UNC football recruit named NC Gatorade player of the year

·2 min read
Fabian Radulescu/newsobserver.com

After rushing for 1,948 yards and 39 touchdowns in his senior season, Cleveland High School star Omarion Hampton has been named the N.C. Gatorade high school football player of the year.

Hampton is now a finalist for the Gatorade national player of the year, which will be announced later this month.

Recent N.C. Gatorade player of the year winners include Salisbury High’s Jalon Walker (2020-21), Weddington’s Will Shipley (2019-20), Sun Valley’s Sam Howell (2018-19) and Harding’s Quavaris Crouch (2017-18).

Hampton, 6-foot and 220 pounds, led the Rams (11-1) to a third round N.C. 4A playoff berth. He averaged 12.1 yards per rush. He also caught 11 passes for 272 yards and three scores. He’s a two-time Greater Neuse River conference player of the year and has been selected to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl.

“Hampton is an unbelievable player,” said South Garner head coach Daniel Finn. “He’s big, strong, physical, with great speed. We played against (current University of Georgia standout) Zamir White a couple of years ago and this kid is every bit as good.”

Hampton, who has a 3.26 GPA, will sign to play at North Carolina next week during the early signing period. 247 Sports ranks him No. 11 among all running backs in the senior class.

Recent Gatorade North Carolina Football Players of the Year award winners include Jalon Walker (2020-21, Salisbury High School), Will Shipley (2019-20, Weddington High School), Sam Howell (2018-19, Sun Valley High School), and Quavaris Crouch (2017-18, Harding University High School).

Hampton is a finalist for the N.C. Mr. Football Award, the state’s top football honor, which will be announced Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on the Charlotte Observer and News & Observer of Raleigh’s “Talking Preps OT” streaming show (available on the newspaper’s social media pages).

The other two finalists are Rolesville QB Byrum Brown and Chambers running back Daylan Smothers.

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