ORLANDO – Skyler Humphrey was on the cover of the 2012 Clay Today Preseason football magazine with Ridgeview High football teammates Stanley Dye, Mitch Galloway and Josh Moore because his …
ORLANDO – Skyler Humphrey was on the cover of the 2012 Clay Today Preseason football magazine with Ridgeview High football teammates Stanley Dye, Mitch Galloway and Josh Moore because his Panthers’ brethren were part of a fast and aggressive offensive lineup that produced four straight region playoff berths.
“We had a good brotherhood back then because we all knew we wanted to be successful,” said Humphrey, now 23 and finishing up his final semester at the University of Central Florida. “All four of us did good things after high school. I was the one who got hurt my senior year.”
Humphrey was a track-fast wide out tailback for coach Tom Macpherson back then and with Moore as an all state quarterback, Dye a wicked fast wide receiver and Galloway a playmaker from multiple sets, the Panthers were able to move the ball behind a stellar offensive line led by Ramsey Meyers and Brian Lucas.
“My third game, against Palatka, I shredded my knee,” said Humphrey. “That was that. Those guys continued and I had to recover. It was tough.”
Humphrey returned to track in the spring, but his injury probably led to his hip flexor exploding in the district track championships in the 300 hurdles after he had earlier placed third in the 110 high hurdles.
“My competitive nature, I think, pushed me to get back to competing in something before I graduated,” said Humphrey. “I was okay after the 110 hurdles, was going to regions and then disaster in the 300 hurdles.”
Humphrey was seeded at 39.68 seconds for the district 300 hurdles but limped in at 1:09.10 in eighth.
“I still thought I could get to state in the 110 hurdles even in a week,” said Humphrey. “It didn’t happen.”
Humphrey wound up 14th in 15.73.
“I was demoralized about not being able to perform in my senior year,” said Humphrey, noting his teammates excelled after high school; Dye as a safety at University of Texas-San Antonio, Galloway as a wide receiver for North Dakota State; Moore as a quarterback at Mercer University for two years and now in medical school also at Central Florida. Lucas played at Central Florida while Meyers had an outstanding career at the University of Kentucky.
Humphrey wound up at Central Florida with no real direction toward his life ambition.
“I went through three majors in three years; biology, business and finally exercise science that I am about to finish,” said Humphrey. “I still wanted to be competitive in something, but didn’t know what. I gained weight, got out of shape and was eating garbage. It was totally opposite of how I grew up where I played sports and competed everyday outside with my boys.”
Humphrey then found the Central Florida gym.
“The weight room was my escape,” said Humphrey. “I had the same feeling as when me and Josh and the team were in the weightroom just pounding away. We’d put 315 on the bench with me weighing 160 pounds and we would challenge each other to fatigue.”
Humphrey started finding a “zone” in the weight room and soon his 210 pounds with 17 percent body fat was whittling down to near 190 pounds with a lean, powerful feel.
“I started becoming interested in all the aspects of making my body strong and, when I changed my major to exercise science, it became more intense for me,” said Humphrey. “It was crazy all the inter-correlations of my entire life; nutrition, rest, sleep, training and all that I did each day started to be my mental focus.”
After being in the gym for about six months and producing a total body change, Humphrey was approached by a local bodybuilding coach and mentor, David Phillips, who encouraged Humphrey to check out bodybuilding; the posing and flexing sport of the Arnold Schwarzenegger era.
“For a guy who was 59, he was pushing weights around with us 23 year olds in the gym,” said Humphrey. “I started listening to him and focusing my energy on an upcoming Lee Haney Classic in Atlanta in October.”
Humphrey competed in the Haney event; the 2017 NPC Lee Haney Games, sponsored by eight-time Mr. Olympic Lee Haney, and took third in the light heavyweight division while winning the Novice light heavyweight title.
“I used to always throw up before my football games and track meets when I was in high school because I was always so nervous,” said Humphrey. “This was very surreal because my preparation had brought me to a place of readiness that I was not nervous about the show.”
Humphrey is now preparing for more shows and said his experience in Atlanta will push him to improve on the small details of the new sport he now embraces.
“I saw the poetry of the sport up there,” said Humphrey. “There is lifting to just get big, then there’s lifting to create a perfect body. The level of intensity and conditioning of the other competitors was what impressed me the most and I plan to take that back with me into my gym and get better. One guy signed his pro bodybuilder card a week after the Haney event.”
For now, Humphrey will finish his college degree and push his business interests within the sport to create a career tied to his bodybuilding and fitness goals.
“Whether I own a gym, become a personal trainer or ascend to a pro bodybuilder, my plan is set to follow the path I am in right now because I am passionate about what I am doing,” said Humphrey. “I think I possess an entrepeneurial spirit that will provided a way to pursue that passion.”