Gators get CB commit


Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 4:20 p.m.

Florida’s 2010 class got a little bigger Thursday.

UF received its fifth verbal commitment for 2010 when Charlotte (N.C.) Independence cornerback Victor Hampton announced he will be wearing orange and blue next year.

Hampton, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound defensive back, comes from the same school as former Gator quarterback Chris Leak.

Oddly enough, Leak visited UF before making his decision, Hampton did not.

He said he won’t make his first visit to UF’s campus until the early part of March, but has seen all he needs to see from the Gators to know that they are the right fit.

“It’s a great school and they have everything I want,” Hampton said. “No. 1, I’ll have a chance to compete for a national championship, and that’s all I’ve wanted to do.”

According to assistant coach Josh Kranish, Hampton’s recruiting process only lasted about two weeks before he verbally committed. After UF running backs coach Kenny Carter received Hampton’s game film, Carter informed Hampton that he had a committable offer.

He also said that he and the rest of the Independence coaches encouraged Hampton to commit early in order to concentrate on school and not have to go through the hassles of the recruiting process for the rest of the year.

“When you get a major Division I recruit, (his recruitment) can be a distraction for our team,” Kranish said. “With different major coaches coming to check him out every single day, practice can become a circus. Instead of having that, we wanted Victor to get it done quickly.”

Hampton said he spoke primarily with UF coach Urban Meyer, cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford and Carter. He said he’s developed the best relationship with Carter and while he’s listed as a cornerback, with his speed, he could be used more as an athlete as well.

However, he said cornerback is where he wants to play and compares his game most to Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey because of his lockdown abilities.

“I feel like playing one-on-one, I can win every time,” he said.

Kranish wouldn’t go as far as to compare him to Bailey, but he does believe that Hampton possesses the skill to be a shutdown corner at the next level.

“He’s the best player I’ve coached when the ball’s in the air,” he said. “We’ve had some great cornerbacks at Independence — we’ve got one at Georgia, one at Marshall, one at South Carolina — but he is by far the best when the ball’s in the air.

“He had 10 interceptions (in 2008) — nine of them were in man coverage.”

Hampton chose UF over N.C. State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Clemson. He said he doesn’t plan on taking any more visits except trips to UF.

Hampton is the third Gator commit of the 2010 class that is expected to play in the defensive backfield.

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