Rodney Hampton: Superstar Of The Present And Future This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Rodney Hampton is indubitably one of the two top running backs in the NFL. You may be saying "No way!" with Barry Sanders, Emmit Smith, Thurman Thomas, Barry Foster, and Jerome Bettis, he doesn't even crack the top five. But let's just think about it for a minute.

He topped the l,000 yard rushing mark for the last three years. So, you say, has Emmit, Thurman, and Barry Sanders. But what you may not realize is that when Rodney rushed for 1,077 yards last year, he was out for four games due to a knee injury. So, if healthy, he may have competed for the rushing title.

From Georgia University he bridges the gap between power rusher (Barry Foster's forte), quickness, and incredible breakaway speed, a Barry Sanders specialty. In my opinion, of all running backs in the NFL, only Emmit Smith and Hampton have such ability to excel in both areas.

Rodney gets most of the carries for the New York Giants. He carries the ball at least 20 times a game for the G men. One play I saw in the last year's playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings displayed Hampton's quickness, breakaway speed and overall power. Rodney slipped through a hole made by the Giants' offensive line, cut away from a defender, and was off. He broke away from the pack and sprinted to the 20-yard line and flat out stiff armed the Viking (who made the mistake of trying to tackle him). Then another Viking tried to tackle him so he stiff-armed and plowed over him to get the well-earned six points. Unbelievable!

All Hampton needs is to have one healthy season and he will show the world how great he really is. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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