The Clarion-Ledger has been naming off its top twelve football players in Mississippi this week. The fourth man on that list is Meridian High School defensive back C.J. Hampton.
When asked, Hampton said the news wasn't a big surprise.
"I've been doing a good bit of work," said Hampton. "I think.... I knew it was coming sooner or later, but I didn't expect it to come this early. It's prety cool and good for the community."
Before last season, the 6'2", 195 lb safety was the only returning starter in the Wildcat secondary, and he did not disappoint, collecting 48 tackles, three interceptions and six pass deflections for the wildcats... and college coaches took notice.
Although he's been committed to Ole Miss for over a year, Hampton is still being recruited heavily by Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee.
But before other SEC fans get excited, they should note the Meridian student has a fine relationship with Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze. Hampton said Freeze called to congratulate him and that the two talked for a while on Thursday.
He also received text messages from other Ole Miss commits such Callaway offensive lineman Rod Taylor -the consensus top football player in Mississippi- and others throughout the state.
Hampton is a true safety being recruited for that position by all of his suitors, but he says he will also line up at slot receiver when he takes the field for Meridian head coach Larry Weems and the wildcats this Fall.
According the Ledger's Rod Walker, Hampton is the 13th player from Meridian high to make the Dandy Dozen, making it the school with the second most selections in the state. He's the first wildcat to receive the honor since current Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell in 2008.