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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Dee Milliner on hand to support Hamilton

By Greg Ostendorf

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- There was a suspense in the air at the Carver High School Auditorium on Wednesday as the crowd on hand waited for ESPN Watch List linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton to make his college decision. Would it be Alabama, Auburn or Tennessee?

Then, to everybody’s surprise, former Crimson Tide cornerback and potential top-10 draft pick Dee Milliner walked through the doors before the announcement.

Dee Milliner
Former Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner attended Shaun Dion Hamilton's college announcement on Wednesday.
“It meant a lot,” Hamilton said. “I talked to him last night actually. He told me he was in Kansas City on the plane. He didn’t tell me that he was going to come, so he surprised me. It means a lot knowing that I look up to him, and he came up here to watch him.”

Milliner was in Kansas City earlier this week visiting the Chiefs, who have the first pick in next week’s NFL draft. Still, he made it a point to come back to down to his home state for Hamilton’s big day.

Growing up, Milliner was actually closer with Hamilton’s older brother, but still, he and Shaun were always around each other. Despite Milliner’s ties to Alabama, he told Hamilton to go wherever he wanted. He’d support him no matter what.

“I told him wherever he goes, I’ll congratulate him,” Milliner said. “Wherever he picks, I’m behind him because I’ve known him since he was a kid, coming up with his brother and talking with him. I’ve know him for a long time.”

But it was worth the trip when Hamilton put on an Alabama hat and flashed the scripted A gloves to signify his commitment to the Tide wasn’t it?

“Oh yeah, ‘Roll Tide’ all the way,” Milliner said.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 224 pounds, Hamilton looked like he was closer to 240 on Wednesday. He looked ready for Alabama, and Milliner believes that with his size, talent and mentality, he’ll be a perfect for the Tide’s defense.

“He’s a great player, great playmaker, physical guy,” Milliner said. “That’s what we do at Alabama. We like physical guys, so I think he’ll fit in perfectly. They’re going to teach him, groom him to one of the best.”

After making his surprise appearance at Hamilton’s announcement, Milliner will now sit back and wait to hear his name called next Thursday night. He plans to make the trip to New York City and attend the draft.

“I’m ready for that time to come so whatever team gets me, I can finally relax, calm down and be settled in,” he said.