Dream Realized

C.J. Hampton

Meridian, Miss., defensive back C.J. Hampton has quite a bit of time until he signs a national letter of intent. But Hampton, a 2014 prospect, went ahead and got his commitment out of the way early.


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The 6-foot, 182-pound Hampton committed to Ole Miss Monday, becoming the first commitment for the Rebels for the signing class of 2014.

Other interested schools included Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn and Southern Mississippi.

"Ole Miss is where I want to be. It's my dream school, so once they put the offer down on the table, I pretty much jumped on it," he said. "I knew that was where I wanted to be, so I went ahead and made a verbal."

Hampton plays both sides of the ball for Meridian High School. On offense, he's a wide receiver. Ole Miss, and primarily co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff, is recruiting Hampton as a free safety.

"It's a Mississippi school. I like the atmosphere up there," he said. "I'm a Meridian guy from a small town. It seems like the right place for me. Me and (Ole Miss head) Coach (Hugh) Freeze, we talk a lot. And me and my recruiter, Coach McGriff, we talk a lot. My family and everybody, we just like it. It's like home to me."

Hampton camped at Alabama and Ole Miss last week. "I did pretty good at both of them," he said.

Though he didn't record a time in the 40-yard dash or a jump in the vertical, he participated in drills amidst the watchful eyes of the Ole Miss coaching staff while in Oxford. He was offered a scholarship over the weekend.

The opportunity to play early was a selling point for Ole Miss.

"They said I could come in and play early, if I come in with my mind right," Hampton said. "I'm playing both sides of the ball right now, so it's either/or. I've got three years or more to think about what position I want to play. Everything's good."

With his commitment out of the way, Hampton said he'll focus on his junior season at Meridian and leading the Wildcats to a state championship.

"Every DB wants to work on his closing speed and coming out of his breaks," he said, when asked of the areas of his game he hopes to improve on. "One of the things I want to do is lead my team to a state championship in Mississippi."

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