Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco defensive end Darius Hamilton took one look at Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward’s offensive line on tape and couldn't believe what he saw.
“Damn,” Hamilton said. “These are some big kids.”
Hamilton, No. 66 in the ESPNU 150 and the No. 6 DE, and the rest of the Bosco defensive line more than held their own, though, dominating the line of scrimmage against St. Edward’s offensive line, which boasts three players who will play at an FBS school and a tight end committed to Boston College.
“I think that when they came and looked at our D-line and looked at their O-line they just laughed and said we’re going to run the ball down these guys’ throats,” said Hamilton, who had a sack in the game. “But the way emphasize pad level and getting off, using your hands, playing low, all that, it definitely came in handy tonight.”
Though it isn’t a definite top five, Hamilton said California, Florida, LSU, Rutgers and Tennessee lead for him.
Recruiting Hamilton for Cal is defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, considered one of the best recruiters in the country. He’s also had two defensive lineman drafted in the first round the last two years.
“He’s telling me I can come in and play defensive end and the way he coaches, those guys hung with Oregon the other night,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton wasn’t able to watch Florida play LSU on Saturday, but he didn’t have to to know the Tigers’ defense was dominant.
“It’s always a great defense,” he said. “If you go there you’ll be successful; you got to be successful.”
Rutgers is the only school in his top five recruiting him as a defensive tackle, which he plays for Bosco.
As of now, Hamilton plans to announce on Dec. 23, but that doesn’t give him much time for visits. Bosco players traditionally do not make visits during the season, and it’s unlikely the Ironmen will finish before early December. So, Hamilton said that Dec. 23 date is tentative.
“I feel if I make all my visits and I get everything done I want to get done then Dec. 23 is the set date,” he said. “I’m not going to do it at the Army All-America Game, so if I have to push it back it’ll be after Jan. 7.”
Two-star back Crayton still making up for lack of junior film
Playing behind four-star Class of 2011 running back Savon Huggins last season, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep two-star back Jared Crayton didn’t have much of an opportunity to showcase his talents as a junior.
As a result, he is still playing catchup in the recruiting process because schools still aren’t comfortable with offering without more tape on him. The good news for Crayton is that, once he does send out his senior film, he can use a handful of highlights from Saturday’s win against Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline.
Following an early fumble, Crayton took a handoff 70 yards for a touchdown, showing good vision and enough speed to break away from defenders.
“It was an inside zone play, but the hole opened up real big to the outside,” said Crayton, who added the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter from four yards out. “I saw the second level was kind of shaky, so I hit the sideline and after that I knew I was gone.
“I was smiling the whole way down.”
Crayton has received a wide range of interest, from BCS schools all the way to FCS schools. Boston College, Rutgers and Miami are the BCS schools that have shown the most interest, and FCS schools UMass, James Madison and Towson have also reached out to Crayton.
“It’s early in my recruiting process because I was the second back last year,” he said, “but right now it’s looking pretty good.”
In August, Crayton traveled to Miami to check out a preseason practice and spoke with assistant Mark D’Onofrio.
“The facilities are great,” Crayton said. “I like the energy down there.”
As the in-state school, Crayton has also checked out Rutgers a handful of times.
“I have a lot of respect for coach [Greg] Schiano, he’s a good dude,” Crayton said. “I completely believe in everything he has to say about him and his program. You see what they have over there, it’s close by and I respect them completely. So if Schiano wants [to talk about an offer] I’m all ears.”
Crayton hasn’t set up any visits yet but would like to check out Rutgers, West Virginia and just about any other school interested in offering.
“I had [teammate and West Virginia commit] Brandon Napoleon put a word in for me,” Crayton said. “I’ve heard they have a real nice facility.
“I’ll visit anywhere. It’s some nice time off.”
South Carolina staff impressing junior CB Bell
St. Peter’s Prep cornerback Tre Bell knows it’s still early in the process for him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t already like the attention the South Carolina staff has shown him thus far.
Gamecocks assistant G.A. Mangus wrote Bell a handwritten letter, and the coaching staff is asking Sheldon Royster, Bell’s teammate last year and a freshman safety on Carolina, about Bell.
“That they’re going to keep recruiting me throughout the season and keep in touch,” Bell said was the gist of the letter Mangus wrote. “They keep in touch every other day. It’s been great right now.”
Bell is already planning a visit to Columbia, S.C., in the spring.
Sitting at 5-1 and ranked No. 13 in the country, the Gamecocks are a program on the rise, Bell said, and it’s because of their defense.
“Their defense is stifling, just stifling,” Bell said. “I would love to be a part of something like that, but it’s early right now. I just want to check it out and see how it is.”
Other than South Carolina, Bell said Boston College, Rutgers and Wisconsin have been showing him the most interest. Alabama, Miami, Penn State and Vanderbilt have also sent letters.
Bell was in attendance for Rutgers’ spring game and a preseason practice, and he plans to be back in Piscataway on Saturday for the Scarlet Knights’ game against Navy.
He would also like to visit Wisconsin with teammate D.J. Singleton, a Badgers commitment, and visit West Virginia with Napoleon. Those visits won’t come until after the season, though.
“Right now I just want to focus on getting this ring,” he said.