At 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, Decatur (Ill.) Macarthur standout defensive tackle Moe Dampeer saw his season come an end recently.
"We finished 2-7 and everything fell apart on us," he said. "We had injuries, we were young, we had some discplinary problems, it all cam falling down."
So what did the talented defensive lineman do about that?
"It was bad since that was my senior year and everything," he said, "but I was able to become more of a leader this season. I had a chance to go to those younger guys and explain to them that it's just one season and they need to forget about it and move on. They can't hang their heads on one season. Next year they'll be a lot more balanced."
Dampeer, who finished the season with nine sacks, has been running and lifting a lot in recent weeks since his season finished.
"When I work out, I do three sets of 250 eight times," he said. "I sometimes do three sets of three at 315. And I'm starting to run more too. I want to get to about 275-280 before I leave for college."
Dampeer also plays basketball, which starts very soon. Interestingly, Dampeer has had some major accomplishments on the basketball floor.
"I actually won a slam dunk contest here last year," he said. "The kid that was in the finals with me was about half my weight. I went up and did a 360 windmill. It was sweet, you should have saw it."
Dampeer said he began dunking a basketball when he was still in middle school.
"I can dunk without my shoes on," he said. "I may be big, but I can get up."
Dampeer, who is waiting on test scores to come back after scoring a 15 on the first one, said he tried attending the NIKE Camp in Miami this past spring.
"I was all set to go," he said, "but I broke my foot just before then. I was pretty down about it because I heard the best athletes are in Miami and that's where the best competition was. Plus I could have checked out Miami."
That's OK, because Dampeer is set to visit UM on January.
"I'm going down to Miami for a visit on January 17," he said. "I got Tennessee the week before that and Illinois on December 6. Other possible ones are Purdue, Oklahoma, Florida, and N.C. State. But I only have three visits for sure right now."
Dampeer talked more about the Hurricanes.
"I like it, it's Miami, I mean," he said. "There's not one bad thing you could think of with Miami. Everything's good for Miami right now, and I can't wait to take my visit there to see what's on the inside."
Dampeer said he talks weekly with UM defensive coordinator Randy Shannon.
"He thinks I can be an asset to their program," he said. "They're losing some guys on the front and they need some guys and he said he thinks I can be a special player if I want to be. I asked if I could play right away and he asked me if I was good enough. I told him that I think I am. I've been thinking about Miami for the longest [time]."
Dampeer grew up rooting for the Vols, however.
"That's the childhood favorite," he said. "I like the coaches out there. I was supposed to go to their game against Miami a couple weeks ago but I couldn't make it. I really wanted to see that one in person."
The standout defender also talked about the in-state Fighting Illini.
"It's looking real nice for Illinois right now," he said. "I don't really have a favorite but if I had to pick one, that might be it. Their coach coached players like Julius Peppers and Greg Ellis when he was at North Carolina and I think he can help me become a really good player."
So what will it take for the Canes or Vols to knock off Illinois?
"I really don't know right now," he said. "I haven't seen anything on the inside yet. I really like Illinois but what if I go down to Miami and I'm blown away and think that it's the best thing I've ever seen? I'm about to find that out when I take my trip."
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