Meridian Star

Sports

July 7, 2013

C.J. Hampton shines at Nike’s The Opening

MERIDIAN — Meridian High School safety C.J. Hampton already knew he was one of the top players in Mississippi heading into Nike's The Opening last week. After compiling a SPARQ rating of 103.45 posting the camp's 13th best 40-time at 4.48, he returns home knowing he can match up with any player in the nation.

    “It was a good trip, I enjoyed it a lot,” Hampton said. “I got to play against some of the top guys nationally, and it was good to measure up my talents against some of the other top guys.”

    The Ole Miss commit said he enjoyed getting to work with NFL coaches and players, particularly singling out Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman and former University of Alabama great Dee Milliner.

    “Getting to work with those guys really helps me out a lot,” Hampton said. “They teach you the way to play the game.”

    Though he played free safety at the camp, Hampton was able to work with Milliner during one-on-one drills and picked up a few pointers from the first-round corner.

    “The thing he told me was to be patient,” Hampton said. “When a guy comes off the line, there's no point in being all physical. You just got to be patient and let him come to you, then you make a move. He was just telling me a lot of things to make the game a little easier.

    “Just hearing him tell me and seeing how he does stuff, by him showing me that it allows me to bring it back home and show the other guys.”

    Hampton said that advice came in handy, especially when up against Rivals 100 members Malachi Dupre and KD Cannon.

    “They are really quick off the line,” Hampton said. “They can run a five-yard route and will have you think they are running a go route because they are going so hard. It was a lot different from other guys I have gone up against.”

    On top of leading his Meridian Wildcats to a 6A state championship this year, Hampton said he has another goal –– earn an elusive fifth star.

    “I'm not far,” Hampton said. “Every guy out here is looking for improvement, and if I keep playing my game, the fifth star will come.”

    Though he is currently committed to Ole Miss, Hampton plans to take all five of his visits during his senior year. The 6-2, 196-pound defender said he plans on traveling to Miami first, followed by a visit to Alabama, Stanford and Ole Miss. Hampton said he isn't sure where his fifth visit will be at this time.

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