Jeff Humble was teaching his eighth grade Physics class at William Penn Charter School on Friday afternoon when he got an NFL Twitter alert on his cellphone.
Then all the text messages started rolling in.
“He’s coming back to Philly! How exciting is that?”
Well, it’s pretty exciting for Humble and for all of Penn Charter. The news on Friday was that the Eagles made a trade. They sent Torrey Smith to Carolina and in return got cornerback Daryl Worley, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia (see story). The same Daryl Worley who starred at Penn Charter as a two-way player under Humble while he coached the Quakers from 2008 to 2013. And the same Daryl Worley who turned his impressive high school career into a Division I scholarship at West Virginia before eventually being selected in the third round of the 2016 draft.
With the news still fresh, the former coach sent his former player a text message. As of 5 p.m., a few hours later, Humble still hadn’t heard back. But Worley has a pretty good excuse.
“I’m pretty sure he’s in the Bahamas,” Humble said in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia on Friday. (A simple search of Worley’s Instagram account confirms it.) “I’m sure he’s a little overwhelmed by the amount of text messages he’s receiving from everybody about his soon-to-be move.”
As Humble’s cellphone — and likely Worley’s — began to get flooded with text messages and phone calls, memories began to flood back for Humble.
Like this one: When Humble first saw Worley play CYO football, he realized he was special. But it wasn’t until Worley’s freshman season at Penn Charter when he got a closer look. Early in the season, the Quakers were facing The Hun School, which allows post-graduate players. While it had guys who could have been as old as 20, Worley was a 14-year-old freshman more than holding his own. Unfortunately, Worley hurt his ankle pretty severely, but he refused to leave the field. Eventually, he did and missed a few games.
“One of my fondest memories was just the passion he had,” Humble said. “He did not want to come out. He did not want to miss games.”
Eventually, Worley grew into a star at Penn Charter. He was a do-it-all receiver and a safety. Humble remembers when Worley was a senior and got some reps at quarterback in the preseason. But QBs take a beating running the option, so one day Humble was at home when he got a text from Worley declaring that his days at QB were over.
Then there was the time when Worley gave up a touchdown late in the first half at Interboro and was nearly inconsolably angry with himself. That’s when it clicked for Humble: Worley realized his role as the defensive leader.
Worley was a leader but he was never very vocal. Humble still classifies Worley as a pretty quiet guy. Last summer, Worley attended an athletic camp Humble hosted at PC to speak with campers. The talk lasted just a couple minutes.
Pretty soon, Humble should finally have a chance to speak with Worley and thinks he knows how Worley will react to the trade.
“He’s really a kid that has taken advantage of his opportunities and I think, I haven’t spoken to him about this,” Humble said, “but I think this trade and him being in Philadelphia, I think he’ll look at it as the course that it was supposed to be and, ‘I’m to take this opportunity and make the best of it.’”
Pretty soon, Worley will be back in Philly. And Humble will be eagerly waiting with phone in hand.