NCF On The Trail: Cameron Hampton

Top position classes: LB 

February, 17, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
The Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2014 class fill just about every need on the board, and that includes linebacker. With designs on addressing pass rushing and the ability to play in space on the edge at outside 'backer in Nick Saban’s 3-4 scheme, Alabama signed the Nos. 1 and No. 2 outside linebackers in the country in No. 48 overall Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) and No. 52 overall Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), who is pound for pound of the best pure athletes in the 2014 cycle. The Crimson Tide added two more talented linebackers in ESPN 300’s No. 102 Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) and No. 281 Keith Holcombe (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest). Hamilton is an MLB.

The Crimson Tide had the nation’s best linebacker class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

January, 27, 2014
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As expected, this was one of the busiest weeks in the Big 12 from a recruiting standpoint. Teams were looking to fill in last-minute vacancies, and players were looking to finalize their college plans. TCU proved to be the big winner in the conference, landing six 2014 commits and two more commits from the 2015 class. Kansas wasn’t far behind, as the Jayhawks got verbal commitments from five three-star players for the 2014 class.

Here are some of this past week’s highlights:


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The Big 12 has a big weekend ahead in Dallas and Texas Tech is surging. Here’s a look at some of the Big 12’s top recruiting storylines.

Big names set to attend Red River Rivalry
There is never a season, regardless of what type of shape either program is in, that the Cotton Bowl won’t be filled with some of the most desirable recruits in the country.

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When the Red River Rivalry is played, records are thrown out the window. When the game’s over, some love looking into the future to play “what if” with the next batch of talented college players.

While both teams have some room to land uncommitted recruits, both are pretty happy with where they are currently. Texas has 24 commits, and Oklahoma has 14, and when comparing ESPN 300 athletes, Texas only has a 7-5 lead.

Which team has the Red River Rivalry recruiting edge this year? Here’s a breakdown of eight positions and which team holds the edge for now.

Quarterback

Perhaps the most competitive comparison between the schools is at quarterback. ESPN 300s Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) are the nation’s No. 4 and No. 5 dual-threat quarterbacks. Hansen is the Sooners’ top-ranked commit and has proven himself a first-class leader of the class. Heard already has one state championship ring, and he’s hoping for a repeat performance in December before arriving at the Forty Acres.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Dallis Todd
Erik McKinney/ESPNOklahoma will get 6-foot-5 playmaker Daliis Todd in its 2014 class.
Running back

There are high expectations for both ESPN 300 Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and Donald "Duke" Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower). Perine is a physical specimen with the combination of power and finesse at 6-foot and 213 pounds. Catalon, at 5-10 and 193 pounds, has the agility and overall balance to make him a potential every-down back. Texas also has three-star Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton), a player who plays with a chip on his shoulder, looking to show that he should be mentioned with the elite talent.

Advantage: Texas

Wide receiver

Neither Texas nor Oklahoma will be complaining about their receiver crop. The Longhorns have an ESPN 300 player in Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City), a rising star in Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) and a player in Garrett Gray (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls) who caught 13 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns in a game last year. Oklahoma has size and athleticism in 6-5, 210-pound ESPN 300 receiver Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and a 6-7, 180-pound end zone threat in Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla/Union)

Advantage: Texas

Tight end

Oklahoma has done well with recruiting tight ends and was able to land ESPN 300 players Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain). Meier is the No. 5 Y-tight end in the country, while Andrews is the No. 8 H-tight end. Texas also has a good one in junior college pledge John Thomas (Bossier City, La./Trinity Valley Community College). At 6-6 and 255 pounds, Thomas can be used as both a reliable blocker and receiver.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Offensive line

It’s hard to believe that between the two schools, only three offensive linemen are committed.

Sooners commit Alex Dalton (Troy, Ohio/Troy) is considered one of the nation’s top centers, and guard Jonathan Alvarez (Mesquite, Texas/Horn), with his work ethic alone, will surprise a lot of people in a couple of years. Texas, like Oklahoma, has a four-star center committed in Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper). Cuney is a player who might see immediate playing time as a freshman.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive line


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Here is a look at how each one of Texas’ 2014 commitments faired this week:

Derick Roberson
Max Olson/ESPNDefensive end Derick Roberson helped Brennan shut out San Antonio Holmes 52-0 on Friday.
• ESPN 300 defensive end Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Brennan), the No. 8 DE in the country, helped Brennan shut out San Antonio Holmes 52-0 on Friday.

• ESPN 300 wide receiver Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City) caught three passes for 62 yards and a 44-yard touchdown in a 48-0 win over Dickinson.

• ESPN 300 quarterback Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) completed 12 of 18 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions and rushed 18 times for 103 yards in a 38-28 loss to Cedar Hill (Texas).

• ESPN 300 cornerback Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) helped the Purple Knights defense hold Amite to six points in a 35-6 victory on Saturday.

• ESPN 300 outside linebacker Otaro Alaka and Houston/Cypress Falls lost to Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge, 37-16.


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Class of 2014 linebacker Dylan Douglass (Canyon, Texas/Canyon) didn’t drive eight hours to Austin for the black Nike Longhorns cut-off. He came to work and to open some eyes on the Texas coaching staff.

