Saluki running back could leave for NFL

By Joe Ragusa

Saluki running back Jewel Hampton will test the waters of the NFL.

Hampton signed on to train with the St. Vincent Sports Performance facility with 14 other potential draftees, according to a press release from the facility.

“This facility only trains pre-draft guys. They don’t train sophomores in a group like this,” collegiate football scout Josh Buchanan said. “They’re not going to put a guy who’s a (redshirt junior) in college, training with them, if he’s not coming out early.”


Buchanan said the facility was too expensive for a college athlete to afford on his own, which means Hampton might have signed with an agent to help foot the bill, although that could not be confirmed.

If true, Hampton would not be allowed to come back to SIU because of NCAA restrictions against the use of agents.

Hampton won the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Year award after rushing for 1,121 yards and a conference-high 17 touchdowns. Before his time at SIU, Hampton spent three season with the University of Iowa, but transferred after two ACL surgeries.

St. Vincent Sports Performance facility was not open for business Friday to return calls. Hampton could not be reached immediately for comment.

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