Top 38 Ole Miss Rebels: No. 32 C.J. Hampton


Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks punter Sam Irwin-Hill (92) punts under pressure from Ole Miss Rebels defensive back C.J. Moore (26) defensive back C.J. Hampton (3) during a game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Ole Miss 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday we discussed the depth and talent of the Ole Miss secondary, notably sophomore cornerback Kendarius Webster. Today, we delve into another member of that vaunted unit, sophomore safety C.J. Hampton.

The Meridian native was a the subject of a lot of recruiting drama as he was the first commitment to the in-state Rebels for the 2014 cycle. He appeared to be as solid as they come until late July of 2013 when he announced he would be taking visits to various schools across the Southeast. In the fall of his senior year, Hampton visited Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and Florida State, with serious interest in the Crimson Tide, Razorbacks and Bulldogs. At one point, it even seemed as though he were bound for Tuscaloosa before reaffirming his pledge to play in Oxford.

Why was Hampton fought after so hard? Well, he showed us in brief instances last year as a reserve safety, spelling All-American Cody Prewitt, who is now with the Tennessee Titans. Hampton played in every game as a safety and on special teams, totaling 10 tackles. He is a very strong tackler with good instincts to the football. While he may not register as many interceptions as Prewitt in his career, he has above-average coverage skills and can pop a receiver coming over the middle or when he’s up in run support.

Hampton is listed as senior Trae Elston’s backup at free safety while senior Chief Brown is backing up senior Mike Hilton. See a trend there? Hampton will be invaluable in 2016 and 2017 as the Rebels lose a lot of depth from the safety spots after this season. That doesn’t mean he won’t have a big role in 2015, however. Hampton will see a lot of time on defense and special teams and showcase his ability to lay the wood in open field.

In years past, guys like Hampton were shoe-ins to start in the Ole Miss secondary right away. Having the luxury of using him for spells and packages exemplifies the superb depth the coaching staff has established.

Recapping the list thus far:

38. Jordan Wilkins, RB (So.)

37. Christian Morris, OT (So.)

36. DeVante Kincade, QB (So.)

35. Aaron Morris, OG (Sr.)

34. Markell Pack, WR (So.)

33. Kendarius Webster, CB (So.)

32. C.J. Hampton, S (So.)