Ohio ATH Looking at The Farm

Bruce Hampton is a 5-11, 180-pound athlete from University Heights (Ohio) Cleveland Heights, and Hampton has been impressing coaches from all over the country with his play as a defensive back, taking a team with little hope and giving them a reason to believe. After CH's fist game in 2004, they've already matched their 2003 win total.

"I had a great first game," Hampton told TheInsiders.com Wednesday. "I had four catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. I had two interceptions on defense and five passes broken up."

Hampton has been a bit of a savior for the Cleveland-based high school program. "I came to Cleveland Heights last year during the second semester, so I didn't play for them," he said. "They only won one game. They had tremendous talent, but they lacked somebody to help get them on track. I've had parents come up to me and coaches talk to my parents about how the program is different with me being there. And I don't know what I really do. I just tell the guys to work hard and lead by example, be vocal with them. And we won our first game. It shows the kind of improvement the team has been able to make, not just through me but through everybody.

"We like to play right in your face. I feel like I'm pretty physical at the line of scrimmage. If a guy is going to catch a ball, he's going to have to work to get it. If you came to see me, you would see an athlete out there who makes plays."

But Hampton isn't going to wait for colleges to come and find him, especially because of his mid-year transfer last winter. "I was really active this summer," he said when asked about recruiting.

"I went to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Indiana, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, West Virginia and Iowa - those were the major ones.

"Ohio State is a school that's going to grab your attention, whether you are from Ohio or from California. Iowa kind of shocked me. When you think of Iowa, you think it's in the middle of nowhere, but I think it was impressive. Indiana was impressive to me too."

All of the schools listed are recruiting Hampton as a cornerback. He reports standing scholarship offers from Indiana, Stanford and Ball State "Schools have been saying they need film of my first couple of games, so I'm really hoping that within the next week or two that a lot more will come based on the first couple of games that I had," Hampton said. "That's what everybody was waiting for."

The Cardinal seem to be the odd school out, especially from a logistics standpoint. "Stanford sent me stuff early on and they are a great school," Hampton said. "I sent them a highlight tape and they were very interested. Then I sent them film of that first game and they told me that they need corners, so that's how that worked out. It's far away, but I wouldn't be afraid to go all the way out there."

Hampton currently boasts a 3.8 GPA and a 23 on his first ACT try. "I'm going to take it again," he said. "The Stanford coaches want me to take it again. They told me that it would help me in the admissions process to get a 25."

So does Hampton have a leader or a group of schools he's focusing on? "I think a lot of the places I'm considering I've been to," he said. "For some strange reason we have a Thursday game, so that would be a good weekend to take a visit. But the most important thing right now for me is winning ballgames.

"I'm just kind of waiting to see everything first. I'm wide open."

That being said, Hampton will 'definitely' visit Indiana and Stanford for sure. The other official trips will depend on any other offers that come down.

Does that leave a school like Ball State, a smaller school, out in the cold? "I'm going to consider bigger things first, but it could be a great opportunity to play early, get on the field," Hampton said. "I'm not ruling anything out."

Ohio State and Iowa are also right at the top of Hampton's list of favorites.

Bruce Hampton Scout Profile

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