Hampton was the 2010 ME-GA 7 conference defensive player of the year. He is a two-time Charlotte Observer All-Mecklenburg pick.
Here is a story I wrote on him last October:
"Everyone was bigger, faster, stronger," he said.
That season, in a 27-14 Olympic loss to Ardrey Kell, a Knights running back ran toward the left side of the field against Olympic and cut back. When he made his move, there was only McAfee in his path.
"I got run over," McAfee remembers. "And as soon as I did, I got the mindset that's either me or him -- and it's not going to be me."
From that moment, McAfee has taken football seriously, listening intently to his coaches. He's worked out harder than he ever had before, and has grown into a 6-foot-1, 235-pound senior with 4.7-second speed in the 40-yard dash, a 300-pound bench press and an impressive 500-pound squat.
McAfee started as a sophomore. As a junior, he had nearly 130 tackles and was the ME-GA 7 conference's defensive player of the year.
Early this season, after Olympic lost 70-6 to Butler, McAfee - with offers from N.C. Central, Gardner-Webb and Hampton - helped lead the Trojans to seven straight wins.
Olympic (8-1, 4-0) is tied with Charlotte Catholic (8-0, 4-0) for first place in the conference with two games left. Those teams meet next week at Catholic. Tonight, the Trojans will play host to Berry (6-2, 3-1) at 7.
"He just knows where the football is going somehow," Olympic coach Barry Shuford said of McAfee, who was named to the Shrine Bowl. "There are times in the game where he just takes over."
Like last year's game against visiting East Gaston, when McAfee made 22 tackles, including all four Olympic tackles in overtime as the Trojans won 24-17. This season, McAfee has 47 solo tackles, 23 assists, six tackles for loss, two caused fumbles and a fumble recovery.
He also has two interceptions, both in a 20-19 win against West Mecklenburg two weeks ago.
"One of those was to give us the ball back and help us take the lead," Shuford said. "The other one was to seal the game. It's just what he does at times, and he's got to continue doing so for us to be successful."
But it hasn't been just McAfee. Quarterbacks Rod Tinsley and Chase Shuford, the coach's son, have combined to throw for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Running backs Andrew Ray and Jarrett Harris are on track for 1,000-yard seasons, and sophomore back Issac Garcia has rushed for 487 yards and four touchdowns, has 307 yards receiving and 400 yards in kick returns.
They've all helped the Trojans through their share of adversity this season:
Defensive coordinator Tom Tedder resigned the week before the season began.
McAfee missed the Trojans' first game, a 44-42 win over North Mecklenburg, after sustaining a concussion in a scrimmage.
Early in the season, as many as 17 junior varsity and varsity players missed time with injuries. There were six concussions and three broken bones.
And then there was the humiliating loss to Butler in August.
The Wednesday before the game, Trojans starting center Blake Austin was injured, and Olympic worked in a replacement. In the game against the nationally ranked Bulldogs, Olympic fumbled several snaps. Butler scored six touchdowns in the first quarter.
"I think they got every one on that Friday," Shuford said. "Things rolled downhill. Butler's a good football team. We played a good second half and then they put their starters back in and made it 70. Our kids knew they were good and we had to regroup."
Olympic held Myers Park to nine points the next week for a win Shuford figures might have saved the season.
"We had to bounce back," McAfee said. "There's nothing we can do about it and no one was gonna let up on us for losing like we did. To me, it was just the same feeling as when I got run over in that hole."
McAfee has raised his level of play since the Butler loss. Coaches say they see it on tape and especially in person.
"Whew, what a player," Myers Park coach Greg Taylor said. "He's all over the field. He's hard to block. He knows his way around. I was really impressed. We would get people on him and we couldn't keep him blocked."
McAfee's father, Bryon, played at South Brunswick High before he joined the Navy. He said his son, who has played since he was 7, has always been a hitter. He said he's also a B student. And when Keith received that big hit as a freshman and was knocked down, one of the first people he told about it was his father.
"I knew he had potential as long as he focused on what he's doing," Bryon McAfee said. "When he got hit, he got more aggressive than what he already was and became more aware of his surroundings. It was an eye-opener for him."
And bad news for everyone else.