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April 12, 2011

Hampton's expanded role

In his junior season at Center Hill (Miss.) High School, running back Richard Hampton eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau and did so despite missing three games. But now the 5-foot-10 and 210-pound Hampton is seeking to expand his game in the backfield.

"I thought I did pretty good last year," said Hampton. "I had some good numbers even though I missed a few games with a dislocated elbow. But now I want to do even more. I want to start catching the ball better and keep improving my cuts in the open field."

Hampton helped lead Center Hill to a second-place finish in the district and the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. After falling to tradition-rich Noxubee County 12-6 in the second round, Hampton noted they expect to go even further in 2011.

"Most of our starters next year are in our senior class," said Hampton. "Most of the O-line are juniors but they are also pretty good. We have some good young players filling some spots and we should be and expect to be pretty good next year."

In the recruiting circles, Hampton is starting to receive interest from a few Division 1 programs.

"It's going pretty good so far and I am enjoying it," said Hampton. "I have been to junior day at Mississippi State and I was supposed to go to one at Memphis but it got cancelled because of bad weather. I am getting letters from Mississippi State, Memphis, Southeastern Louisiana, Penn and Holy Cross."

And concerning his visit to MSU, Hampton said he enjoyed hearing the coaches stress academics.

"It was pretty good and I got to meet all the coaches and a lot of people," noted Hampton of his MSU junior day experience. "All of their facilities are nice and Coach Angelo Mirando is my recruiting coach from there. I liked hearing their strength coach (Matt Balis) talk and they have a serious weight program and they make sure you get stronger and stay strong. I just enjoyed hearing all the coaches talked and it all sounded good to me. I liked how they put a lot of importance on academics and that was important to me."


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