Hampton Undecided

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.: Barely 10 minutes had passed after his team had defeated Edison, 34-25, for the Virginia Division 5 state tournament Saturday afternoon, and Phoebus (Va.) senior lineman Maurice Hampton was talking about how difficult his impending college decision -- between Maryland and Virginia Tech -- was going to be.

"Virginia Tech-Maryland, Maryland-Virginia Tech," he said, raising one palm each time he mentioned a school, to portray the teetering balance in his preferences between the two suitors. "I've gotta take the visits."

Maurice Hampton, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman is planning trips to Tech and Maryland in the next month and will most likely commit in late January, he said. The two time all-Peninsula District offensive lineman has been hearing steadily from Terps offensive line coach Tom Bratton, who recruits the talent-laden Tidewater area for the Terps.

"He's been saying Terps, Terps, Terps. He's always [in contact]," Hampton said. "It's gonna be a tough decision. They're both good schools, both high-respected programs and both got a lot of good things about them."

Hampton played both ways for Phoebus, but was a part-timer at defensive tackle while playing all game on the offensive line. He's built strongly and has got good athleticism for his size, so he could play anywhere in college. He said the Maryland staff has been floating the idea of making him a center.

"I'll do anything you want me to do. I'll cut weight, I'll gain wieght -- whatever you want me to do, I'll do it," he said.

Hampton is quite familiar with Virginia Tech, which has gorged the the abundance of talent in the Peninsula District, including former Phoebus stars Elan Lewis and Xavier Adibi. He has never been to Maryland, conversely, and is looking forward to checking out College Park.

"I don't even know what the place looks like. If everything works out, I might go to Maryland, though," he said.

In addition to being a talented player and a team leader, Hampton is an outgoing, positive personality. During the course of a 10-minute interview he spoke repeatedly about how excited he is about his future and how he's ready to work as hard as possible to make his dreams come true.

"I'm not trying to hit any walls," he said. "The door's wide open. I've just got to walk through the door."

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