Keith Hampton
(Sophia Germer/NOLA.com)

Arch Manning is the number one quarterback prospect in the 2023 class and one of the best high school quarterbacks in history. In his entire high school career, he has only ever thrown eight interceptions. That’s not bad for a kid who has over 40 career touchdowns. But the crazy thing is one player is responsible for five of Manning’s eight interceptions. That player is senior safety Keith Hampton.

Hampton is a smaller player at only 5’11 and 176 pounds, but he plays just as well as the bigger guys. In his last 13 games, Hampton has recorded eight interceptions. In his first three games as a senior, Hampton recorded 17 tackles, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Keith Hampton is not just a defensive player, either. He is also his team’s kick returner and a featured running back.

Despite his defensive excellence and versatility, Hampton has received no offers and is currently unrated as a college prospect. This is mainly due to his size and profile. Hampton is not a freak athlete. He does not have fantastic speed or strength that pops out at recruiters.

His head coach, Wayne Reese Jr., however believes he deserves a shot.

“He makes plays. He’s all over the place. The stats don’t lie. When you get a guy making plays consistently and consistently making a difference in every game, how you going to deny this kid.”

The comparison may not be perfect, but Hampton reminds many of another undersized and doubted safety, Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is only 5-9. Despite this, he was a Heisman finalist and is now a two-time all-pro in the NFL; this is not to say that Keith Hampton will be as successful as Mathieu, but he can be remarkable.

Currently, zero colleges are looking at Keith Hampton, but eventually, he will end up on a college roster. When he does, no matter what team it is, he is going to play well. He will be a player to keep an eye on the next college football season.

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