Nearly a month after it was revealed that 6-foot-7 forward Joe Hampton would be transferring from DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland to Oak Hill Academy, the 2016 forward announced that he has verbally committed to Penn State. Hampton did so during an unofficial visit to the school on Saturday, making his commitment to Patrick Chambers’ program public via his Twitter account.
Hampton is the first commitment in the Class of 2016 for the Nittany Lions, who have three commitments in the Class of 2015 thus far. Last season at DeMatha, Hampton averaged 11.9 points per game on a team that finished the season with a 29-6 record. In a story written by Brandon Parker of the Washington Post last month, DeMatha head coach Mike Jones had nothing but positive things to say about Hampton when discussing the player’s decision to switch high schools.
“I know the first thing some people might think when hearing the news is that Joe got in trouble or his grades were bad, but I want to make it clear that’s not the case,” Jones said. “Joe is coming off a very good year academically. I know his family thought through this decision and it wasn’t an easy one for them. They did what they felt was best for Joe and we wish him the best. He still has brothers on this team and the coaches care a lot about him as well.”
Adding Hampton is an important recruiting move for Penn State, as Brandon Taylor and Donovan Jack are both juniors this season. After receiving a verbal commitment from 6-foot-8 power forward/center Mike Watkins in the Class of 2015, the Nittany Lions have managed to address the need to account for those coming departures.
Among the other programs in contact with Hampton, who is currently ranked 60th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals, were DePaul, Maryland and Xavier.