This past weekend left a bad taste in the mouths of many Tar Heel fans following the commitment of Daylen Everette to Clemson and the fall out of that situation. That taste may have been taken care of on Thursday when the Tar Heels landed one of their biggest remaining targets in the 2022 class in 4✮ RB Omarion Hampton.
Hampton, the No. 12 running back in the class and the No. 4 player from the state of North Carolina, announced his commitment to the Tar Heels on CBS Sports HQ just a short time ago as he prepares for his senior season at Cleveland High School in Clayton, NC. This past spring as a junior, Hampton was lost midseason with an ankle injury that ended what was a tremendous season to that point. In just five games this past season, he ran for 685 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 58 carries, earning second team All-State honors from the Observer outlets and was also an all-conference and all-News & Observer member. That followed a simply tremendous season from Hampton as a sophomore where he ran for 2,402 yards and 35 touchdowns on 250 carries. He was named the Greater Neuse River Conference Player of the Year and took home first team all-conference honors to go along with it. As a freshman, Hampton ran for 334 yards and a touchdown on 48 attempts.
Hampton has drawn some comparisons to Javonte Williams and his film backs that up. He runs with a physical edge and he will be able to thrive primarily as a one-cut back, similar to the way that Williams did in his time on campus. He might not be the fastest running back in the class, but he has some nice acceleration and straight-line speed in his arsenal. He only caught three passes out of the backfield this past season, but he caught fourteen passes in 2019 and that seems like an area where he is capable of contributing at the college level. The fact that he plays the defensive side of the football, just like Williams did at the high school level, should allow him to have success as a pass protector. He has the skill set to have an early impact at running back and his special teams ability could also allow him to make a contribution early if he couldn’t climb the depth chart when he arrives to campus.
With his commitment, the Tar Heels class moves from 33rd in the recruiting class to 22nd overall. While they still remain 5th in the ACC they are closing in quickly on teams like Boston College and Virginia Tech ahead of them despite having far smaller classes than they do at this point. The attention will now turn to the commitment of 4✮ LB Sebastian Cheeks, who will announce this coming Wednesday.