Today we'll meet a senior stepping into a full-time starting role and a position of leadership on defense.
#41 DE Patrick Hampton
5th Year Senior, 6'0", 240 lbs.
Stats In 2010: Hampton played in 11 games last year, missing the UConn and Miami games with an injury. He also started in three games (against Rutgers, Louisville, and Pittsburgh) and made a total of 20 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He also broke up two passes.
Current Position On Depth Chart: Hampton is listed along side Julius Forte as the first-string right defensive end.
How He Came To USF: Patrick attended Martin Luther King High School in Lithonia, Georgia, about 20 miles east of Atlanta. As a senior in 2006, he recorded 77 tackles, 19 TFLs, and 10 sacks and was named honorable mention all-state. On signing day in 2007, he chose USF over offers from Maryland, Purdue, and Indiana.
Projected Playing Time In 2011: Hampton will be part of the defensive end rotation as the coaches try and keep fresh players on the field to rush the passer. If he and Forte stay atop the depth chart together, it's hard to know who will get more playing time -- it may come down to matchups, or who has the hot hand. Of course, Hampton also has the ability to drop back 20 yards into coverage and then jump up and knock down post routes, so -- oh wait, that's only in NCAA 12 that he can do that. I don't play that game anymore. I hate it. I'm trading it in for something else.