Florida football is in 2015 center fielder Lorenzo Hampton, Jr.’s blood. His father – Lorenzo, Sr. – played for the Gators, and, after being drafted 27th overall in 1985, four years as a running back for the Miami Dolphins. But, when it came time for Hampton, Jr., to choose a sport, Dear Old Dad didn’t want his boy to deal with the physical grind of football. So, Junior chose baseball, and it’s paid off. On Saturday night, after Big Game, he committed to California.
“I’ve just always been a baseball guy, and never really got into football, and my dad never wanted me to play,” said Hampton, Jr., who certainly has football size, though at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, he looks more like a tight end than his running back father. “Mostly it was the injuries. My dad used to beat up on everybody, and he didn’t want that for me.”
Despite interest from both Miami and Florida, Hampton, Jr.’s official visit to Berkeley clinched things for the No. 33 outfielder in the 2015 class, and the No. 151 overall player, according to Perfect Game USA.
“I just did last night,” Hampton, Jr., told BearTerritory on Sunday. “We were at dinner, and the other recruits and four or five host players were there. I was at that table, and I went to the coaches’ table after we finished eating, and I told them. They were excited, and the players were excited.”
While Hampton is being brought in as an outfielder, he also pitches, and has topped out at 92 mph with his fastball. Getting Hampton is huge for Cal, as he was the second-highest ranked uncommitted player in the 2015 class, comes from athletic bloodlines and is a power arm at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, something the Bears don’t have in the outfield now. He also features a power bat from the right side, something that will play well with the new flat-seam balls in college baseball, and at Evans Diamond, which has been more favorable to right-handed hitters, historically.
“I liked the atmosphere, the coaching staff and how the campus is, the dorms, how everything is with the tradition,” Hampton, Jr., said. As for the baseball programs in his home state? “It was just about finding the right fit. I don’t think that I really fit in with those programs. It was not somewhere I would be comfortable, and I just felt comfortable here. I just felt comfortable out here. The way they play the game, the coaches want to get better and work hard. It’s not just beneficial for them, that’s beneficial for the players, too.”
Since Hampton, Jr., missed the early signing period, he will ink his National Letter of Intent during the late period, starting April 15 and extending to Aug. 1.