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Sunday, February 24, 2013
2014 LB Hamilton visits Bama, Auburn

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama hosted its junior day Saturday, but on Friday, ESPN Watch List linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (Mongtomery, Ala./Carver) made a surprise visit here with his teammate Draequan Murphy, one day before the other recruits arrived on campus.

The UA staff wanted to spend some one-on-one time with Hamilton, and coach Nick Saban informed the in-state star that he had an offer from the Crimson Tide.

“It was kind of like a relief,” Hamilton said. “I really wasn’t surprised that I got the offer because I was talking to Coach [Kirby] Smart all week, and I kind of figured that I was going to get it on Friday. It was just a relief to know that I finally got the offer from them. I was happy.

“Coach Saban, he was telling me how Alabama sees the recruiting process as like the NFL draft. They really evaluate you. They’re not like some schools who offer you just for the fun of it.”

When Hamilton attended Alabama’s first junior day in January, the staff told him he needed to grow a couple inches before they would offer. The 6-foot-1, 224-pound linebacker hasn’t grown any taller, but Saban still liked his film enough to extend an offer.

“He was just telling me he saw my film or whatever, and he really liked the way I played, my aggressiveness and physical-ness,” Hamilton said. “He thinks that I can be one of the good linebackers like they’ve had in the past. He thinks I can help them to compete and keep on winning national championships.”

During his visit Friday, Hamilton had the opportunity to watch players go through Alabama’s patented fourth-quarter workout program.

“I see why Alabama wins so much,” he said. “They have the best athletes in the country playing for that school. If you work hard like that with the strength and conditioning coach, Coach [Scott] Cochran, you have no choice but to win.”

On Saturday, Hamilton attended Auburn’s junior day. He’d already met a few of the new coaches, including head coach Gus Malzahn, but he met with the entire coaching staff at the junior day. He spent the most time with defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

“We were just talking about football, and he was just telling me that he thinks that I could really make an impact at the linebacker position,” Hamilton said. “He was telling me that they really need some linebackers, and he thinks that I could have an impact early.”

The 2014 prospect now has close to 25 offers. He says he plans to visit Tennessee next, sometime in March.