Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss LSU’s top 2019 defensive back commitment, 4-star prospect Maurice Hampton, who returned to Baton Rouge for the Tigers’ SEC baseball opener against Missouri and took in the football team’s scrimmage on Saturday.
Maurice Hampton returns to LSU
Maurice Hampton has heard the rumblings about a potential flip elsewhere in the SEC. He’s unsure where those rumors stemmed from.
Hampton, a 4-star star cornerback from Memphis, Tenn., has been committed to LSU for both football and baseball for nearly two years. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect took in the Tigers’ SEC opener against Missouri on Friday, then the first spring football scrimmage on Saturday.
Despite reports suggesting otherwise, Hampton gave a surefire response to the state of his LSU commitment.
“I’ve always been committed to LSU. I’m 100-percent committed,” Hampton told SEC Country. “Whenever I committed, I was 100 percent. There are always schools trying to flip me and I’ve got relationships with other staffs, but my relationship with LSU is the strongest. I’m not going anywhere.”
Those relationships are with assistant baseball coach Nolan Cain and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond.
Cain was promoted on coach Paul Manieri’s staff in November 2016, four months after Hampton gave his commitment to the staff. Raymond has been a mainstay in Hampton’s recruitment since he first extended an offer his way 25 months ago.
“Coach Raymond offered me as a freshman in high school. Coach Cain has been there since I first visited and I’ve known those guys for so long,” Hampton explained. “Coach Raymond and I sit on the phone talking about stuff other than football. It’s like we’re family. I’ve gotten to know Coach O better the last few years. Coach Manieri and I caught up on what’s been going on with baseball, on everything, and how they’re ready for me to get on campus.”
Hampton won’t be able to get on campus as early as he’d like. Because of baseball obligations, the 4-star corner will not enroll early. That hasn’t lessened his excitement, though.
Watching the team scrimmage on Saturday, Hampton was fully aware of how thin the Tigers are at cornerback, particularly in his role on the outside. Raymond emphasized the need for Hampton to compete for playing time early and mentioned an ideal four-corner haul in the 2019 class.
“The team looked good, but they’re short on corners,” Hampton explained. “It’s a good team for me because I have the chance to play early. The team was good. The offense is looking better. They’ve got some good running backs, but I noticed on my side of the ball, corner, my position, is a position of need.
“They emphasized how big corner was in this class. It’s probably the biggest position of need. They need two or three corners and me in the class and they really appreciated me being loyal. They said me and a couple of other guys have a good chance to contribute early.”
Hampton has an idea of who may be joining him in Death Valley.
During his conversations with Raymond, other elite 2019 cornerbacks such as Derek Stingley Jr., Marcus Banks and Devin Bush — another weekend visitor for junior day — were sitting atop of LSU’s board.
“Honestly, I’m versatile enough to play anywhere to get on the field, but I’m an outside corner and those other guys are the same way,” Hampton said. “I don’t think they have many nickel guys coming in. We’re all outside corners and they can move [2018 signee] Kelvin [Joseph] inside with Kary [Vincent] after this year. We’ll all have to step in outside and I feed off competition. It’s the only way to get better. Otherwise, you can get complacent, so competition is what you need.”
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