McCleon talks C.J. Hampton

Dexter McCleon won a Super Bowl with the Rams and played in the NFL for 10 seasons.

He’s currently a volunteer assistant at his high school, Meridian High School, where he coached Ole Miss commit – and now Ole Miss student – C.J. Hampton.

McCleon says he could see Hampton’s potential as a middle-schooler and that he began to include Hampton among a group of older athletes.

“He always hung with me, and I kept him with me around the older guys. He always worked with the older guys, and there weren’t too many days off. The kid put in work from the time he was in the eighth grade all the way up until now,” McCleon said.

Hampton, a December high school graduate, has enrolled at Ole Miss and is taking winter intersession classes.

McCleon says that’s indication of Hampton’s work ethic.

Hampton, listed at 6-1, 195, played mostly safety for Meridian. In situational use he also played cornerback, wide receiver and tight end.

The Meridian staff really liked Hampton as a blocker on offense.

Rivals ranks him a four-star prospect, the No. 16 player nationally at his position and the No. 3 player in Mississippi.

“He’s a guy with a great work ethic,” McCleon said. “You don’t have to worry about the academic part of it. He’s going to go to class. He’s going to do his school work.”

McCleon said Ole Miss fans should keep an eye on quarterback J’Mar Smith, a rising senior who has been a starter in the Wildcats’ spread offense since the ninth grade.

“He’s a guy I think is on Ole Miss’ radar. He’ll be a pretty good one,” McCleon, himself a former Wildcats quarterback. “The cupboard is never bare at Meridian.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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