The Texas Longhorns have de-emphasized gaining commitments from prospects at their first Junior Day, but that didn't stop Dallas (Texas) Carter linebacker Cameron Hampton from giving his verbal pledge on Sunday.
The event wasn't expected to produce any new commits after head coach Mack Brown said Wednesday that Texas was not going to allow committed prospects to take any more visits and would be decreasing pressure on prospects to make early decisions.
It appears that neither one of those considerations phased Hampton.
A consensus four-star prospect, the 6-2, 205-pound Hampton declared the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and Longhorns his leaders back in late January. In December, Hampton had said Texas A&M was the leader after a visit early in the month, but the Aggies reportedly declined to take a commitment from him after already gaining commitments from Gilmer (Texas) linebacker Josh Walker and La Porte (Texas) linebacker Hoza Scott.
Hampton also held offers from Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and West Virginia, in addition to his uncommittable offer from A&M and his highly committable offers from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Hampton's speed in the 40 is variously listed as 4.55 or 4.6, so he he's not the most superlative athlete for linebacker position, but he is a very good athlete, with the instincts to read and react to plays quickly. A hard-hitter who can consistently wrap up and explode through his lower body to finish plays, Hampton also has a knack for forcing turnovers, causing a number of fumbles during his junior season and intercepting six passes as a sophomore, when he spent a fair amount of time at defensive end.
With his hand on the ground, Hampton gained experience using his hands to defeat blockers at the point of attack, which should serve him well as a linebacker in college, while also showing the quickness off the ball to track down ball-carriers from behind when left unblocked on the backside of plays.
Ranked as the 10th-best outside linebacker in the country by the 247Sports composite, Hampton is also considered a top-20 player in the state of Texas.
Hampton is the eighth commitment in the 2014 class and the second defender to pledge, joining San Antonio (Texas) Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson. His commitment was significant for the Texas class because the 'Horns had already missed on Walker and Scott, who were both targets before opting to head to College Station.
Cameron Hampton #35 6'2 205 4.6 OLB/DE Dallas Carter HS Class of 2014 (via 31theglove)
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