Four-star safety C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Miss. Meridian) had been committed to Ole Miss since June of 2012 before tweeting, “I am not committed to anyone so you know” yesterday. This tweet led credence to the notion that Hampton was strongly considering committing to Alabama when he would make his announcement today, but he recommitted to Ole Miss at a press conference at his high school tonight.
C.J Hampton announces for Ole Miss. pic.twitter.com/eJZxCwOCn3
— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) December 20, 2013
The decision for Hampton to commit wasn’t solely on his shoulders, but was made as an entire family. “My parents have to feel comfortable,” Hampton told The Clarion-Ledger last week. “I have to be surrounded by good people and people I know that will take care of me.”
Prior to the announcement, both SEC West programs felt good about where they stood, despite Hampton decommitting from Ole Miss the day before gained five predictions in 247Sports’ crystal ball. It was 100 percent in favor of Alabama the day before, but at the time of the announcement, was 83 percent in favor of the Tide.
The reason Alabama was so optimistic was because Hampton visited Alabama as many as six times since the summer, including last weekend after the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game, compared to only two for Ole Miss. The writing was on the wall he’d commit to Alabama, but he pulled the mild upset and stays home where he and last year’s No. 1 safety Tony Connor should form a special duo in the defensive backfield.
Hampton is Ole Miss’ second highest ranked recruit behind Rod Taylor and the Rebels now have commitments from the top three recruits in the Magnolia State including Markell Pack. Ole Miss has the No. 15 ranked class in the nation, according to 247Sports and the No. 8 class in the SEC.
Alabama lost the commitment from No. 3 safety recruit Laurence ‘Hootie’ Jones on Wednesday and thought they were getting Hampton today, so they kinda lost two safeties in three days and now must hope Jones pulls a Hampton and commits to a school he was once committed to.
Arkansas and Florida State were also in the running for the 6-1, 195-pound safety, but this was perceived to be a two-team race between the Rebels and Crimson Tide. Hampton finished his senior season with 48 tackles and three interceptions and will play in the Jan. 4 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
This is a huge commitment to get Hampton, their No. 1 guy on their recruiting board, and to give the Rebels some momentum with signing day six weeks away.
Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.