FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Senior defensive lineman Terry Hampton transferred to Arkansas from Arkansas State and has made a very quick impact with the Hogs.
Hampton, 6-1, 314, is from El Dorado and battled injuries in high school or he might have already been a Razorback. But Hampton arrived at Arkansas in late May and has made the most of his time in Fayetteville.
“Fitting in pretty good, man,” Hampton said. “Getting my ropes around, being around with the team.”
Hampton has now completed two scrimmages and 15 practices with the Hogs.
“I think I’ve been doing pretty good as far as on the field with my technique,” Hampton said. “I’ve been really focused on getting back on the field because I’ve been out for a while. I tore my ACL last October, so getting the ropes around and getting back on my feet.”
Hampton is now much more comfortable in Fayetteville and playing for the Hogs than when he first arrived.
“At first it was kind of hard not knowing everybody and being new,” Hampton said. “Trying to get to know everybody. After about a month or so, I kind of fit right in with everybody.”
Hampton has noticed one big difference practicing at Arkansas as opposed to Jonesboro or the schools he faced there.
“This is the first O-line I’ve seen that has real quick feet, so it’s been kind of an adjustment for me from my last school,” Hampton said. “Other than that, it’s good competition.”
While Arkansas’ offensive line has impressed Hampton, right tackle Dalton Wagner also loves what he has seen from the A-State transfer.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Wagner said. “Terry’s a strong dude. He goes head-to-head with Beaux (Limmer) in there sometimes and they’re pushing against each other and it’s like clash of the titans in there. They’re both big, strong dudes rooted into the ground, long arms too. Terry does a good job at disrupting with his power and that’s something that you see a lot in the SEC and he’s fitting right into the scheme perfectly of what coach Odom is trying to get out of that defensive line. When they run those pick twists there, you’ve got to be really on it as you’re a tackle dragging because he’s going to come and try to rip your head off if you’re not. He’s just overall, I think he’s a great presence on that defensive line.”
It appears that Hampton is making good progress rushing the passer as well. That is according to his new head coach Sam Pittman. Pittman was asked Saturday who is making progress as a pass rusher?
“Terry Hampton,” Pittman said. “Hampton is hard to block. I mean, he’s got built-in leverage. You’ve got to get down there and root him out. He’s got a high motor, a guy that has done a really good job in there.”
At Arkansas State in 2020 the team ran a lot of three-man front and Hampton played end. He is playing more inside at Arkansas.
“Yes sir, I feel like I am,” Hampton said. “Three-tech, nose, something like that. I feel real comfortable playing end too with the three-down. I feel like I can play end because of 3-down and how it was set up. But other than that, yes sir.”
Hampton was hoping to become a Razorback out of high school, but injuries in his junior and senior seasons caused Arkansas to look elsewhere.
“I definitely was a Razorback,” Hampton said. “My pops, he always wanted me to play for the Razorbacks. Coming out of high school, I got injured, and that kind of was a downfall from there [recruiting-wise], and I went to Arkansas State. Life has come full circle, and I’m here now for sure.”
When Hampton entered the transfer portal he didn’t waste any time once the Hogs offered him.
“There were no hopes,” Hampton said. “Because I didn’t think there was an opportunity for me to go [to Arkansas]. But when it came, I took it as soon as possible. It was a no-brainer for me.”
Hampton had other offers in the portal, but he knew what he was going to do when the Hogs came calling.
“There were some other schools,” Hampton said. “There was definitely Houston. Houston was one of my top schools before Arkansas because I was getting recruited by them first. I would say SMU and Texas Tech, those were my top choices, but Arkansas came in and offered me and it was a quick decision for me.”
Barry Odom is pleased to have Hampton with the Hogs. He compared him to John Ridgeway who came to Arkansas from Illinois State.
“Yeah, there’s great players everywhere,” Odom said. “And you look at Ridgeway last year was at Illinois State. Playing for the Cowboys now. There’s really good players everywhere. Terry’s done a terrific job. He understands the scheme. He is strong. He’s got great leverage, and he understands how to use it and play. He’s got great get-off. He’s a huge addition for us inside. Really excited about… You know, I think he can become a lot better than he is today.”
Arkansas opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 3, against Cincinnati at 2:30 p.m. and is televised on ESPN.