November 14, 2011

Change of plans for five-star

Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep defensive end Darius Hamilton had originally planned to take two official visits and choose between three teams on Dec. 23. However, those plans have now changed after a visit this week from a Big 12 power. What's the latest with the nation's No. 5 overall prospect?

"Oklahoma came to our practice this week and I never really took a long look at them before," said the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. "I started to take a look and became interested, who wouldn't? They are a great program and I wanted to make sure I saw them before I made my decision."

As a result, Hamilton has decided to delay his decision from Dec. 23 to late January.

"It wasn't just Oklahoma," he said. "I had been thinking about this because I want to make sure I see as many schools as I can and make sure I am making the right decision."

Hamilton might take his official visit to Oklahoma the weekend of Thanksgiving (Nov.25) with teammate Elijah Shumate.

"If Oklahoma can make it happen that fast then great," he said. "Otherwise I'll visit after the U.S. Army All American Bowl. Either way I'll take all five of my official visits now."

Hamilton will take back-to-back official visits to Florida and Cal in December but isn't sure of the order.

"It was supposed to be Florida on Dec. 9 and Cal on Dec. 16 but that might be reversed," he said. "I should know by the end of the week there. Then I'll take an official visit to Tennessee in January and also see Oklahoma if I don't go around Thanksgiving. My last official visit will be either to LSU or Rutgers or Virginia Tech, I'm not sure yet."

Hamilton is interested in Florida and Cal for similar reasons.

"I like the coaches," he said. "Bryant Young and Dan Quinn are good guys and have a bunch of NFL experience. Coach Young played in the league for a long time and coach Quinn coached there recently. As for Cal, Tosh Lupoi is a great defensive line coach and the defense is playing well overall. I've been interested in both schools for awhile."

And the rest of the schools?

"Rutgers is home and I've been there so often that I feel really comfortable. I also have a few teammates there and coach Hafley is a good guy. Tennessee is a program I've always liked and it's SEC football while my dad has a connection to Virginia Tech and I've been down there before and liked it. And Oklahoma had offered me for a long time, but looking at them now I'm much more interested."

Hamilton is ranked as the No. 2 strongside defensive end and is the No. 5 overall player in the country. His teammate, wide receiver Leonte Carroo, is committed to Rutgers and others like Yuri Wright and Shumate also have high interest in Rutgers. Hamilton was supposed to see Rutgers play Army at Yankee Stadium this past weekend but didn't make it.

"As the visiting team, they couldn't leave us tickets so we didn't go," he said. "But I've seen Rutgers so many times it's no big deal. I'll be there again before I decide, I just don't know if I need an official visit or not. I'm hoping to figure all of that out soon."




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