The safeties move in and out of the starting lineup for the University of Washington football team this season like charter busses pulling up to the stadium and unloading riders on game day.
Somebody new gets off each week.
Next stop: Dominique Hampton.
With junior free safety Alex Cook in concussion protocol following his scary collision at Arizona, Hampton stands to open his first game for the UW (3-4 overall, 2-2 Pac-12) on Saturday night at Stanford (3-4 overall, 2-3 league). Should that happen, he'll become the Huskies' sixth different starting safety as they enter their eighth game on the schedule.
"You will probably see him play a little bit more now because of the injuries," UW coach Jimmy Lake said.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound sophomore from Glendale, Arizona, was back in his home state when he pulled most of the snaps against Arizona after Cook went down at the end of the first quarter, was taken off the field on a stretcher and checked out at a Tucson hospital.
Hampton, normally a special-teams standout, was credited with a pair of tackles.
"He's made a lot of progress on special teams," Lake said. "You've seen over the last few weeks he's made some splash plays, special-teams wise, especially on punt. He's made some critical tackles. He's been playing well at safety in practice. Now his number was called because we down some guys. It was good for him to go out there."
The turnover at the UW's No. 1 safety spots has been nonstop this season.
Sophomore Julius Irvin and redshirt freshman Kamren Fabiculanan opened the season as the starters.
Cook replaced Fabiculanan for the Michigan game in week two.
Sophomore Cam Williams stepped in for Irvin against Arkansas State in the third game.
Asa Turner, another sophomore, next replaced an injured Williams against UCLA and Arizona.
All along, Hampton has been waiting for his chance to show what he can do as a first-teamer. He was singled out as a spring practice standout, yet he wasn't able to keep that momentum going into the regular season.
He didn't help himself at Michigan when he drew a taunting penalty after stopping a drive and standing over his opponent, his actions enabling the Wolverines to keep going and score.
All along, Hampton has hung in there, kept hitting people and tried to limit his mistakes. His time may come against Stanford.
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