Alabama Recruiting Update: Shaun Dion Hamilton
By Dave Friedman
There is a difference between being a really smart person and being an intelligent football player. Former Buffalo Bills starting quarterback and current St. Louis Rams backup Ryan Fitzpatrick has an economics degree from Harvard. During the only season that he started 16 games, he led the NFL throwing 23 interceptions. For Tide commitment Shaun Dion Hamilton, his smarts off the field are also obvious between the lines. The linebacker from Carver High School in Montgomery is able to use his brain to improve his play.
“We’ve had four valedictorian’s play football here in my seven years,” said Carver coach Bill Gresham. “He’s the only one that has translated his intelligence into the way that he plays. He can diagnose fast. Diagnose run plays, pass plays, and snap counts. It’s rare to find a guy that plays with those sort of smarts.”
Shaun Dion Hamilton recently scored 22 on the ACT after scoring 17 or 18 as an eighth grader according to Gresham. He has a 3.80 GPA, and the mindset to succeed.
“We gave him the nickname 24/7,” said Gresham. “He leaves nothing to chance in terms of his prep. We can monitor how much video our players watch. He’s looking at two or three hours every day, even in the off-season. If you’re a bad coach, he’ll know it, and have an idea how to exploit it.”
As for his work on the field, Hamilton makes all the defensive calls and checks. Gresham has always been able to count on him to make big plays, but this year he asked him to be more physical.
“He’s responded positively,” said Gresham. “Sometimes you are only as strong as the weakest link within yourself. We challenged that part of his game. He has punished a lot of people this year. He’s explosive with a real knack for the ball.”
Shaun Dion Hamilton committed to Alabama in April and remains “almost 100-percent sure he wants to go there,” according to Gresham. However, the coach feels like players have earned the right through hard work and dedication to visit a few schools and urges them to at very least take the opportunity to visit a school or two outside of the area. Gresham said that Hamilton is going to tour a couple other campuses “to just make sure that he made the right decision.”
Thanks to his dedication, and ability to understand schemes quickly, Gresham thinks that Hamilton will succeed immediately at the next level.
“He’ll go right in and be an impact player,” said Gresham. “Whatever he is asked to do, he’ll learn real fast. Even if it is just special teams as a freshman, he’ll make a difference. I would think he’ll start for at least three years. He has a chance to play in the NFL.”