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Soldier Field hosts Chicago Football Classic
Hampton faces Alabama A&M in Saturday’s game
The last time David Legree was in the Chicago area, he was a freshman quarterback who watched from the sidelines as his Syracuse teammates fell to Northwestern in a 2008 game in Evanston.
Legree will play a more significant role Saturday afternoon when he takes the field for Hampton University against Alabama A&M in the 14th Annual Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field, which features Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A preseason second-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection — in his third season with the Pirates after transferring from Syracuse — Legree will look to get Hampton off to a strong start in the season-opener for both teams.
Hampton University “Coming from a division one, single-A school you have a lot of pressure on you,” said Legree, who threw for 1,679 yards and nine touchdowns last season as Hampton finished 6-5. “I put a lot of added pressure on myself and now I just feel a lot more comfortable. It’s my third year here and I’m just ready to play football the way I know I’m capable of playing.”
Also easing the pressure is having a talented defense to shut down opponents, something Hampton did well last season, finishing 2010 ranked third among all Football Championship Subdivision teams in total defense, yielding 271.5 yards per game.
This season’s Pirates defense will focus on stopping an Alabama A&M squad that is led by running back Kaderius Lacey. The senior is among six returning offensive starters for the Bulldogs and rushed for 710 yards and five touchdowns last season.
“We want to hustle to the ball, swarm the ball and protect the end zone and not let anybody in there,” Hampton senior defensive back James Butts said.
Alabama A&M is looking to improve off its 3-8 record a season ago and is led defensively by junior linebacker Willie Fuller, a preseason Southwestern Athletic Conference selection.
By Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune