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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rutgers commit, Nottingham corner Saquan Hampton offers another option in secondary

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

HAMILTON — The initial purpose of Joe Rossi's visit to Nottingham High School may not have led him to  Saquan Hampton, but the 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback earned an offer at his head coach's prompting.

"When (Rutgers special teams coordinator Rossi) came in last spring, my coach (Jon Adams) got in his head and told him to look at my film," Hampton said Saturday at Nottingham's Jim Wilno Sr. Field. "He liked what he saw.”
Rutgers commit Saquan Hampton saw limited targets Saturday against Hopewell but a had a hand in the final defensive pass breakup. (For The Trentonian / file photo/ JOHN BLAINE)

The result was an early commitment from Hampton, who held no other offers, according to his page. He showed flashes of college cover skill Saturday, shadowing Hopewell Valley's Mike Gies on limited attempts in handing Hopewell its first loss of the season.

“I knew the ball was going to him. That’s their playmaker," Hampton said of Gies. "Before the ball is snapped, my focus is I have to stay with this man."

He is one of five defensive backs committed in Rutgers' 2014 class. A variety of factors have depleted the Scarlet Knights' current secondary. It could lead to immediate opportunities for a crop that includes four-star defensive back Kiy Hester, from DePaul (N.J.) Catholic.

After rough few weeks, Rutgers secondary finds depth

“Like everybody said, they’re freshmen. There’s older guys on the other teams that are bigger, they have more knowledge to the college speed and they’re going to be good.”

Scouting report: Lined up primarily in press coverage at cornerback against Gies, one of the area's top receivers. He also gave cushion at times with a linebacker split out underneath. ... Was targeted three times with two passes defensed, including the final defensive play of the game. ... Has the size to play either corner or safety. ... Lined up as punt returner, but Hopewell angled kicks away from him. Holding penalty negated only punt return.

MORE: How does Ruhann Peele's stay at corner affect Rutgers' wideouts?

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