No school in the country has had as much success as Alabama in the past few years under Nick Saban where SEC and BCS Championships are the norm and the program serves as a feeder system to the NFL. That run of dominance and lure of playing for the Crimson Tide has extended into Mississippi where Ole Miss commit C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Miss. Meridian) is thinking about visiting after recently receiving an offer.
Hampton committed to Hugh Freeze and the Rebels Jun. 5, 2012 and was the first in the class of 2013 to commit to the program, but when Alabama offers it’s awfully hard to turn a blind eye to what’s happening in Tuscaloosa. The 6-1, 190-pound safety told Chad Simmons from Scout.com,
“Alabama is a great school and it is a big-time football program there. I like how they go about their business, I like how the defensive backs play there, and it is a school I may take a look at.”
When you’re a high school recruit that has worked as hard as Hampton and achieved as much as he has in his career, you owe it to yourself to look into the program that has won three of the last four BCS Championships and routinely sends defenders to the NFL. He would be doing himself a disservice if he didn’t do his research and find out what the Tide has to offer.
However, Rebel Nation shouldn’t be too worried just yet, and I don’t think they will after successfully beating schools like Alabama last winter to secure the program’s best recruiting class in their history.
“I am still committed to Ole Miss and that is my No. 1 school,” Hampton told Simmons.
It remains to be seen when he will visit Alabama, but Hampton just seems like he is cut from the same cloth as Freeze and embodies the Rebel way. Certainly it’s a tall order to go head-to-head with Alabama on or off-the-field, but the relationship with Freeze established more than a year ago will be the overriding factor in him sticking with the Rebels in my opinion.
“I have a great bond with Coach [Hugh] Freeze and we talk almost everyday. I love the program and with me being the first commitment of this class, I feel I am the leader. I will visit some other schools, but I am strong to Ole Miss.”
Hampton is a four-star safety who 247Sports.com ranks as the third best prospect in the state, the ninth best safety in the country and would give Ole Miss the top safety in the state for the second straight year joining South Panola alum Tony Conner. He has stood out this spring at camps including earning MVP honors at the Nike Combine in Memphis in April and earned an invitation to The Opening, the prestigious camp held for only the nation’s elite prospects.
It’s a long way away until National Signing Day, but I’d expect Hampton’s commitment to remain firm and rebuff the all offers from Alabama and others to join Freeze and the Rebels in Oxford in 2014.