Hampton signs to play football for Army

Published 9:15 am Thursday, January 3, 2019

Peyton Hampton is a shining example of a student-athlete. The Davie senior was a four-year varsity football player, he’s had straight A’s throughout his high school career and he’s headed to the U.S. Military  Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Hampton signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Army on Dec. 19, when a ceremony was held in the school’s media center on the first day of the early signing period.

During his sophomore year, he rushed for a team-high 772 yards and scored 10 touchdowns as Davie captured the conference championship, reached the 4A quarterfinals and finished 12-2. He scored eight TDs as a junior running back. The 6-2, 225-pounder switched to defense as a senior and excelled at linebacker, amassing 96 tackles (second to Matthew King’s 123) while leading the team with 15 tackles for loss.

Not only is he a really good player, he’s an impressive young man. The son of Ryan and Lori Hampton, he has a 4.0 grade-point average. He drew offers from numerous prestigious schools, including Ivy League members Brown, Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. Colgate also offered a football scholarship.

He received the offer from Army on May 15 and gave a verbal commitment in June.

“In my mind I was going back and forth,” Hampton said. “Every time I went on a visit to somewhere new, I was like: ‘I’ve got to go there. I really like this place.’ But whenever I went on a visit to Army, that was the most special place because of the people. The other schools are D-I, but they’re not in the same boat as Army. Army right now is 22nd in the nation, so they’re a very tough team.”

Following graduation from Army, he will give five years of military service as an officer, following in the footsteps of his grandfathers. Hugh Powell was in the U.S. Air Force and Dan Hampton was in the Army Reserve.

“He’s just always been that kid,” mother Lori told the Winston-Salem Journal. “I kind of always jokingly said when he was little that he would either become a missionary or a soldier.”

“As far as the decision, this was about more than football,” Peyton said. “I want to serve the country that’s been so great to me and given me what I have.”

Oh, and he’s going to join red-hot program. The Black Knights suffered 18 losing seasons in 19 years before Jeff Monken rescued them from oblivion. After going 4-8 and 2-10 in his first two years as coach in 2014-15, they went 8-5 in 2016 and 10-3 in 2017, tying the school record for wins.

Army just completed the greatest season in a history that dates to 1891, going 11-2 and obliterating Houston, 70-14, in the Armed Forces Bowl. Navy owned Army from 2002-15, but now Army has a three-game winning streak in the series.

“Jeff Monken has changed it a lot,” Hampton said. “He’s brought in a good staff and he’s changed a ton of things. He’s really jumpstarted the program.”

Hampton could play linebacker or fullback at Army.

“They have said linebacker, but they’ve also mentioned fullback because of my running back experience,” he said. “I really enjoyed playing defense this year, but also nothing beats scoring a touchdown.”