The writing had been on the wall for some time and now Omarion Hampton has finally announced his commitment to North Carolina. The Rivals250 back from Clayton (N.C.) Cleveland took official visits to Penn State, Auburn, and Florida in addition to North Carolina but the sheer number of times that he was on campus in Chapel Hill was eye-opening. He went there a handful of times this year, including for open practices and the spring game. With Tar Heel commit Tychaun Chapman slated to be more of a receiver than a running back, the Tar Heels now have the first of two running backs they hope to sign in this 2022 recruiting class. Hampton’s importance on the field and off it make his commitment a very big deal for North Carolina fans.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
WHAT THE TAR HEELS ARE GETTING
Hampton is a strong workhorse back that can run defenders over and evade them in the open field. He has surprising athleticism for his size but it’ll be interesting to see how he recovers from an ankle injury. Hampton is supposed to make a full recovery and be ready for this season. His speed and aggression as a runner are two of the things that really set him apart from the rest and getting back to form quickly could have a lot to do with how much playing time he’ll see early in his college career. Hampton put up huge numbers throughout his high school career and the Tar Heels are really counting on him to carry the load.
WHY IT’S BIG FOR NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina is doing a phenomenal job of reloading its roster after big-time players left for the NFL, and Hampton is the first of two running backs that the Tar Heels want in the 2022 recruiting class. He’ll slide right into the offense as their key power back in a potential tandem with Rivals250 running back George Pettaway, a setup similar to Michael Carter and Javonte Williams. Hampton and Pettaway are close, but Hampton’s decision won’t have an immediate effect on Pettaway’s recruitment. Pettaway isn’t going to commit to the Tar Heels just because he’s friends with Hampton, but his presence there should help a little. Look for this North Carolina offense to keep on humming with Hampton in the backfield as long as he returns to form this fall and beyond.