“My goals were to meet all of the coaches here and get familiar with them, let them get familiar with me and let them see what I can do," he said. "I thought I made it worth the drive.”

Douglass (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) certainly passed the eyeball test.

He popped up on Texas’ radar a couple of weeks ago when Longhorns co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite visited his school.


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DALLAS -- Four-star linebacker and Texas commit Cameron Hampton (Dallas/Carter) saw the Longhorns’ 2014 recruiting class take a hit with decommitments from the Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints duo of offensive tackle Demetrius Knox and running back Daniel Gresham.


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It’s convenient to assume that Tennessee is the only UT on the mind of ESPN 150 outside linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra).

His father, Dallas Cowboys special teams legend Bill Bates, played for the Volunteers in the early 1980s before a 15-year career with Dallas.


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A seemingly easy decision quickly became a difficult one for Otaro Alaka this spring, but in the end he went with the school he has always loved.

The Houston Cypress Falls outside linebacker committed to Texas on Monday night, choosing the Longhorns over Texas A&M. He became commit No. 13 in Texas’ 2014 recruiting class and the Longhorns' fifth pledge in the past 10 days.

[+] EnlargeOtaro Alaka
Max Olson/ESPN.comClass of 2014 LB Otaro Alaka went to the same school as Texas receiver signee Jacorey Warrick.
"It feels good to be a Longhorn," Alaka said. "I just want to thank God first of all and just thank my coaches, parents and teammates for everything. I just felt like I was ready to pick Texas. They have a great atmosphere, great people and great academics. I just really liked their coaches."

A 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect, he also had offers from LSU, Oklahoma, Florida State, Michigan and Baylor, among others. All along, though, it had been a two-school race.

When his recruiting process began, Alaka said he’d commit to Texas if he got an offer from the program. He did, but nearly 20 other programs also offered.

He held off making a decision when UT offered Feb. 25 after his junior day visit. Alaka took two visits to Texas A&M -- including this weekend for the Aggies’ Friday Night Lights scrimmage -- and made a return trip for the Texas spring game.

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Weekly Commitment Roundup 

February, 15, 2013
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ACC
Miami-FL
Alin Edouard QB-DT Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah
HT: 6-1 WT: 180

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videoESPN Watch List outside linebacker Cameron Hampton (Dallas/Carter) told HornsNation on Sunday morning that he has committed to Texas at the Longhorns' junior day.

The Longhorns have not only addressed a major position of need for 2014, but they have also kept him away from one of their chief rivals in Oklahoma.

Cameron Hampton
Max Olson/ESPN.comClass of 2014 linebacker Cameron Hampton is Texas' first linebacker commit of the Class of 2014.
The Red River rivals were Hampton’s top two schools coming into this week, but it looks like he has had a change of heart and is now Texas’ eighth commitment in 2014.

Hampton (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) also had offers from Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

He is in Austin for the second time visiting Texas’ campus today and told HornsNation earlier in the week that he was particularly excited about meeting one person in particular.

“I’m really just excited about being down there and seeing [defensive coordinator] coach [Manny] Diaz,” said Hampton, who got to Austin on Saturday in anticipation for todays event. “He said he is going to spend some 1-on-1 time with me and my family. Coach [Mack] Brown said the same thing.”

Texas and Oklahoma have made Hampton a priority over the past few months.

Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell has frequented Carter High since the Sooners started recruiting Hampton and has already built a strong relationship with him.

Diaz was at Carter’s basketball game last week, making sure Hampton understands how important he is to Texas’ future.

“I can’t really say [who I have a better relationship with], but I have a pretty good relationship with Coach Diaz,” Hampton said. “He actually came to see one of my basketball games last week. I talked to him the day before we played at my school. He was saying that he was looking forward to seeing me, hanging out with me and spending some more time with my family.”

Hampton is Texas’ first linebacker commit of 2014.

Oklahoma: 2014 prospects to watch 

February, 7, 2013
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Oklahoma has two commits for its 2014 class, which is two more than the Sooners had for their 2013 group following last year’s signing day.

Numerous targets still remain on OU’s board to join commits Watch List wide receiver Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City) and outside linebacker Vontre McQuinnie (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster). Here are five recruits, all on the ESPN Watch List, that OU has its sights set on:


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Weekend Rewind: Texas A&M 

December, 10, 2012
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It was actually before the weekend began that Texas A&M got its most significant recruiting news that Aggies' fans are still buzzing about as Thursday brought the commitment of ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning.

The No. 8 tackle in the nation and the No. 88 player in the ESPN 150, Manning's acquisition was significant, especially considering that he is ranked as the top defensive tackle in Texas. It's a need position for the Aggies and with Manning on board, they now have five commitments at the position.

Thursday was also the day that ESPN 150 athlete Ricky Seals-Jones finalized his announcement date, which is Monday. Texas A&M fans are expecting good news when he reveals his choice to the world.

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Ohio State will leave no stone unturned in its effort to shore up the linebacking unit for the future.

The latest Class of 2014 linebacker to join the list is Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), who announced on his Twitter account the news of an offer from the Buckeyes.

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The way Ohio State coaches see it, Dorian Johnson is still sitting out there.

Ditto for Vonn Bell, Mike Mitchell, David Dawson and Corn Elder.

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