CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – Less than three months after breaking his ankle against rival Clayton High School, Cleveland High School star running back Omarion Hampton participated in team drills on the first day of summer workouts.
“Now I’m good since I’m working out,” Hampton said. “It was hard just staying inside, really, and just sitting down and waiting for it to recover. But now, since I’m back, I’m good.”
Still, the Rams aren’t taking any chances. Hampton has been cleared, but the coaching staff is limiting his activity early on.
“He’s fully cleared. It’s just working his way back into running and lifting,” said Cleveland head football coach Scott Riley. “You know next month when we do more football stuff he’ll be fully cleared so it’s just small steps so we do it smart.”
Hampton’s teammates are thrilled the four-star recruit is back on the field. Seeing their best player go down with an injury shocked the team at first. Still, the Rams were able to regroup and make a run all the way to the state finals.
“He’s a huge part of this team,” said Rams senior quarterback Skyler Locklear. “We’re all teammates and it’s just great to have him back and have him healthy and know that he’s going to be next to me this season.”
Having to watch his team carry on without him is something Hampton never wants to see again.
“I mean, it was hard just seeing them because I wasn’t able to play the rest of the season,” Hampton said. “It was hard having to watch them, but I feel they did good. They did real good. They put their heart out there and everything.”
Now Cleveland looks forward to a full season of Hampton, feeling this year’s squad could be even better than the one that fell one win short of a state title.