"Yeah, it was the best one," Stamper says about his visit to the Plains. "I would give it a 10 because it was the best. The only other trips I have been on--I have been on an official to North Carolina and of course they weren't like that. I went to the North Carolina and Louisville game, and Clemson and Georgia Tech was real hype too, but it wasn't hype like that."
The 6-2 1/2, 210-pounder also notes that he noticed things were going to be different on this trip as soon as he got into town. "We came in and there was a lot of traffic," Stamper says. "I have never seen that many little mobile homes before. I have never seen that many. They were lined up everywhere out there.
"Then, we went to the athletic complex and we saw Coach (Joe) Whitt and we talked to him and he told us in a couple of minutes they were going to do the Tiger Walk," Stamper adds. "So, we went out there and that was amazing."
The senior adds that he was even more impressed with the atmosphere once the game got started. "I don't think I have ever been to a game that was that packed before in my life," he explains. "It was real crowded. And just how the Auburn fans are--I didn't even know they were die-hard fans like that. They are really serious about football there and that is what I like. I mean these schools that have offered me are like basketball schools, but Auburn is strictly football. To the fans, the football players there are like rock stars or whatever."
Stamper, who notes that the atmosphere at the game was even more intense than any Jacksonville Jaguars' game he has ever attended, says that he was also very impressed with the Tigers' style of defense.
"It's like everybody attacks the football," he notes. "It's like 11 hats to the ball every play. They are trying, they are diving on the pile and everybody is trying to get some. Then, their DBs are covering well and their linebackers run and get to the football well. And their linebackers are playing behind a good defensive line so they have got a real good defense. To me the best defense in the NCAA."
The talented linebacker also says that some of the excitement of the trip stayed with him after he got back home. "Everybody that came up there with me thanked me for brining them because they had a good time," he explains. "As a matter of fact when we got back to school because my coach went with me--and some of the players and me were playing with each other saying War Eagle and stuff like that. I didn't ever know that was their saying. I had never heard that with Auburn."
Unfortunately for Stamper and his First Coast teammates they were unable to make the Florida playoffs, however the linebacker notes that he still had a strong season. "I had six sacks and about 100-130 tackles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and I almost returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown," the linebacker says. "I caught it inside the 10 (yard-line) and I was just running and running, but I got tired and I got caught between the five and 10."
Those numbers would be impressive for anyone, but they are made even more impressive by the fact that Stamper decided to play injured for part of the season. "I had broke my thumb, but I still played all the games," he explains. "I just wrapped it up. I hurt it one game and the next week it still was sore, but I played with it a big ol' cast on my hand and then the next week it was still a little sore, but not enough for me to wear something over it to protect it. Then, it has just been good ever since."
Now with his season over, Stamper says that he has been able to concentrate on recruiting a bit more. "Yeah, I have got a January 14th official visit set up for Auburn and December 3rd at NC State," he notes. "I think I am going to take some others too. Maryland is pushing me pretty hard to get a visit set up for either the 10th or 17th of December.
Stamper has been hesitant to name a leader throughout the recruiting process, but notes that his trip to Auburn removed some of that hesitation. "I would say after that game, the Auburn game--I mean I am really excited about Auburn and how they are playing right now," he says. "You know, Clemson is still around, but, you know, Auburn. If I had to choose a leader it would have to be them."