Hampton makes decision

USC picks up commitment No. 9 with the announcement of De'Quan Hampton Sunday afternoon.

Long Beach (Calif.) City College wide out De'Quan Hampton has come a long ways in two years. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound receiver played tight end, defensive end and offensive tackle at Dominguez High School in Compton. Sunday, he announced he would play wide receiver for the Trojans.

"I didn't really want it out there, out there," said Hampton. "I was thinking about waiting to go public until the season started just to kind of see what happened after SC offered.

"I mean, just 20 minutes or so after news broke that SC came in with the offer, Alabama was hitting me up on Twitter. But my phone started blowing up, so I think word started to get around I committed to USC."

Hampton unofficially visited USC Saturday, which is when Steve Sarkisian forwarded him a scholarship offer. It was a visit of chance for Hampton.

"I was just thinking about it," said Hampton. "What if I hadn't gone up to SC for that visit. I killed it at their juco camp a couple weeks ago, but I didn't get an offer then. Yesterday I was bored, so I called my friend who was at the lineman camp.

"I just decided to come up and hang out with the coaches. That's when Coach Tee Martin said that Coach Sark wanted to talk to me. Coach Martin visited me once during spring on his own then came back with Coach Helton.

"After I didn't get the offer after the camp, I didn't know what to think. So it's crazy that me just going up there to hang out landed me the offer."

Committing the next day, there isn't much Hampton questioned about his potential future as a Trojan.

"It's California," said Hampton. "I love the weather and everything about living here. Just going up there for the camp, I felt real comfortable. I felt like I can be here and make stuff work.

"Their facilities are great and it's all there for you. Then talking to Tee Martin, he made such clear sense talking about staying home to play.

"He said, ‘Why would you go out of state to make yourself big. It's going to take you until your senior year until people know who you are. Come to USC and people will know who you are almost immediately.'"

"Plus, USC has put the most players in the NFL. That's a main goal of mine as well."

USC assistant coach Tee Martin led the way on Hampton's recruitment, standing on the table for him to get a scholarship offer back in May.

"I could tell Coach Martin was really talking me up," said Hampton. "It's real big because just being with him I feel like, ‘Ive got this dude because he knows me.' I feel like he wants me to be there, he wants me to succeed.

"When you get that feeling from someone, you can be confident and just go forward and try to succeed."

Success was in abundance at the USC Junior College Camp two weeks ago. Hampton, who measured in at 6-foot-3.5, 218-pounds, ran a 4.52 40-yard dash with a board jump of 10.6.

"At first I thought they were going to bring me in to go against a bunch of high school kids," said Hampton. "I'm like, ‘Why would they do that?'

"But then they told me they were having the camp just for JC dudes. That was cool and I did what I needed to do to impress them. I killed it during one-on-ones."

Hampton was a full qualifier out go high school, which puts him on track to graduate from Long Beach City College in December.

"In high school some of it had to do with playing in the wing-t," said Hampton. "They put me at tight end, offensive tackle, d-end, safety… They didn't know where to play me. Then I also think there was some favoritism going on too with the coaches.

"I just knew by my senior year I was going to have to go the JC route to get noticed."

In hindsight, the scholarship offer from USC was a dream come true. A dream shared with his family, who didn't want their son to wait to long in choosing a college after this weekend's events.

"My parents reaction was… well, my family kept looking at me like, ‘If you don't take this you're crazy,'" laughed Hampton. "My mom was especially pressing my tough about it. She would pull me to the side, so I started messing with her by talking about going out of state.

"But yeah, this is real big. I'm coming from nothing to going to USC. But I'm still not finished. When I get to USC I want to ball out. I'm doing it big the way I've done things when I put my mind to it.

"Their biggest receiver is Darreus Rogers, so they were looking for a guy with speed and size, who could contribute immediately. That's the reason they went to juco route."

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