LSU: Maurice Hampton

LSU cornerback signee Maurice Hampton dons a purple and gold visor on national signing day.

Toward the end of the first round of Major League Baseball draft, a few franchises called two-sport star Maurice Hampton with an offer.

The highest signing bonus a team offered was $1.8 million, his father Maurice Hampton Sr. said. It was life-changing money, but still a few million dollars less than the higher-valued picks that were slotted earlier in the first round.

The signing bonus offer wasn't high enough.

As the second round began, Hampton Jr. announced on Twitter that he would be "coming home" to Baton Rouge to play football and baseball for the Tigers. The tweet was deleted later that night, but Hampton Sr. said that didn't alter the decision.

The Hampton family told LSU that if Hampton, a 6-foot, 210-pound cornerback and outfielder at Memphis University School in Tennessee, wasn't drafted in the first round, he would likely enroll in school.

Although a shot at playing in professional baseball with a $1.8 million signing bonus was tempting for Hampton, his father said he "couldn't allow him to go."

"I talked to him about it," Hampton Sr. told The Advocate on Monday night. "He's 17 years old. 'Dad, let me go and prove myself.' I said 'You can prove yourself at LSU.' "

Hampton Sr. wouldn't say which MLB teams came calling, but the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers each had signing bonus slots of about $1.8 million in the competitive balance rounds at picks No. 40 and No. 41.


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Most media experts had Hampton, who hit .480 with 10 home runs at Memphis University High, pegged somewhere late in the first round.

Hampton will move to Baton Rouge this week, his father said, where the Tigers football team has already began summer workouts and the baseball team is about to host a super regional series against Florida State this weekend.

LSU football coach Ed Orgeron had watched the first few selections of the MLB draft with his assistant coaches in the back of a Houston sports bar, while attending an LSU Coaches Caravan stop Monday evening.

The fourth-year head coach will undoubtedly be pleased to add Hampton to his roster, which will add depth to a defensive back group that will lose star senior cornerback Kristian Fulton after the 2019 season.

Hampton has told Orgeron that he wants to play cornerback, but Orgeron said he can also play nickel safety or the other safety positions.

"We can move him around," Orgeron said on national signing day. "He's a big, thick kid. He's a good tackler. He's very good in space."

Will there be another juncture down the road where the Hampton's will have to weigh professional baseball options again? Hampton Sr. said his son is "going to take it year by year."

For now, Hampton will focus on the start of his college career.

"I told him, 'Tomorrow, you start your life as a business,' " Hampton Sr. said. "'College is going to be a business, and professionals is going to be a business. Regardless, it's going to be a business.' "