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Circle City Volleyball Club sophomore Brooke Humphrey has verbally committed to play at Michigan. While she played at outside hitter in high school and club, she was recruited as a libero.
I’m super excited to announce that I’m committing to the University of Michigan! B1G thank you to Coach Janssen and Coach Sutter and all of my other coaches, family, and friends. GO BLUE💙💛 pic.twitter.com/H0h662Bzug
— BROOKE HUMPHREY (@_brookehumphrey) April 24, 2018
At 5’10”, she will be tall for a libero – at least 3 inches taller than every other libero on the Wolverines’ squad. She’ll arrive two seasons after the expected graduation of Michigan’s current starting libero and team captain Jenna Lerg.
The initial succession plan to Lerg, Tiffany Clark, transferred to Wisconsin after one season, leaving true freshman Natalie Smith as next-in-line based on playing time in 2017 (128 digs) to take over that roll. Barring transfers or redshirts, Humphrey and Smith will overlap for one season in Ann Arbor.
Brooke Humphrey Vitals
- Class: 2020
- Position: Libero (outside hitter in high school)
- Height: 5’10”
- High School: McCutcheon High School
- Club: Circle City Volleyball Club 16-1
Humphrey wanted to play in the Big Ten, but didn’t have the height to play outside hitter, so when Michigan offered the opportunity to transition to libero, she took it.
Her coach, Lori Janssen, says that her skills as a six-rotation player should translate well to libero. She’s also had half-an-ace per set in her high school career (though her service errors increased as a sophomore). Lending credence to her ability to transition to libero at the next level is that she averaged 8.4 and 8.0 digs/set as a freshman and sophomore, respectively, even playing outside hitter.
“Her serve reception passing is among the best in the class of 2020. She is an elite serve reception passer and a terrific defender and server,” Janssen said. “I think a lot of schools assumed she would want to play on the outside in college, but she’s not quite big enough for that level.
“Her leadership and personality, she has so many intangibles that make her Big Ten level in terms of how much she loves the game, how much she loves to work and her maturity day in and day out and approach to practice. Those things are so important if you’re going to be successful at that level.”
Brooke Humphrey Scouting Report from coach Lori Janssen:
Brooke is one of the best serve reception passers that I have ever coached. While serve reception is a skill that can be difficult to project at the college level, particularly in the Big Ten, she has so many characteristics that create elite-level passing talent. Her platform, eyes, feel, and footwork set the tone, but a real separator is how relaxed she is as a passer. That quality really stood out to Mark and Leisa Rosen.
Brooke’s ability to be relaxed, yet highly competitive, produces consistently clutch play in pressure-packed moments.
Brooke has played middle back defense throughout her career as an outside hitter, so the adjustment will be in playing left back and the different angles and sightlines. I think it’s a challenge that she will relish. I think it’s helpful that she has played in different areas of the court and has a perspective that lots of Liberos don’t have. It has helped her build skills and court understanding that can be difficult to gain by just playing in one defensive position.
Brooke and I have already started working on playing left back in extra training sessions outside of practice time, and she has already made tremendous strides. Brooke loves the work and the process, so I’m confident in how much time she will spend preparing herself for Michigan. She will love every bit of the challenge and the work that it will take to be ready.
Brooke does have size for a Libero, but I think it’s a plus. She is physical over her head and has such great hands, so once she’s comfortable and able to stay relaxed and balanced, her range will be tremendous.
I expect Brooke to be elite at handling the second ball, because of her hands and platform. It’s a skill that I emphasize for all of my team, and it’s an area in which she excels. She delivers a beautiful ball for hitters with her hands or with her platform.
Humphrey had 360 kills as a sophomore and 358 as a freshman at McCutcheon, but improved her hitting percentage from .223 to .290.
Humphrey hails from Lafayette, Indiana, and has been a lifelong Purdue fan. She chose Michigan over the hometown team, though, saying that she felt a level of excitement after visiting Michigan that she didn’t feel when she went to Purdue the next day.
Michigan has reached the NCAA Championship tournament in 16 of the last 19 years, including last season where they lost 3-1 to Colorado State in the opening round.
Other Michigan commits:
- 5’10” Setter – Erin O’Leary (Legacy)
- 6’1″ Outside Hitter – Paige Jones (Elite Volleyball Training Center)
- 6’2″ Middle Blocker – Kayla Bair (Minnesota Select)
- 6’1″ Outside Hitter – Abbey Malinowski (Legacy)
- 6’2″ Outside Hitter – Grace Persson (Minnesota Select)
- 6’3″ Middle Blocker – Lizzie Sadilek (Southern California Volleyball Club)
- 6’2″ OH/MB – May Pertofsky (Sunshine VC)
- 5’2″ Libero – Amber Beals (Mintonette)
- 6’1″ Middle Blocker – Jessica Robinson (Legacy)
- 6’1″ MB/OH – Kendall Murray (Legacy)
- 6’1″ OH/S – Jess Mruzik (Team Detroit)
- 5’10” Setter – Scottee Johnson (Mintonette)