By Tony Tsoukalas / email@example.com
The Meridian Star
It doesn’t get much better than it did Sunday for Meridian High School safety C.J. Hampton. The Rivals.com four-star safety was not only named the MVP of the Nike Combine in Memphis but also earned an invite to Nike’s The Opening camp in Eugene, Ore., on June 9.
“It’s a real big thing for me, my family and the community,” Hampton said of the invitation. “This is the first time somebody from Meridian has been invited to something as big as this, so it’s really big.”
Hampton competed with athletes from all around the southeast in the Nike Combine, compiling a 95 SPARQ rating on the day. The 6-foot-2, 196-pound defender even picked up some new skills he intends to use for next season.”
“Every camp I go to, I learn a new way to play a guy,” Hampton said. “I always try to come back and share what I learned with the guys on the team as much as possible.”
Hampton committed to Ole Miss last summer, and despite a rise in interest from other schools, he said he remains firmly committed to the Rebels. Hampton said Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Auburn and Stanford have recruited him the hardest so far this season.
“A lot of schools have been coming around, but I’m still committed to Ole Miss,” Hampton said. “I’m still happy there, so I’m good for right now.
“They are good people there, the coaching staff and everyone else are just good people. That’s the big part for me, I just want to be surrounded by good people.”
During the fall, Hampton plans to take all five of his official visits and said he plans on making trips out to Auburn Stanford and Tennessee. However, right now the Wildcat defender is just focused on his senior year and looking to continue his leadership role on the Meridian defense.
“Really, I’m expecting nothing less than a state championship,” Hampton said. “The guys have started to buy in and believe in the program more, and we understand what’s going on and what it takes to win. A lot of the younger guys are stepping up to the plate, and contributing. We have confidence, and we want to go out and show everyone that Meridian has the tradition it has always had. We just want to bring the golden ball back home.”