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Will Hampton, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 92

Will Hampton got playing time as a true freshman and earned a starting spot as a junior, but couldn't hang on either time. What can the 285-pounder bring to Northwestern's defensive front as they look to replace a starter up front?

Kevin C. Cox

Let's see, if I'm doing my calculations right, I landed in Chicago yesterday, and today I should be at a Cubs game and drinking heavily, and tomorrow is Dillo Day! Woo! Again, good thing I did all these posts a few weeks ago!

Up today is Will Hampton, a 6'3, 285-pound senior who's been getting snaps at defensive tackle since he was a true freshman. Time flies, etc., but he's looking to get a starting spot this season. Let's read bout him!

Origin myth

Will hails from from Houston Cy-Creek, one of seven Texan natives on Northwestern's spring roster. In a stacked football scene, Hampton was twice first team all-district and twice first team all-Houston, one of which is probably bigger than the other but who knows. The then-270-pounder was listed as a three-star guy, but wasn't highly touted enough to earn his way into most national ratings.

At Northwestern

Hampton was the rare Northwestern player who got playing time right off the bat not because he was an insane talent, but just because Northwestern needed a body. An early season injury to Niko Mafuli in 2010 saw Hampton thrust into the rotation, and at the time, I was somewhat confused by the decision. He wouldn't play often, or particularly well, but got some reserve snaps for a few early games that year before heading back to the bench when Mafuli was healthy. It cost him a year of eligibility, which means this is his senior year.

Hampton would get serious snaps as a sophomore, making 15 tackles, and earn the starting spot out of fall camp at defensive tackle in 2012. However, Sean McEvilly would come on strong and take the spot for the final ten games of the year, and Hampton would finish the season with only nine tackles, 1.5 for loss.

Career highlight

Hampton's second career game came in his hometown of Houston against Rice, and he recorded his first career tackle.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the true inner selves of the Wildcats through spelling

Will Hampton, anagrammed, is


Cheers? (Other options: Plowman hilt, implant howl, ham pill town (mmmm.... ham pill), win math poll (go Cats?), not hall wimp, halt limp now, and wham nip toll.)

Relevant musical selection

"That song Kanye West did on SNL where he spits like 17 straight bars with the word "Hamptons" in it," Kanye West

How can he help?

Hampton brings three years of experience to the defensive tackle spot. With Brian Arnfelt gone, Northwestern needs somebody to step up and help quell opposing run games.

Depth chart projection

We have Hampton starting opposite Sean McEvilly up front. His spot isn't safe - Chance Carter, maybe even Greg Kuhar could push for playing time - but he's certainly the most likely option considering his time spent at the position. Although he wasn't a highly touted recruit, Hampton's gotten expectations up and let them down again several times over the course of his career: showing enough talent to earn playing time as a freshman and winning a starting spot as a junior. But he hasn't showed the consistency to match that talent in order to keep himself in the rotation, and when we think of notable plays, we draw blanks. It would be nice to see Hampton latch on as a senior and prove why he caught the coaches' eyes in the past.