There was a time when you wouldn't have been sure if Victor Hampton would have made it this far into his Gamecock career. 

Hampton had issues throughout his high school career causing several transfers from one school to the next before finishing at Darlington High School in South Carolina. Shortly after Hampton signed with South Carolina in 2010, he was arrested for underage drinking while at school. 

Hampton eventually found his way into school at South Carolina but was eventually kicked off the team for a short period of time in the summer of 2011. At the time, the issues appeared related to academic and workout requirements. Hampton's exile from USC was short lived and made a return a few days later and has since been a part of the Gamecocks' football program. 

So when Hampton, who turned 21 recently and went to spring break at Myrtle Beach, said on Tuesday that he came back from the beach and there wasn't any trouble, you knew this young man has shown a new maturity level. 

"I went to Myrtle Beach and I finally turned 21," said Hampton. "Nothing bad happened...no trouble or anything!"

Hampton said more about his maturity level and what you can expect from him going forward. 

"I've been talking about growing up, maturing, in every interview I get so I'm kind of tired of talking about it, I ain't going to lie to you, but I've come a long way and expect no trouble from me from now on."

Hampton has come a long way in a short time in Columbia. 

The Gamecocks defensive coordinator, Lorenzo Ward, thinks he has too. Ward said Tuesday that Hampton has a chance to follow in the footsteps of several Gamecock cornerbacks who made it to the NFL if he continues to get better. 

"I hope he's better than he were," Ward said when asked how good Hampton could be. "He played well last season but I want him to be more consistent. He had a good practice today, he did good things, and if he continued to do that he could be one of those corners that plays really well and have an opportunity to play on the next level."

Ward said the reason that Hampton has become a good cover corner at this level is that he's very competitive. 

"I think he's very competitive. Victor is not a tall corner by any means but he's not short either but he plays with a low center of gravity so he can get in and out of cuts and it allows him to be a good one-on-one corner."

The abilities that Hampton has shown on the field so far will only get better know that he has the knowledge needed to succeed at this level. 

"Knowing the defense. Now, I can be confident and go play. I can be the bandit out there now. I can go play. I know when my help is coming down and which side they coming to so I'm just confident out there now and I can be me."

Hampton has even taken on a leadership role now that he's a veteran in the secondary. The secondary is young but there's a lot of potential. Now, it'll be up to Hampton to show them the ropes. 

"I feel like I can help them with the little things and it helped them perform better on the field," Hampton said Tuesday. "I just try to be a leader like Coach Ward wants me to be, Coach Brown to be. I don't want to be a leader if I'm not going to lead by example. It comes with everything."

Being that leader is important and Hampton has the look of another potential great leader for the Gamecocks this season.