Darius Hamilton doesn’t have to go far for invaluable football advice. His father is that resource.
The son of former New York Giants defensive tackle Keith Hamilton, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound younger Hamilton is a five-star defensive end recruit from Don Bosco Prep, a noted football power in northern New Jersey.
Of course, Keith Hamilton did most of his work in those areas – on the defensive line and in North Jersey.
Keith was selected by the Giants in the fourth round of the 1992 draft out of Pitt and played in East Rutherford from 1992-2003. He has used his post-playing days to study Darius’ game carefully.
“Any question I have, he has the answer,” Hamilton told The Bergen Record late last year. “He has seen me play since I was a little kid, it’s like he knows what I am going to do before I do it. He gives me advice to make me the best player I can be.”
Here’s some more advice for the younger Hamilton: listen to your father.
Known as “The Hammer” for his powerful presence on the interior line, the elder Hamilton was a dual threat defensive tackle. He was a space-eater and run-stopper, while also recording 63 career sacks.
His son has become one of the most sought-after high school prospects in the country, partly because he carries his father’s athleticism and is still growing into an already-impressive body. Rivals ranks him as the fifth best recruit in the entire Class of 2012.
Darius also maintains a 3.2 GPA and, according to The Bergen Record, has an affinity for history and physics. That’s a nice complement to his 63 tackles and team-leading 13 1/2 sacks as a junior.
With a good head on a chiseled body, Darius has fielded offers from over 20 top college programs, including USC, Florida, Boston College, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Penn State.
His mother, Rosita Collazo, told New Jersey’s Herald-News that she can’t even keep up with her son’s suitors.
“All the mail is for Darius,” Collazo told the newspaper. “I don’t get any mail anymore. There are at least 20 pieces of mail a day. I already have a big plastic box full and I have to get another one soon.”
While it’s not on the level of some other schools clamoring for the younger Hamilton, Rutgers surely has sent much of that mail.
The state university of New Jersey hopes to have an inside track on Darius, though it’s obvious that he may choose the school at which he can play with Yuri Wright, Leonte Carroo and Elijah Shumate, three of his Don Bosco teammates.
“We have talked about it,” Hamilton told the Herald-News. “If the opportunity presents itself and they have what we want academically and athletically, I am sure we will take it. At the same time, if it doesn’t work out, we will still be the best of friends and go our separate ways.”
What Hamilton wants is to be on the field, telling The Bergen Record that he wants to go to place where he has “a chance to play freshman year and can make the most of my opportunities.”
The Scarlet Knights no doubt are clearing out their depth chart after a dismal 4-8 season last fall.
And don’t count out his father’s alma mater, as Pittsburgh has churned out NFL talent on the defensive end in recent years like Darrelle Revis, and Hamilton is surely already on the radar of new Panthers coach Todd Graham.
But it’s ironic that Darius wants to go full bore from the outset in college. He didn’t do that high school, where he admitted to The Record that he hadn’t taken his football career seriously the first two years.
That is, until his father got a hold of him.
“I had a talk with my dad and he said if you want to play at the next level, you have to be serious,” Hamilton said to The Record. “At a certain point, I realized I had to grow up.”
Giving him a quick once-over, it’s clear that Darius Hamilton is growing up fast.