Davie QB has more than 21 offers

Published 8:52 am Thursday, May 14, 2020

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By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

Nate Hampton showed flashes of his vast potential as a 2018 sophomore. Last year he made the leap from budding star to true stardom, setting a slew of quarterbacking records while helping Davie’s football team to its first winning season in three years.

The scouts have certainly noticed. Since May 2019, college recruiters have been buzzing his phone nonstop. He’s picked up 21 Division-I scholarship offers in that span, making him the most sought-after QB in Davie annals. The 21 schools: West Virginia, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, Akron, Liberty, Marshall, Vanderbilt, Old Dominion, Kentucky, UAB, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Kent State, UConn, Dartmouth, Toledo, Yale, Penn, Bowling Green, Western Kentucky and Princeton.

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the recruiting game. Everything is being done via smartphone/internet.

“I’m trying to get a feel for all the coaches,” he said. “What they’re saying, who’s been true this whole process and who’s been wishy washy. It’s more about the coaches and building a relationship with them and understanding what they’re about and their values. And then I’ve been seeing campus through virtual tours. But it’s difficult to eliminate schools when you’ve never been there and never seen it.

“I’m trying to shorten my list and really get it narrowed down. But it is pretty tough not being able to see it live and meet the people face to face. I’m doing a lot of Facetimes and Zoom calls. That’s about all I can do.”

Hampton will turn 18 on Aug. 26. He will announce his college commitment on his birthday.

“Do I want to drop down to a top eight, then go with top five and then commit?” he said. “I think it’ll be a family choice in what we decide on. But right now it’s still up in the air.”

At 6-6 and 230 pounds, Hampton is a specimen. When he’s not slinging the pig, he’s a hard-nosed running threat who doesn’t mind bone-jarring hits. He comes from an exceedingly athletic family. Sister Ashlyn is a 6-1 forward and rising senior for Campbell women’s basketball. Brother Peyton is a 6-1, 226-pound linebacker and rising junior at Army.

Last fall Nate helped the War Eagles to 7-6 and 3-2 in the conference, tying for second and reaching the second round of the playoffs. He completed 263 of 437 passes, both school records. The .601 completion percentage resulted in 3,295 yards, another record. He tossed 22 TDs.

Among his single-season records was nine 200-yard passing games. He owns the top three spots for single-game completions (31 twice and 30 once). He already holds the career record for 300-yard passing games (five). In other career marks, he’s third in completions (387) and passing yards (4,712) and fourth in TD passes (30).

The COVID-19 shutdown has not been fun for sports fans. At least it’s easy to maintain social distancing while throwing passes.

“I’m trying to throw regularly with my receivers,” he said. “We usually go throw 2-3 times a week. One day I’d go throw with Tate (Carney) and two tight ends from Wake Forest. Another day it will be Jack (Reynolds). And then another day it would be Caleb (Bowling), our strong safety, and Za’Haree (Maddox). So we’re still getting in reps and getting a feel for everything. We’ve been going through the route tree and talking about this season. We don’t have anything too new offensively. So it’s pretty much doing the same thing we did last year, just at a higher level.

“I’ve also been in all kinds of Zoom calls with different college coaches. I think that’s keeping me sharp as well by learning the different offenses and seeing how these coaches do it as well. And I think the game is really going to slow down a lot for me this next year, and I think we will have a really successful season as a team.”