FNL: Carver shuts out Lee behind Hamilton

Cary Clark checks out Alabama linebacker commitment Shaun Hamilton and more in this week's Friday Night Lights.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Football in the Capital City ain't what it used to be. Time was, fans in the Heart of Dixie packed the stands at Cramton Bowl on Friday nights to watch inter-city matchups like Lee-Lanier or Jeff Davis-Carver. That's no longer the case, though I did join around 3,000 or so others to get my first glimpse in over a year of one of the state of Alabama's top defenders, who helped his Carver Wolverines post a 19-0 shutout over the hapless Lee Generals. To the categories:

TOP PROSPECT: There are a number of college prospects on the 2013 Carver squad, but the headliner is linebacker Shaun Hamilton, a 6-2, 225-pound Alabama pledge who plays like the high school version of a C.J. Mosley/Nico Johnson Hybrid.

"He's just a great football player," said Lee coach Tyrone Rogers of Hamilton. "He has a knack for being around the football. He plays very physical."

Those thoughts were reflected in Hamilton's stats for the evening: Eleven tackles, one tackle for a loss, an interception and two pass breakups.

"The kids call him ‘24/7,'" said Carver coach Billy Gresham. "He never stops working. He wants to lift (weights) every day. If the school's closed, he'll borrow a key from somebody. If he can't do that, he'll go to the YMCA and work out.

"He keeps our young players motivated with great leadership. He's just such a hard worker."

Hamilton played a near-flawless game, but is human. He missed a tackle, had a pass glance off his hands that could have been a pick, and had another tip his fingers before settling into the arms of a waiting tight end. That said, he showed the ability to go sideline-to-sideline and make plays, drop into hook zones versus the pass, and come up strong on running plays. He is a complete player, and one that should thrive in the Nick Saban/Kirby Smart defensive system.

also has character. It was senior night at Cramton Bowl, and each Wolverine player gave the announcer a personal motto to read while he escorted his mom to midfield. Hamilton's? "The harder you work at what you want to be, the less you will try to hide what you are."

SENIORS WHO SHINED: Arkansas State commitment Draequon Murphy (6-0, 207) had two big plays: a 15-yard touchdown catch and a 99-yard pick six on a fade route he stepped in front of late. The latter brought the crowd to its feet. Two committed receivers, 6-3, 215-pound Charles Standberry (Ole Miss) and sure handed Landy Capetillo (6-1, 185) also had their moments. Capetillo is a classic possession receiver who will fare well under Bob Petrino at Western Kentucky.

For the Generals, Rogers said a few seniors are getting looks, including offensive tackle Jaderrick Brown (6-3, 265) and both defensive ends: Jaylen Dailey (6-1, 250) and Deontay Gilmore (6-3 215).

JUNIORS TO WATCH: Lee probably had the best-looking 11th grader, and he's under the radar for now. That's linebacker Joshua Smiley (6-1, 215) who, like Hamilton, has a nose for the pigskin and arrives angry.

Carver safety Melvin Tyus (6-1, 205) is already getting high D-1 attention, and rightly so. He had a nice interception to thwart a third quarter Lee drive.

SUPER SOPHS: Each team had one. Carver linebacker Lyndell Wilson is already 6-3, 210, and looks to make a splash on the summer circuit.

For the Generals, watch for receiver Jonah Garrison (5-10, 175) to move up. He was one of the few bright spots for the Lee offense.

NEXT UP: A couple of bye weeks before a week with two FNL games. In a rare Thursday Halloween night game, Bama pledge/Opelika cornerback Stephen Roberts will get to compare his wares with the only corner in the state rated higher, the Bucs' Humphrey, not to mention junior linebacker Darrel Williams and junior defensive end Christian Bell.

The next night features Pinson Valley at Briarwood, as Indians junior running back Nick Gibson has attracted attention from recruiters all over the south, including both in state schools.

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