Peoria (Arizona) Centennial cornerback Dominique Hampton fits the bill as the tall, long, rangy defensive back the Irish want in this class.
Hampton was productive during his junior season, racking up 36 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two forced fumbles while adding four receptions for 159 yards and two scores on offense. As a result of his performance, he received Arizona 5A Northwest All-Region honors.
Right now, he holds only three offers, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State. The Sun Devils offered earlier this week. However, his offer list could grow this weekend, as the Irish staff has been in contact for months with considerable interest.
Hampton may have kicked off his own recruitment with Notre Dame.
“I actually followed Notre Dame’s DB coach, coach (Todd) Lyght, and he followed me back,” Hampton said. “Then, he started DM’ing me, saying that I fit their system at Notre Dame and different things of that nature.”
Hampton chose to make himself noticeable to the Irish staff for a reason.
“I used to be a huge fan of Notre Dame because of the history they have,” he said. “I was thinking this was the spark of my recruiting, recruiting-wise, so why not try and follow him and see if I get a follow back.”
Considering his recent offer from the Sun Devils, this upcoming visit to South Bend and his physical attributes, Hampton could see his stock rise significantly in the near future.
“It’s always exciting to get an offer from a big-time school like Arizona State,” Hampton said.
The three-star defensive back is aware of the prowess of Notre Dame and anticipates making a good impression in South Bend.
“I’m going to go out there and see if I like the facilities and I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy what I see with all the great players who have gone through the University,” Hampton said.
An offer from the Irish would be a significant game-changer for the Hampton and his parents, who will come along for the trip.
“That would mean a lot to have a university with such a storied history offer me,” Hampton said. “It’s like any school with an offer, it’s a good feeling but just a school that’s that big and that storied is amazing.
“They would easily be on the top of the list, just because of what they have to offer, how big the university is.”
Leaving Arizona to attend a Midwest college isn’t something that will be an issue for Hampton.
“Well, I’m going to have to get away from my family at some point. It might as well be in my college years,” Hampton said.
Considering Hampton’s size and skill set, there could be a window of opportunity for him at one of the safety positions.
“They’re actually recruiting me as an athlete, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to play both, just because of the size that I bring,” Hampton said.
Justin Birdsong of Georgia and Erick Hallett II of Texas are cornerbacks from the class of 2018 also scheduled for unofficial visits to Notre Dame this weekend. Both have talked up the possibility of an offer. Considering Irish needs, there’s a decent chance at least one of the cornerbacks bound for South Bend lands one.