"We didn't have a lot of junior tape of Jewel to send out," Warren Central coach Steve Tutsie said. "That kind of lead to his recruitment starting off slowly."
But since the beginning of his senior season, that recruitment has started to take off. Hampton, who is a solidly built 5-11 and 200, is currently doing something that not even the great Darren Evans did – lead the state in rushing (2,100 yards and 28 tds heading into this weekend).
"Jewel is the best RB in the state bar none," Tutsie said of his tailback. "Jewel is doing some sensational things, he is a great leader and a hard worker. His grades are at an all time high and he brings it every day in practice."
Only one school to this point has offered Hampton, and that is Ball State, but Tutsie says that several more schools are interested.
"He has interest from Iowa, Minnesota, IU & North Carolina," Tutsie said. "His only offer is from Ball State, which is certainly not a bad offer. They are playing some great football this year and things are turning the corner in Coach [Brady] Hoke's program. I also think that their offense is tailor-made for his game. He would excel there."
Ball State certainly knows first hand about Hampton, even though he missed the Cardinals summer camp, Tutsie says that Ball State has even seen him play in person.
"Coach Hoke and Coach [Eddie} Faulkner know a lot about Jewel," Tutsie said. "Two weeks ago before they offered, Coach Faulkner was here to watch Jewel against Center Grove and they must have come away impressed because they offered."
Hampton is in no hurry to make a decision at this time. He has bigger things on his plate as Warren Central looks to again advance far into the Class 5A (largest class) tournament as they have in winning the past 4 state titles.