Meridian All-American Says He's Going to Ole Miss

By: Louis Montesi, III
By: Louis Montesi, III
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In front of friends, family and media from across Mississippi and Alabama, Meridian High School senior C.J. Hampton ended his recruitment by saying he will be an Ole Miss Rebel.

The U.S. Army All-American picked Ole Miss over Alabama, Florida State and Arkansas.

"I talked to a lot of people in my family and talked to coach freeze, and just looked at the depth chart and everything like that, so it was a good position for me to go into," said Hampton. "I think I can go in there and do something different and be a ball hawk and change it."

The senior says Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze called him at 5:00 a.m. Friday morning so he could be the first to talk with him.

When a reporter asked Hampton if schools will still pursue him, he said they probably will.

"I'm pretty sure they will, because these past two weeks have been real intense recruiting-wise," said Hampton. "They've been pushing pretty hard, so you know, I respect it. And, you know, if they want to talk, I'll talk. But you know, it just depends."

Hampton gave a verbal commitment to Ole Miss in the Summer before his junior season at Meridian. However, he reopened his recruitment this Fall.

While he maintained a relationship with Freeze, Alabama coach Nick Saban recruited him with fervor. The four-time national champion made his interest clear when arrived at Meridian High School in a helicopter on December 4th, landing on the Wildcats' practice field.

Hampton said others disagreed with his decision, but Ole Miss felt like the best choice.

"I said 'C.J., you're the one that's got to do it,'" said Meridian coach Larry Weems of his conversation with Hampton. "'So whether somebody else understands or not's really insignificant. You've got to do what you feel like best fits you.'"

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