Police are looking to question two South Carolina football players that are expected to be chosen in next month’s NFL Draft about a beating suffered by a Brooklyn man at a nightclub in New York City over the weekend. Michael Haver was beaten so badly at the Greenhouse nightclub Friday night, according to police, that he needed surgery to repair facial injuries. Police say Victor Hampton and Kelcy Quarles, both 22 and elite Gamecocks players, were at the nightclub at the time of the incident.
According to reports, the men were all in the V.I.P. room around 3 a.m. when a man, who may have been one of the football players, began arguing with Haver, 28, and assaulted him. Haver reportedly then took a cab to Metropolitan Hospital Center where he underwent four hours of facial surgery Hampton and Quarles are only being sought as potential witnesses at this point, police said. Hampton, a 5-10, 202 pound cornerback who left after his junior year to enter the draft and Quarles, a 6-4, 298 pound defensive tackle who also left after his junior year, were in town for an ESPN draft-related function. Quarles has denied any involvement in the incident, while Hampton has refused to comment.
And in an incident police believe is unrelated, another University of South Carolina football player in the city for the same event was stabbed outside the Greenhouse nightclub after arguing with an unidentified man. Police said Chaz Sutton, 24, a graduate of the university, was inside the club around 3:45 a.m. when he got into a confrontation with an unknown man, but left soon after to avoid a fight. Sutton then began walking back to his hotel, but the man followed and brandished a knife, stabbing him in the shoulder when he tried to back away, police said. The assailant then fled and his whereabouts are unknown.
Hampton was a four-star prospect out of Darlington High School in South Carolina who was named All-State by the Associated Press in his senior year. He redshirted in 2010 and played 10 games in 2011 as a cornerback and kick returner, finishing with 14 tackles, one interception and a 25.4 yard kickoff return average. As a sophomore in the 2012 season, he played in every game and posted 40 tackles and one pick. Hampton enjoyed his most productive collegiate season in 2013, finishing with 45 tackles and three interceptions.
Quarles, meanwhile, was also a four-star recruit coming out of Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and played in every game but one as a true freshman in 2011, recording 28 tackles. The following year he started all eleven games for the Gamecocks and finished with 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Quarles earned All-SEC First Team honors in 2013 with South Carolina, posting a team-leading 9.5 sacks. Sutton, 25, a fifth-year senior in 2013, went largely unnoticed this past season at defensive end opposite the nation’s top defensive pro prospect in Jadeveon Clowney. Sutton finished his senior year at South Carolina with 34 tackles and three sacks last season. At 6-5, 268 pounds he has the size of an NFL defensive end, but is expected to be selected in the later rounds or become an undrafted free agent.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat