Future Impact: De'Quan Hampton

Brett Peabody sees De'Quan Hampton improving on his 50 catches for 850 yards and 12 scores as a freshman.

Long Beach City College wide out De'Quan Hampton went from being not recruited in high school to the No. 9 commit in USC's class of 2015. Brett Peabody has seen the transformation of Hampton right before his very eyes.

Peabody was the head coach at Harbor City College, where Hampton use to train off and on while he was at Dominguez High School. Now he is the head coach at LBCC.

"His cousin, Darryl Howard played receiver for me at LA Harbor College when I was the head coach over there," said Peabody. "Quan was still a freshman at Dominguez, where they run the double wing-t and don't throw the ball very much.

"Every off season he'd come and work with us . You could kind of see how things were going at Dominguez for him, but the kid has incredible work ethic and determination. He is extremely coachable.

"Now, he was a non-qualifier out of high school, and I've seen that stated otherwise. He was a non-qualifier and will get his AA in May. So coming out of high school, he just hadn't played very much. He was physically gifted, but very raw.

"He didn't play many organized sports as a kid. Football is really new to him, so he's really a late bloomer.

"So we greyshirted him. It was obvious in fall camp that first year that could have played, but we had to do the right thing by him academically. And that took some maturity on his part. Knowing you could play right way but taking a step back to see the bigger picture for your future.

"That decision to greyshirt has really helped him get the offers he has now. It helped give him time to develop and improve in school. It helped him just as a person."

That maturity is of great value to USC. The Trojans currently have approximately eight wide receivers on scholarship, including two or three in-coming freshmen capable of also playing defensive back.

In 2015, star wide out Nelson Agholor will be eligible for the NFL Draft. Coming off of sanctions, depth is key for USC, but so is ready made physically development.

"In term of measuables, we had a feeling Quan would go up there and run from the mid-4.4's to as high as a 4.6. Just because the 40 is so much about timing," said Peabody. "But as a player he has physicality, competitiveness and a great motor.

"He does everything you want a receiver to do. He blocks, he catches with his hands and meets the ball at its highest point. He uses his body and he is not intimidated by anyone. I mean, no one.

"You're talking about a kid that benches, probably, 350-pounds right now. You're talking about a guy that takes everything seriously."

The first time Hampton played a full game as a wide out was last season for LBCC. Hoping the best is yet to come, Peabody wants to see progression from Hampton fundamentally.

"Seeing that he had never played a full game at the position ever before in his life, look at what he did," said Peabody. "Obviously, gets you excited about what's to come this fall. At the same time, he let certain techniques slip as the season went on.

"Getting off the line cleanly, he has great lateral movement, but it doesn't show up on tape. That's because he is so big and physically gifted, he started just trying to out muscle guys off the line.

"He needs to be more technically sound there and use his quickness. At the SC camp, he shook a couple of corners off the line and they almost fell down. If he uses a combo of his tools, we're going to be real excited.

"He's an outstanding route runner, he understands defenses and another area in which I think he will really grow this year is after the catch. Again, he wasn't playing basketball or soccer as a kid. He wasn't shown how to weave in and out of traffic or how to work on his footwork.

"Now we're getting after him about that. We're working on his releases. If he bring it altogether, you're going to see him make a lot of plays after the catch. You're going to see him run away from more guys this season."

Flashes of that potential were shown at the USC Junior College Camp. It was one of three different evaluation opportunities the Trojans coaching staff used to dissect Hampton's ability.

"First off, my hat goes off to SC for having that junior college camp," said Peabody. "It was good for them to evaluate those kids, but then it gave those kids a great opportunity to be a part of a big time camp run by a great coaching staff.

"Second, they did their homework on Quan. My former receivers coach is there as a GA, so they know who this kid is. They think this is a kid that can not only make an immediate impact, but have a real role in their offesne.

"The situation at USC is pretty clear. You look at their depth and the sanctions; they need guy who can come in and are ready to play. There's not going to be the huge learning curve with Quan as you get with these high school kids.

"They're not as physical or as strong. When you're looking at who we play against at the junior college level, we play against the big boys. You're facing teams with 10 or 12 D-I guys and that's just the sophomores. He'll be well prepared when he gets to USC and they know that."

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