- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2006


Navy starting quarterback Brian Hampton’s first reaction was to apologize.

Hampton ran an option play to his right in the first quarter yesterday and kept the ball, cutting back to the middle of the field. His left leg buckled when Rutgers defensive tackle Ramel Meekins hit him, and Hampton lay on the ground for several minutes while the Navy athletic training staff mobilized his leg on a stretcher.

“I was on the field trying to calm him down, and all he did was keep apologizing to me,” Navy coach Paul Johnson said. “There wasn’t anything he could have done. It was just one of those things.”

Hampton, a senior, left the game with a dislocated left knee. He won’t know the severity of the damage until later this week, but his career is likely over. He went to Anne Arundel Medical Center because his foot went numb and the staff feared there was an issue with his blood flow, but he returned to the stadium near the end of the game.

While Hampton was on the ground, the brigade broke a lengthy, solemn silence from a stadium-record crowd at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium by chanting “Brian Hampton,” and Hampton acknowledged them by raising his left index finger while riding off the field on a cart.

“I was more or less just mad because I knew I had to at least go out of the game,” Hampton said while standing on crutches outside the Midshipmen’s locker room. “That was probably my biggest disappointment. I’ll leave it up to the doctors to tell me if I can play again.”

Corey Masisak

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