With an extensive offensive background St. Amant football coach David Oliver enjoys the challenge senior wide receiver Marquise Hampton presents.
During the early stages of each week’s game plan Oliver, offensive coordinator Seth Babin and the staff are pushed to devise creative methods that best utilize Hampton’s massive talents.
“He’s kind of like a Swiss Army knife for us because he can do a lot of things,” Oliver said. “We lined him up in a lot of different spots last year, and the plan for this year is to use him in all those positions again. We’ll line him up all over the field and take advantage of some mismatches.”
To opposing defense trying to identify Hampton, a dynamic 5-foot-11, 165-pounder, on each play of a series is akin to following a moving target.
Sometimes you get him, often times you don’t.
“People talk trash when they think they’ve got me, and I don’t even have the ball,” Hampton said. “It seems like my teammates get open and get lots of yards when people key on me. I take that as a compliment, and that I must be doing something right. If we win, I’m still going to be happy.”
St. Amant’s spread offense is not predicated on the talent or production of one player, although Hampton is capable of having an even bigger role.
Besides having all of the traits of a marquee player Hampton’s most redeeming quality may be the manner in which he plays — selfless but dependable when called upon.
“The way we use him usually helps everyone else kind of function because he draws a bunch of attention, and we’ve got other good skills players,” Oliver said. “Having him out there is a huge boost for our team. It’s going to create some form of reaction.”
Hampton’s path to St. Amant consisted of playing quarterback, teaming with current senior running back Richard Williams and safety Alex Derouselle to lead Galvez Middle School to an 8-0 record as eighth graders.
That remained the position of choice for St. Amant’s staff until Hampton, then a sophomore, suffered a broken hand and switched to wide receiver heading into the 2013 season.
Hampton went on to earn first team All-District 5-5A honors, leading the Gators with 50 catches for 622 yards (12.4 yards per catch) with seven touchdowns.
“I’ve worked on some individual drills to get open out of my cuts and trying to get more open this year on the backside of defenses,” Hampton said. “I went to a couple of college camps (Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech) and that helped, too. I think I should have a pretty good season this year.”
However, playing receiver was just part of his job description, with Hampton producing 1,113 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns. He also lined up as the team’s Wildcat quarterback, at running back, along with the inside slot and outside receiver positions.
“It’s pretty fun but also hard because I’ve got to know all the different positions,” Hampton said. “We have a lot of people on our offense that will help me get open more this year because they’re also going to be big threats.”
Hampton wound up as the team’s third leading rusher behind quarterback Tyler Dixon and Williams, carrying 63 times for 268 yards and six TDs. He also found a niche on kickoff returns with an average return of 29 yards, including a long of 43 yards.
“He just has to stay healthy, which he’s done a good job of, and move to different spots. And as the defense adjusts, we can try and take advantage,” Oliver said. “It’s pretty fun trying to find creative ways to use him. His presence is huge.”