An offseason of attrition continued for Nebraska on Tuesday as inside linebacker Willie Hampton became the seventh Husker to announce that he will leave the football program since Scott Frost took over as coach in December.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was the first commit of Nebraska’s 2017 class and redshirted last season.
In a Twitter post, Hampton thanked former NU coach Mike Riley, former linebackers coach Trent Bray and the rest of the previous staff for their role in his Husker experience and also acknowledged Frost and the current Nebraska coaches for helping him develop this spring.
Hampton said he has been granted his scholarship release and intends to transfer and continue to play football. His decision leaves Nebraska at 83 total scholarships, two under the NCAA limit.
“To my brothers on the team, we built a bond that would last a lifetime,” Hampton wrote in part. “I thank y’all for making my time in Lincoln something to remember. Also helping me grow as a player. All of you will be missed. I wish y’all good luck this year.”
Hampton represents the third known member of the 2017 class to depart under Frost, with fullback Ben Miles and fellow inside linebacker Andrew Ward also going without ever playing a down at Nebraska. Quarterback Patrick O’Brien, offensive lineman Bryan Brokop, wide receiver Keyan Williams and offensive lineman Michael Decker have already left the program.
Hampton — like Ward — was buried among what appears to be a deep group of inside linebackers. Dedrick Young, Mo Barry and Will Honas rose to the top during the spring, with Avery Roberts among the next wave of contenders for playing time.