- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
It had been a while since Shaun Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) attended an Alabama football game, but the ESPN Watch List linebacker visited Tuscaloosa on Saturday as the Crimson Tide hosted Ole Miss in their SEC home opener.
“I have to say I really enjoyed it,” Hamilton said. “It was my first time going to a Bama game since I was like 8 or 9. Being on the field in pregame just made me really want to put on some pads and go out there and play for Bama.
“It was a great atmosphere. The team looks real good. Coach [Kirby] Smart was telling me that it was a tough game, but I thought the defense played real well.”
After the game, Hamilton met with Smart and UA head coach Nick Saban.
“Coach Smart told me it looked like I had gotten bigger, and he was telling me he heard that I was having a pretty good season,” Hamilton said. “He told me that he’s going to be coming into our game Friday on ESPN.”
The 2014 prospect believes Alabama might be close to offering him a scholarship. Recently, he named Auburn and Clemson as his two favorites, but an offer from the Tide could change that.
“It would mean a lot,” Hamilton said. “I think if I were to get that offer, it would probably make it an in-state battle.”
This weekend, Hamilton might visit Auburn for the Arkansas game with teammate and AU commitment Jeremy Johnson. He says he’s also trying to get to Clemson for the Virginia Tech game later this month.
On Friday, the 6-foot-1, 224-pound linebacker prospect will showcase his talents on ESPNU as Carver battles Auburn High School and five-star linebacker Reuben Foster.
“It’s a huge game,” Hamilton said. “I’m very excited to be playing against some good talent, and our team is going to be ready for them.
“I want to show people, not just people in Alabama, but people all over the nation, that I’m just as good as [Foster]. I want to make a statement on who’s the better linebacker in the state.”
5dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
5dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf