August 22, 2011

5-star Hamilton talks top 6, visits

Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., has produced a lot of talented players throughout the years and this season is no different. Defensive end Darius Hamilton is expected to do great things on the football field and that's why he works relentlessly to be the best.

"Just putting in the work," Hamilton said about his summer activities. "I've just been working with my team and getting better as a team. The season is coming around the corner and I'm trying to get ready for it."

Hamilton is hoping for a big season individually and from a team standpoint. He's worked on his game extremely hard since last season ended and he feels his game is stronger now than ever.

"I think I've gotten a lot stronger in my upper body," Hamilton said. "I've been working on my hand placement and my technique. It's really helped my game and I think I"m better right now than I have ever been."

Rutgers, Florida, Tennessee, Oregon, Alabama and Virginia Tech are the top six for Hamilton. He won't take an official visit to Rutgers because he's seen the New Jersey-based school so many times.

He is really looking forward to his official visit to Tennessee and his relationship with Vol linebackers coach Peter Sirmon has helped put Tennessee in prime position.

"I like coach Sirmon," Hamilton said. "I've been talking to him, and I"m excited to get out there and see what it's like. I want to see if it's a family atmosphere and hopefully they will show me that I can come in and play right away. I want to get a good degree and I want a place that I can spend the next four years. Hopefully Tennessee and all the schools will show me that."

He hopes to learn about Tennessee's tradition and history when he takes his official visit to Knoxville sometime this fall. He already knows that Tennessee is a program on its way back to the top.

"I feel like they have a great program and they are a program on the rise," Hamilton said. "I got a chance to watch a few Tennessee games last year. I watched that LSU game last year and LSU was a really good team and they hung right with them. It shows they are on the rise."

When Hamilton does finally begin the decision-making process, he'll do so with several factors in mind. He wants to find the school that gives him the best chance to be successful on and off the field.

"I want a place where I'm happy," Hamilton said. "I'm not asking for a spot, but I'm asking for a chance so early playing time is big to me. I just want to be around a solid staff and solid group of players. All those factors are important. Education is also very important."

Hamilton had 63 tackles with 14 sacks last season. He's a force on the defensive line and at times he's almost unblockable. His physical ability has never been in doubt, but he believes his knowledge could be his greatest asset.

"I feel like I'm a really smart player," Hamilton said. "I use my hands very well. I'm real violent and I think my first couple of steps set me a part. I think I can play with power and speed. I feel like I bring a lot to the table. I think when I get in a college weight room that things will only get better from there."

Hamilton hopes to make a decision before he plays in the U.S. Army All-American game.

Rivals.com rates Hamilton as a 5-star defensive end in the class of 2012. He's ranked as the top-ranked player at his position and fifth nationally overall.

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