C.J. Hampton recruit scouting report: Safety with range

USA TODAY Sports

Meet the safety in great demand in the South.

C.J. Hampton, who comes from Meridian, Miss., is one of the best players in the Magnolia State this year, and while offensive lineman Roderick Taylor is unanimously considered at number one, Hampton is one of the few players in the mix right behind him.

The 6'1, 195-pound safety runs a reported 4.48 40, and is a consensus 4-star player on every recruiting service. Although opinions differ on where Hampton stands among other safeties, he has been ranked anywhere between the 16th and fourth there. The 247sports composite, which attempts to average out these differences, has Hampton at eighth among 2014 safeties, and 97th among all 2014 prospects, regardless of position.

Most of the SEC has come calling for Hampton, as Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU and Tennessee have all reportedly offered him. Stanford and Florida State are two prominent, non-SEC programs that have tried to get Hampton's commitment.

Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst (@yssd): Hampton is a long, athletic safety recruit with an elite level baseline skillset for the position. He appears to every bit of the 6'2" he's listed at on scouting reports with the ability to add 10-15 pounds to his 200-pound frame.

Hampton profiles as a ball-hawking centerfielder type of safety. He's more advanced defending the pass at this stage of his development. He wouldn't necessarily be classified as a thumper in run support.

Operating out in space, Hampton is very instinctive. He's a top shelf athlete with smooth hips and plus level agility. He's a scheme versatile player who can operate in a cover two shell but who's abilities and range would best be maximized operating as a single high free safety.

Hampton is a mid-strider who shows the ability to chop his steps and re-direct his momentum. He has great vision and instincts as he's able to read routes as they develop. Take great angles to the ball to put himself in position to use his length to contest throws.

Hampton has great body control and is an explosive leaper. These traits project him to have plus level playmaking ability at the next level as he very adept at putting himself in position to challenge at the catch-point.

In the run game Hampton could be more aggressive filling the alleys versus the run. He's not really an authoritative striker and at time will throw his body at receivers as opposed making solid wrap-tackles.

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