Where Are They Now? Lorenzo Hampton

Lorenzo Hampton, center, dives for a first down against Southern California as Trojan defenders, including Jack Del Rio (52), try to tackle him in Los Angeles, on Sept. 10, 1983. (The Associated Press)

Published: Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 2, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.

More than 20 years after the end of his pro career, Lorenzo Hampton is still involved with the sport he loves.

Only now, Hampton's efforts center around teaching the game rather than carrying a football.

Hampton, a former running back for the Florida Gators and Miami Dolphins, runs a series of summer football camps in the South Florida area for kids ages 7-14.

“The message is pretty much being healthy and learning the fundamentals of the game,” Hampton said. “We're trying to coach the game to the middle school kids to help get them prepared for high schools.”

The camps are part of of Hampton's charitable foundation, Lemon-Aid Makers. He also was involved with organizing committees when the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl were in Miami last February.

Hampton said he founded the charitable foundation to reach out to inner-city youth.

“We're able to be flexible, to make a difference for inner-city kids,” Hampton said. “Some kids, if they don't have the money to attend camps, we still find a way to make it happen for them.”

Hampton, 48, lives in Boca Raton with his wife Marcia. The couple have been married for 19 years and have two children. Hampton's daughter, Loren, is a 15-year-old sophomore on West Boca High's basketball team. His son, Lorenzo Jr., is a pitcher and corner infielder on his middle school baseball team.

Recruited by Charley Pell after a standout career at Lake Wales High, Hampton accepted a scholarship to Florida in 1981. Playing in the same backfield as Neal Anderson and John L. Williams, Hampton didn't get as many carries with the Gators. His UF career highlights included a 138-yard performance against Florida State in 1982 and a 75-yard TD run the same season against West Texas State.

“Best time of my life,” Hampton said of his days at Florida. “I met some great people.”

The limited carries didn't prevent Miami from taking Hampton in the first round (27th overall) of the 1985 NFL draft. In his five-season NFL career, all with the Dolphins, Hampton finished with 1,949 yards rushing, 954 yards receiving and 28 touchdowns.

Hampton left the NFL in 1989 with no regrets.

“I walked away from the game pretty healthy,” Hampton said. “A lot of my teammates who stayed in the game longer, I look at some of the health problems that they have, and I consider myself blessed.”

Hampton said he was particularly saddened by the recent death of Jarvis Williams, a former Florida and Dolphins teammate. Williams died at 45 after an asthma attack.

“God took one of the good ones,” Hampton said.

Hampton still keeps in touch with former Gator and Dolphin teammates Louis Oliver and Nat Moore. He hasn't returned to Gainesville to attend a game, but did attend Florida's BCS championship win over Oklahoma in Miami in January of 2009.

“At (the University of) Miami, they have a great relationship with all the alumni that come back, they allow them to go on the field with the players,” Hampton said. “That's my only little gripe with Florida, just to have the opportunity to go on the field. I think that helps with recruiting and the connection with the program. I see it starting to change a little bit. I hope the coaches and the athletic department continue with that change.”

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