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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
No Bama offer, no problem for 2014 LB

By Greg Ostendorf

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- When ESPN Watch List linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) visited Alabama last month for the Crimson Tide’s junior day, he thought he might get the scholarship offer that he wanted.

Instead, UA defensive coordinator Kirby Smart told the 6-foot-1, 224-pound Hamilton that he didn’t quite fit what Alabama was looking for at the linebacker position.

“My parents and I, we sat down with Coach Smart after junior day, and he said he likes me as a kid and all that kind of stuff,” Hamilton said. “He knows I have the ability, but he says he wants to see if I get any taller. I’m not worried about it. It is what it is.”

With or without the Alabama offer, Hamilton is still considered one of the top prospects in the state, and other top programs have had no problem with his size. He already has more than 20 offers and seems to add a new one every week.

At this point, he says Auburn, Clemson, Florida and UCLA are the four schools recruiting him the hardest. He’s already taken visits to Auburn and Clemson, and he plans to visit the other two schools in the near future.

So what is it about this 2014 linebacker that coaches are drawn to?

Shaun Dion Hamilton
Watch List linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton says Auburn, Florida, Clemson and UCLA are recruiting him the hardest.
“I know my physicality, they really like that, my hit power and just my instincts, how I’m in front of everybody,” Hamilton said. “They can tell that I’m intelligent, and they really like that I’m graduating early. They really want to see a guy who’s a December grad who can go through the spring.”

With that in mind, Hamilton didn’t hesitate when he discovered that he had the opportunity to graduate high school in December and enroll for the spring semester at the school of his choice. It was a no-brainer.

“I’m putting all my eggs in the basket, trying to make it to the league,” he said. “I just know that graduating early will put me one step ahead of all the other freshmen and some of the freshmen guys before me.”

In the meantime, Hamilton is concentrated on football. While other top prospects are finishing basketball season or starting baseball season, he’s in the weight room, getting ready for his senior season with football.

“I just want to become a better player -- get bigger, stronger, faster,” he said. “I’m just trying to better myself.”

This weekend, Hamilton will make another trip to Auburn for the Tigers’ junior day. He’s already met new head coach Gus Malzahn and a few of the assistants, but he’s looking forward to meeting the whole staff.

The Watch List star says he plans to narrow his list in the next couple of weeks.