While some Penn State recruits found themselves wondering what Bill O’Brien’s departure meant for their futures and pondering whether the Nittany Lions were still a team worth considering, Wise wide receiver and defensive back Nate Hampton Jr. had no such concerns.
In fact, while the junior had received interest from the Nittany Lions under coach Bill O’Brien, James Franklin and his staff showed more vigorous interest in him than their predecessors. When Hampton joined Wise teammate and Penn State commit Marcus Allen on a visit to Happy Valley this weekend, the feeling was mutual.
“This coaching staff, they’re just way more energetic,” Hampton said. “And Coach Franklin, he’s a players coach. I feel like I have a good relationship with him.”
Hampton added that Penn State’s football-frenzied environment has made an impression on him.
“I’ve been there three times, twice for games,” Hampton said. “It’s great. The people, they love you there.”
Hampton, a junior, says he’s waiting on SAT scores to find out exactly where his recruiting process stands, but that Penn State leads a pack of other schools that have expressed interest in him. That interest, he says, has picked up considerably since he transferred to Wise from Arundel High School prior to this season, as he’s gotten “more looks” on a Pumas team featuring Allen, North Carolina State-bound Micah Till and several other players on major college radars.
The 5-11 Hampton, being recruited by Penn State as a defender, played defensive back and wide receiver for the Pumas this season, recording 12 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns in a run-heavy offense. Allen and Till lead a list of key departures from the 7-4 Pumas, who lost to DuVal in the first round of the playoffs. Heading into next season, Hampton will be the leading returning receiver for Wise.
“The season ended too quickly last year,” Hampton said prior to a Pumas basketball game at DuVal Tuesday. “Being here, at DuVal…it’s a bad feeling for me. We want to do better next year.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 198
The total number of receiving yards Wise got from non-seniors in 2013 — and 195 of them came from Hampton.
— In one of several Post Top 20 boys’ matchups on the Tuesday night schedule, No. 20 Robinson pulled the upset over No. 14 Herndon last night.
— In a battle for second place in Prince George’s County 4A girls’ basketball, No. 10 Flowers shut down No. 19 Bowie on the Bulldogs’ new home court.
— Byron Hawkins led No. 11 Clinton Christian over No. 13 National Christian in a Capital Beltway Athletic Association clash.
— And in Virginia girls’ action: No. 17 T.C. Williams took down previously unbeaten No. 8 West Springfield.
PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT:
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
Check out how No. 20 Robinson pulled off the upset over No. 14 Herndon last night.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Boys’ Basketball: Brooke Point at Potomac (Va.), 7:30 p.m.
The unbeaten Panthers put their 17-0 record on the line when they host the Black Hawks.