The Texas Longhorns have received a huge commitment from 2014 linebacker Cameron Hampton.
Following a rather lackluster 2013 recruiting cycle, starting strong is a must for Mack Brown and the Longhorns. Landing Hampton's commitment is vital in regards to that effort, and now the focus has to be keeping him committed from here on out.
Hampton is 6'1.5'', 205 pounds and is ranked as the No. 12 outside linebacker recruit in the 2014 class according to the 247Sports Composite. He's also the No. 20 recruit from Texas (247Sports Composite), so he represents a big in-state win for the Longhorns.
Here's my scouting report and a bit of analysis on Hampton:
Hampton is a very athletic and quick outside linebacker. He can also move down to the line and play defensive end, but at his current size he projects to fit best at outside linebacker at the college level.
He has great speed and displays an elite burst. Much of that has to do with his quick first read step, but he's also just naturally athletic and fast. He'll be good in pursuit and especially in pass-rushing situations when asked to blitz and get after the quarterback.
Hampton does a good job filling his lane for the most part, and he's very adept at reading blocks and getting off of the block. He has a nice spin move that should allow him to move back into his lane and off the block if he uses it more consistently.
Where you'll see him make the most impact is on the edges of the defense and especially in open space. He can bump outside to the slot and cover a receiver because of his combination of athleticism and speed. He'll also be extremely effective in setting the edge and not letting the runner get outside of him. His quickness allows him to get there fast, and he takes good angles. Hampton also displays great tackling fundamentals.
In the pictures below you get a good look at what Hampton should be able to do on the edges. The quarterback option-pitch play allowed the offense to break the defensive end's contain, and it's Hampton's responsibility to fill the outside lane.
He takes a great angle of pursuit and that's the main reason he's eventually able to make the play. You can see from his angle that he'll either intersect the ball-carrier or force him back inside to the help defense, which is his main responsibility.
From there he's able to use his speed to meet the ball-carrier on the edge, and the big detail to notice here is that he gets his helmet across the tackle, which is good form and also helps him make the tackle. Were his helmet behind the tackle (as displayed in red), the chances of him completing a fundamental tackle would have gone down drastically.
This is the type of pure athleticism and fundamental ability that Hampton will be bringing to the Longhorns if they can hold on to his commitment.
In regards to any negatives or areas that need improvement, the one thing that I did notice was that he had a tendency to get too far upfield on the edges. He'll need to show a little bit more discipline to avoid having the runner cut underneath him, but that will come with more time, experience and film study.
Will Texas be able to hold on to Hampton's commitment?
Hampton projects to be a very effective player at the college level, so holding on to his commitment for the duration of the 2014 cycle will be big for Texas. This next season of senior football should really be a difference-maker in regards to his overall understanding of the game, and I fully expect him to improve and become an even better recruit for the Longhorns in time.
This is looking down the road, but he projects to be a stellar special teams player because of his speed and knowledge of tacking angles, and he could also be a good situational pass-rusher or coverage linebacker right away. If he puts on a bit more mass in the next few years, Hampton could become a great overall linebacker at the college level.