Hit the Quan

Junior succeeds on the field with height disadvantage


Dimitrius James

Junior Quan Hampton gets ready to run the ball in summer practice.

Story by Tye Shelton, staff writer

In last year’s NFL combine, the average height of all participating receivers was 6 feet 2 inches. Every team, no matter the sport, has one unique athlete with remarkable skill only to be overshadowed by their lack of size.

These situations are typically filled with quotes many have heard too much: “He’s too small” or even, “If that kid would just grow.”

Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, two of the most  historically decorated athletes of all time, never even broke the 5 feet 10 inch mark.

With the Tigers’ season here an up-and-coming prospect has risen among the ranks of all doubters. Standing at only 5 feet 7 inches, junior Quan Hampton looks to prove himself as one of the most dynamic players in the 2015 season.

With a starting position with his name on it, Hampton certainly has what one would call “tremendous hype,” which he must live up to.

With Coach Barry Norton’s high regard toward his breakout playmaker, teammate Cade Pearson deemed Hampton as “simply unguardable.”

All of his life Hampton has been counted out, having his size prove to be an overshadowing force to his natural talent, but with two years of junior varsity experience, as well as getting playing time in the postseason in his freshman and sophomore campaign, one could say things are beginning to look up for Hampton.

“It really isn’t about size at the end of the day to me,” Hampton said. “I feel if my opponent hasn’t put in the work like I have, it will show on the field.”

With countless hours of work put in, multiple camps this summer, and repeated motions crafted down to perfection, it is apparent that Hampton’s heart exceeds his height by more than any yard marker could measure.

Recently Hampton took to Twitter to let his 1,548 followers know, “When they ask for my height, I tell them I play tall.”

With high hopes for this season, Hamptons performance this year is vital to the Tigers success.

A new open, spread-type offense has been implemented for the 2015 campaign. With quarterback Cade Pearson and Hampton controlling the offensive tempo, it is up to this dynamic duo to find what works best for them.

“This summer, at camps I came in unnoticed, but I walked out feeling as if I played 6 foot 3 inches,” Hampton said. “I finally got my chance to show what I was capable of and that is what I did.”  

As the Texas heat rises, so does the turmoil behind the repeated question of “What will the Tigers accomplish this year?”

The bar has been set–state or bust–there is no way around it. With the playmakers the team has, this season is sure to be one good time.

“I have those friends who push me because they believe in me,” Hampton said. “Also, coming from nothing just gives me another reason to work harder, but I’m not satisfied. I have to stay positive and keep God first.”

With Tiger Nation behind Hampton and company for this potential outbreak season, patience is needed because waiting is all the fans can do as the season begins. The Tigers look to capture the season’s first win tonight against the Wildcats in Whitehouse.
“I’m just blessed to be playing ball, having friends that motivate me, who push me,” Hampton said. “There is no stopping me now.”