Former Gamecock Victor Hampton excited about NFL future - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Former Gamecock Victor Hampton excited about NFL future after overcoming rocky past

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

We are almost a month away until the 2014 NFL Draft and one former Gamecock said he feels honored to have the opportunity to move onto the next level.

Former Gamecock cornerback Victor Hampton, 22, has spent years trying to escape the shadows of his troubled past.

In high school Hampton was regarded as a top college prospect however, he developed a bad reputation as a trouble maker surrounding himself with the wrong people.

"It's kind of rough because people put me on a reputation or labeled me at a young age before I really even knew exactly what was going on," Hampton said.

Hampton's troubled journey began when he was forced to make a decision as a 15-year-old star football player at Independence High School in Charlotte.

"I was called in the office by the head coach at my high school and Urban Meyer was on the phone and I was told to commit," Hampton said.

A choice to commit to Florida, Hampton was uncomfortable making.

"I was in a situation where I didn't really know what to do or how to handle it and it committed it and once my mom found out, she didn't like things were being handled without her being there," Hampton said.

From there, he began hanging out with the wrong crowds and getting into trouble.

His mom noticed, Hampton switched schools and eventually the Gators withdrew their scholarship offer.

"My mom is just a very strong woman and every time she felt like the situation wasn't right for her son, she would move me," Hampton said.

He played his senior year at Darlington before committing to play at USC in January 2010.

Shortly after, he was arrested for underage drinking.

Once arriving to play at USC in 2011 trouble followed him and he was nearly kicked off the team.

"He knew what type of person I was; he knew I wasn't a bad guy," Hampton said about Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "He just knew that I came from an environment and I just had to learn, I just had to adjust to certain rules, and certain things. He never gave up on me; he knew I would be great. So I appreciate him for everything he's done for me."

Hampton has made the transformation he's won the everyday attitude award the past two years at Carolina.

He's on the verge of being drafted into the NFL.

He still knows when talking to NFL teams, his past is bound to come up.

"You got to continue to keep moving forward, continue to be honest about the mistakes that I've made," Hampton said. "Of course it's not fun answering character questions about who I am or what I'm about or if I'm trust worthy or if I'm reliable, so I feel like I'm all of those things, I feel like I'm a community guy."

One thing is for certain, Hampton and his family will be all nerves come draft day.

"It's exciting and its nerve wracking, it's all of that in one," Hampton said. "Some teams might take me off their board just because they heard things and some teams might have be as their number one corner, you never know how that situation is going to work, so I'm just grateful to have the opportunity. Everything I've gone through so far, like going to the combine and going to the pro day, meeting with some of these great coaches I've met with. So I'm just excited about the whole process. But the team that does pick me though, they are going to get a great player."

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