"I know that time is precious now," Hampton said about his high school career coming to an end. "There's a small amount of time left for me in high school. I'm going to enjoy it while I'm here and try and finish my career here with a state championship. That would put my time here on top. That's my goal."
Meridian is off to a 2-1 start with a very young team.
"We have a young team with a lot of guys with little experience, but they've stepped up to the plate. They've made a lot of plays for us. I want them to know this is about the team, not C.J. Hampton."
Hampton does feel like he has seen some improvements in his personal game this season.
"I feel like the game has slowed down for me. They aren't running as fast as they were last year. I'm closing in on the ball better than when I was younger. Our coaches have helped me take it up a notch. My dad has too. They've been with me a while, and they're helping me with my footwork which has helped me close on the ball better. I'm using my eyes better too. This offseason and past couple of seasons have helped me become a better player."
A loss to South Panola last weekend was tough, but Hampton isn't looking at the setback negatively. Actually, he's drawing some positives.
"We came out rolling and then we missed some assignments on defense. They're small things that can be fixed. It wasn't a district game so it didn't hurt us that badly. We can fix the missed assignments. It's never good to lose but we feel like it's going to help us in the long run. We now know we're not unbeatable so we have to step up our play now."
Most free safeties concentrate on their pass coverage. Not Hampton
"I'm working on my tackling. I know that sounds funny for a free safety to say that because we always like to work on our coverage skills, but I'm trying to learn when to make the big hit and when to make the sure tackle."
Hampton had his first college scout evaluate him last week.
"I wouldn't expect anyone else to come see me first than coach (Hugh) Freeze. I knew he was coming before the game started. He told me earlier in the week he wanted to be the first coach to come see me. They expect me to do big things there, that's why they offered me my sophomore season. I didn't try and do anything extra special in that game because they already know what I can do. I just tried to stay within the system."
Freeze, in his second year as head coach of Ole Miss, wasn't didn't get a chance to talk to him at the game but talked to him later to let him know what he thought about the contest.
"He told me I had a real good game. Coach (Freeze) wants me to keep working on being a team leader and focus on what's important. He wants me to keep making big plays and everything will be fine."
Miami is expected to come see Meridian play this Friday, and several more schools are expected to scout him soon.
"Coach Williams for Miami will be here Friday. Coach Gus for Auburn, Burns for Alabama, and Pruitt for Florida State all said they are coming to see me play this season."
Hampton is committed to Ole Miss but said he would visit Georgia, Stanford, Alabama and Auburn along with the Rebels a month back on his Twitter account. That number might be reduced to three.
"I still plan on taking some visits soon because I'm enrolling early. I still haven't scheduled any outside of Ole Miss. I'll take it day by day, but I do plan on checking out at least three of them. I want to see Alabama and Auburn along with Ole Miss."
Alabama continues to put Hampton as a major priority for its recruiting class.
"I just like Alabama because of what they do with the guys when they step on campus. I like how much they care for their players, and I especially like what they do with their defensive backs. They have a good track record of sending them to the (NFL). They're good people, and they are very interested in me. I'm going to show some love back."
Auburn has a contact with a former coach of Hampton's.
"They're pushing really hard too. The coach at Auburn is the one that put my DB coach Dexter McCleon in the league. We have a great relationship."
Ole Miss is the school he has been committed to for almost three years.
"I committed to them real early. I've been over there so many times now. I know what I'm getting with Ole Miss. I can tell they care about me and my family. I know I can do big things there and get some early playing time there also."
What does Freeze say when he reads that Hampton is still looking at other schools while committed to the Rebels?
"He knows I'm a young athlete, and there are a million guys that would love to have the options I have. He understands I have to still compare all of the schools. Things happen. People can change and coaches can leave too. He understands I have to still look around and look at my options. He asks me questions about it all of the time but it's never serious. He never pressures me into anything."
Does the Army All-American feel comfortable with his commitment?
"I think they'll take care of me if I go to Ole Miss. That is the most important thing. I think I'll be handled well if I go there. I also think I can step on the field early and that's my main focus. Everything will be good with me there."
What will Hampton evaluate at Ole Miss from here through when he signs to make sure it is the school for him?
"I'm looking at their depth chart. I know what I'm getting with their defense because we run the same thing here at Meridian. I'm just looking at who they already have at safety and who else they are recruiting. I don't mind competition. There is competition everywhere you go but you always want to look at what is best for you."
Speaking of competition Hampton happens to be really close with the No. 2 safety prospect in the country.
"Me and Jamal Adams are really close. I've been knowing him for over a year since we went to a combine together going into our junior season. We talk on the phone like two or three times a week. We're going to visit Ole Miss the Texas A&M weekend. That'd be nice if he were to join me. We'll just have to wait and see if it works out."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org