Meridian Star

July 7, 2013

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

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

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.



Below are Hampton's quotes on his top five schools right now listed in alphabetical order after Ole Miss.

Ole Miss:  “Ole Miss is still where I am at right now. They care about me, so I'm still there. I'm also going to check out my other options. I'm going to take all five my official visits. It is an in-state school for me, and it was my first offer. I'm a big part of that 2014 class, and I'm a big priority to them, so with them telling me that it means a lot to me.”

Alabama: “Alabama, it's a winning program. Coach Saban, he thinks highly of me, and we talk on a consistent basis. He is very big on trying to get me there.”

Auburn: “They are really big on me. They still have a good relationship with me, and that means a lot just by how the coaching staff and everyone contacts my family.”

Miami: “Miami, is just Miami. You always here about it from the 90's and how good they were. The coaches are just telling me how they are trying to get the program back to how it was. Plus, it is in Miami, so that's a big part of it too.”

Stanford: “Seeing how they are from an academic standpoint, it speaks for itself. But, going out and seeing it and how the are athletic wise and the things they do to create NFL prospects, that is a big thing for me.”