, and sped away for a 49-yard touchdown.

“He took off and no one could catch him,” said Georgia All-American Malaki Starks, who didn’t have the speed to chase down Humphreys.

“The scouting report said he was fast, but it didn’t say he was that fast.”

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Work in progress

Kirby Smart was impressed enough with Humphreys, who had just one other catch in the game for 2 yards, to add him to the Georgia receiving corps as a transfer.

Humphreys, who played only two full seasons of high school football at the private school level, is still getting adjusted to Georgia’s intense culture.

The first scrimmage of the spring session on Saturday figures to be as much a challenge for him, as anyone.

“London is really in his second year of college football,” Smart said, noting how UGA transfers have typically been veterans.

“London had played in our conference but is a young player who is developing.”

Humphrey, appearing on a Player’s Lounge podcast taped last Tuesday, shared how new he really is to football.

“Football was the last sport I ever picked up, really,” said Humphreys, who played at tiny Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) in Nashville.

“I like to say I started my junior year, really.”

Inauspicious beginning

Humphrey’s explained how his freshman season (2019) was a lost cause with few games, and “the pads hurt my back kind of thing, I couldn’t even stand to practice.”

Humphreys didn’t even bother going out for football his sophomore season, content to play baseball, basketball and run track.

Both of his parents were college track athletics, and his father, Clark Humphreys, is a former Vanderbilt track and field coach.

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Humphreys, who ran a 10.6-second time in the 100 meter and won Tennessee high school’s Division ll-A long jump title in 2021, went back out for football his junior season.

“I punted and did kickoffs, so I just went out there my junior year and I had no idea what I was doing, I just loved to run a post route and went from there,” Humphreys said.

“I had a good junior season, I really don’t remember it that well, it’s one of those things it just happened. I still didn’t even know the sport of football, and really senior year I didn’t know much about it, I knew I had a lot to learn.”

From Vandy to UGA

Humphreys went to school on it, quite literally, and proved a fast learner at Vanderbilt.

Humphreys, listed at 6-foot-2 and 197 pounds, had 22 catches for 439 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Commodores before moving on to Georgia.

Already, the Vanderbilt transfer feels like any other member of the team, right down to the immediate corrections on the practice field that makes Georgia players so sharp on game days.

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“There was one play, I don’t know if I messed the play up, or I just was slow to it … “Humphreys said, recalling the practice moment this spring.

“Run the play, (Mike) Bobo is running at me, trying coach me, Bobo is nice about it though, like an easy confrontation, Coach Smart was walking my direction, I was like “Here we go,’ then Coach (James) Coley runs in like cussing, screaming at me.”

It was likely a level of intensity Humphrey hadn’t experienced, much like the chaotic nature and pressure hostile road games can feature.

“Like, my brain just stops working, I’m not hearing anything,” Humphrey said. “I (said) ‘I got you Coach,’ because I have the next play … "

Kirby care

Smart, adept a breaking in new players, clearly recognized the young transfer wasn’t processing the messaging.

“Then coach Smart pulled me out of the play, and he was like talking to me,” Humphrey said, “and he was telling me Marcus (Rosemy-Jacksaint) last year always ran this route, so you have to watch him (on tape.)

“I was like, ‘Oh that’s cool.’ "

Different players learn the Georgia offense at different speeds, obviously, and respond to different styles of coaching.

Smart has noted different players grow at different paces.

“I don’t sit here and put expectations on top of people of having super high expectations,” Smart said, speaking on the transfer receivers.

“I want them to fit into our culture, buy into special teams, practice hard and learn how to practice in the spring to come back in the fall and be conditioned and smarter to benefit us more.”