2010 Intro: Victor Hampton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Immediately following his junior football season, Victor Hampton watched his recruiting stock grow exponentially.

"It's that natural speed he has," Independence defensive backs coach Josh Kranish said. "In all of his tape, he's using recovery speed in almost every one of his highlights. He's sitting back soft in zone and then flying to the ball and ripping it out of the air. Or he's in man-coverage and he's getting a little sloppy, but he's fast enough to stay on the receiver's hip and make the play.

"Victor is just a naturally gifted athlete. He's been probably one of the best players at every sport he's ever played. He has speed, great hips, great feet, and he has an incredible burst – something that can't be coached."

Less than a week after Independence's loss in the NCHSAA 4AA semifinals, Clemson would become the first school to extend Hampton a scholarship offer. Florida, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and Tennessee soon followed with offers of their own for the 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback.

Hampton says outside of receiving UNC's offer in the mail two weeks ago, he's had minimal contact with the Tar Heels' coaching staff. Tommy Thigpen, who left UNC nearly a week ago to accept at job at Auburn, recruited the Charlotte area for UNC.

Just as suddenly as his recruitment began, Hampton hopes to bring it to an end with an early verbal commitment.

"It will be soon," Hampton said of making a commitment. "It might be next week, the week after that, this week – you never know."

Hampton says he's "pretty set" on verbally committing early.

"[I want to commit early] to get it out of the way so that I won't have to worry about all that stuff next year," Hampton said. "So I figure I'll just go ahead and do it now."

Additionally, committing early will allow Hampton to place more focus on becoming academically qualified.

"Victor has a little bit of work to do, school-wise," Kranish said. "… We're going to help him get committed quickly, so that they can help him focus on his grades so that he will be eligible next year. He's not going go to any prep schools next year. We want him ready to play next year."

While his academic situation is less than ideal, with some work Hampton won't be a qualifying concern.

"His grades aren't very strong," Kranish said. "He's transferred to a couple of different high schools and that always messes you up. Grades aren't quite and issue, but they could be."

Hampton revealed that Florida is the frontrunner to earn that verbal commitment, despite never visiting the school.

"I talk to the coaches, a lot," Hampton said. "That's the team I really have been communicating with the most. That's the team that has really been trying to communicate with me.

"It's a great place. And if I can go there to play, why not [commit]?"

Approximately a year ago, Hampton transferred to Independence from rival Matthews Butler.

"The work ethic over there is way different," Hampton said. "They come to work for championships here and got them over here."

Almost as soon as Hampton stepped foot on Independence's campus the coaching staff knew they added a special talent to their roster.

"The second we had him in weight training we saw his natural speed [and] natural ability, and we were pretty much convinced he was the real deal," Kranish said.

Hampton would go on to almost immediately win one of the starting cornerback spots.

Following the season, Hampton was named to the Southwestern All-Conference and Mecklenburg All-County teams. He posted ten interception and roughly 50 tackles, on the season.

Victor Hampton Profile

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