There is genuine happiness, and then there’s Les Miles’ genuine happiness. Maurice Hampton recently discovered the latter.
The stud Class of 2019 Tennessee cornerback saw Miles at his best on Wednesday evening when he revealed that he had committed to LSU.
Queue the Mad Hatter.
“Coach Miles told me that he wanted to take off his shirt and do cartwheels around campus,” Hampton revealed to SEC Country.
Hampton’s decision to commit comes five months after he secured an overture from the Tigers during a visit to Baton Rouge, La., for the team’s Junior Day event.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound defensive back boasts five offers — including ones from SEC rivals Ole Miss and Vanderbilt — but needed little deliberation before realizing where he wanted to continue both his football and baseball careers.
“I have always liked LSU,” Hampton said. “I grew up a fan, but it was the coaches and the atmosphere that you get playing in The Box and Death Valley that you don’t get anywhere else for the two sports in the country.”
Given his future on the gridiron and the baseball diamond, the Tennessee native was forced to make four phone calls — to Miles, defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, head baseball coach Paul Mainieri and recruiting coordinator Andy Cannizaro.
Perhaps no reaction could rival that of Miles, but all four coaches shared a common excitement.
Because of his family ties in Louisiana and the opportunity to play for two powerhouse programs, maybe Hampton had a case to make as well.
“I have family that lives close to Baton Rouge, and because I’m going to be playing both sports, there is just nowhere else where you can get two elite programs like LSU has to offer.”
Once the Memphis (Tenn.) University School product earned his offer from LSU, he was floored by the fact that he had a chance to attend his dream school.
Hampton, who is a month shy of turning 15 years old, is rated as the No. 3 baseball prospect in the nation among rising sophomores. Then factor in that the 4-star cornerback already boasts impressive height and frame, which translated to 30 tackles, three pass breakups and a pair of interceptions his freshman season. He also hauled in eight receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, which will likely place him among the top prospects in the Volunteer State.
It’s not a wonder that Raymond held a high opinion of the prospect after encountering him earlier in the spring. Hampton won’t be in attendance for LSU’s elite prospect camp later this month, but is anxious to further his relationship with the Tigers’ defensive backs coach and eventually join the “DBU” fraternity.
“We’ve had a couple of conversation,” Hampton said of Raymond, “but I think since I’m part of ‘DBU’ our relationship will get even better. I’m looking forward to just the opportunity to work with the best defensive backs coach in the nation everyday. That’s something you just can’t get anywhere else.”
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.