Although I am a proud Howard University Bison, I would be remiss to not point out young greatness when seen across the blue lines.
Hampton University’s Pirates have been a true rival to ‘The Hilltop,’ however even we have to admit when the other side has a gem in its hands.
Thus enter Christian Faber-Kinney, Hampton's football punter and decathlon athlete who is defying the odds as a two-sport jock.
The 6-foot-1 senior is ranked among the top punters eligible for the draft by NFLDraftScout.com. During his freshman year in 2012, he redshirted for the football team while also competing on the track & field squad during the outdoor season.
During his sophomore year, he was Second Team All-MEAC, seeing action in nine games for the Pirates. Faber-Kinney was second in the MEAC in punting, averaging 41.6 yards per kick and pinning 17 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
(Photo Credit: Hampton Sports Information)
He had 17 punts of at least 50 yards, including a season-long 71-yard boot against Delaware State and successfully executed a pair of fake punts, one run and one pass, at South Carolina State. Faber-Kinney earned MEAC Special Teams Player of the Week and FCS Special Teams Player of the Week honors after the South Carolina State game, then competed again for the track & field team during the outdoor season.
After dabbling with track at LaFayette High School, Faber-Kinney found his other calling in the decathlon at Hampton, delivering the top performance in the MEAC conference last season.
The 10-sport competition is composed of the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 100-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 meters.
Faber-Kinney delivered his best day at the Morgan State Legacy Meet earlier this year where he placed first with 6,009 points, the most in the MEAC last season.He won just one of the 10 events, the pole vault, however he won overall after finishing among the top three in seven of the 10 events.
His Pirate teammate Jerrick Powell won three events - the 100 meters, long jump and javelin, cementing the new prowess that Hampton is bringing to track and field.
After starting his collegiate athletic career as a football walk-on who accidentally also became a top decathlete, Faber-Kinney graduated last May but returned for his last year of eligibility while working on his Master’s in Business Administration.
In Hampton's season opening loss to Old Dominion, Faber-Kinney averaged close to 43 yards per punt. After this Saturday's home game against William and Mary, the Pirates travel to Washington, D.C. to take on Howard in the next installment of the heated rivalry in the AT&T Nations Football Classic at RFK Stadium on September 17th.
Listen close because you won't hear this from this Bison again, but Hampton definitely showed its piracy when it stole this gem from the talent pool.
The AT&T Nation's Football Classic® is a black college football game held annually at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Now in its sixth year, the 2016 game features Howard University against Hampton University and will be played on Saturday, September 17.