South Carolina cornerback Vic Hampton indicated Tuesday that he is approaching his final game at South Carolina and is planning to turn pro early. But the junior also said he would give some consideration to returning to the Gamecocks for one more season if his feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board suggests he is not a first- or second-round draft pick.
"Even every day when I come out here on the practice field, I just sit here and look, because I know my days are numbered to actually come out here and practice. I just try to take it all in," Hampton said as South Carolina began preparations for its Capital One Bowl appearance against Wisconsin. "The grind has started. ... I go lift, I start training right after the bowl game. I'm already in training mode. I'm trying to go into this last game in better shape than I ever have for any game here."
Hampton is one of three players on the South Carolina defense expected to turn pro early, along with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles. He overcame an early-season head injury and a brief suspension to lead the team in interceptions (three) and pass breakups (nine).
"If it's something like first round, second round, it's 'Sorry guys, I gotta go,'" Hampton said with a laugh. "But if it's like third, fourth (round), then I'll have to really sit down and think about that decision."
Video of Hampton's comments was published by gogamecocks.com:
Hampton should receive his feedback soon after the Gamecocks return from the bowl game. The NFL deadline for underclassmen to declare for early eligibility is Jan. 15.