Victor Hampton is excited about Thursday night's game, his first start as a South Carolina cornerback.
The 5-10, 197-pound sophomore from Darlington will line up with Jimmy Legree as the starting corners against Vanderbilt. Redshirt freshman Ahmad Christian also will play.
With Akeem Auguste out, has your leadership role changed?
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It's kind of the same. D.J. [Swearinger] is the most vocal guy defense-wise. I just try to learn my assignments to make sure I am doing everything I can. Some days I try to be more of a vocal leader. Sometimes I've got to focus on making sure I'm doing everything I've got to do.
With transfers and injuries, what's the attitude of the secondary?
It's the same as it was during spring and the summer time. Things happen in college. Guys leave. We've got to make sure we're mentally prepared for this Thursday.
How do you think Jimmy Legree will do Thursday night?
Jimmy is a good corner. He has to keep his head up if they do catch a ball. He has good talent out here like everybody else.
Have you been watching video of the Vanderbilt receivers?
I've been looking at them. They're pretty much the same ones from last year. I don't think anyone left. They’re all right.
How have you grown since you got here?
Just knowing more inside the game, knowing the game within the game.
What's your take on freshmen T.J. Gurley and Chaz Elder?
They're ahead of the game. When I was a freshmen, I didn't play. Those guys came in ready to play. We kind of helped them out more than guys did when I was a freshman. We put them a little bit ahead of the game.
What advice do you have for those new guys?
A short memory at the position we play. You're going to get beat. You've got to be able to come back with a stronger mind. Those guys get beat sometimes but they try to come back and make a good play.
What kind of atmosphere are you expecting in Nashville on Thursday night?
From what I hear it's supposed to be one of the best Vanderbilt has ever had. I'm excited. It's my first start, it's a national television game on Thursday night. It can't get any better.
- Compiled by Dwayne McLemore, GoGamecocks