by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTO - Central Catholics Connor Humphreys, left, celebrates last years 6A state title with Rams QB Aidan Wilder. Central Catholic senior Connor Humphreys, one of the state’s prize football recruits this fall, has landed on a pitchfork signing to play next season with the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Humphreys, a Gresham resident who attended Dexter McCarty before moving onto Central Catholic High, has been a force to be reckoned along the defensive line ever since he snapped on a crimson Rams helmet.

He was named the Mount Hood Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and helped the Rams to a perfect season and the big-school state title. Central’s defense held its first three playoff opponents to a single touchdown — the highlight for Humphreys came late in a 62-7 second-round win over McNary when he pulled down an interception and took it in for a touchdown.

“I had about 40 yards to the end zone. I got to the 5-yard line and a little receiver or running back came up behind me and tried to knock it out of my hands,” Humphreys says.

He held onto the ball easily to score the six points.

Humphreys was also the only Oregon prep player selected to play in the Army All-American Bowl in January in San Antonio. His high school coach Steve Pyne was the offensive line coach for the all-star team.

“It was an honor to be able to continue Central’s legacy of sending people to that game,” Humphreys says.

From there, his focus turned to National Signing Day — time to make a final college choice. His senior year Shine Project centered around the likelihood of playing Division I football (less than 1 percent) and of a Division I player advancing to the NFL (about 2.6 percent).

Growing up on the West Coast, he had seen plenty of Pac-12 football and it was that conference that dominated his final wish list eventually being pared down to either Arizona State or Oregon State.

“I made to visits to Tempe and loved it down there. It’s a great school and socially it felt like a place I could thrive at. It reminded me of Gresham, being a smaller town located near a big city,” Humphreys said. “The Pac-12 is such a competitive conference, it’s truly at honor to be chosen to play at that high level.”

He was one of 14 Sun Devil recruits with a top four-star rating by ESPN.

Arizona State finished 10-4 last season, ending the year with a loss to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl.

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