Listed at 6-3, 255 pounds in his database profile, Kevin Hamilton is a bit taller (right at 6-4). He's not as broad as some linemen, but he should easily add 20 pounds or so simply by taking part in a college weight program and toning up his already impressive frame.
But the best thing about Hamilton is his feet. Agile enough to play tight end, Hamilton manned the middle this year for an excellent Prattville defense. Look at him head on, and it's easy to understand why scouts are arguing.
Is he a defensive tackle or defensive end?
Hamilton has the strength and requisite mean streak to play on the inside, which is how he was used as senior in high school. But his relatively long legs (compared to his torso) and wide wingspan give him the look of a defensive end.
Two weeks ago we watched as Hamilton's Prattville team defeated Baldwin County 29-0 in the playoffs. That night Hamilton was pretty much all over the field on defense, clogging the middle and also pursuing the play to the outside.
"I can play defensive end," Hamilton said afterwards. "It really doesn't matter to me where I play. I played some end my junior year, but I just play where the coaches want me to. It doesn't matter to me. I'll play wherever they want me to play."
With his long arms and legs--combined with good speed and relentless pursuit--Hamilton will remind Bama fans a little of Todd Bates. He puts his long stride to good use, pursuing plays run away from him very well.
Hamilton probably had the biggest play of that game. Baldwin County had a bubble screen set up well. Their receiver caught the quick pass, hesitated to let one would-be tackler go by and then stepped to run down field. But then almost out of nowhere Hamilton flew in from the side, hitting the ball carrier waist-high and flipping him end over end to blow up the play.
Sniffing out Baldwin County's intent at the snap, Hamilton ran the play down from his defensive tackle slot to stop the receiver for no gain. "We work on pursuits every day in practice; get to the ball as fast as you can," Hamilton said. "That's the name of the game on defense."
But defensive tackles aren't supposed to be able to run like that? "At Prattville they are," Hamilton replied with a laugh.
Hamilton was clearly "the man" for Prattville's defense, regularly getting into the offensive backfield to disrupt the play. He showed good anticipation of the snap count and a quick first step.
When the offensive lineman did get his hands on him, Hamilton separated from the blocker well, moving to one side or the other to get in on the tackle. He's very agile for an athlete his size.
"I played tight end my ninth grade year, but then they moved me over to defense," Hamilton related.
"I love defense. It's more fun to deliver the blow rather than receive it."
Of course the question fans ask is where Hamilton will play college football? Given his size and athleticism, it's no surprise that he's been recruited by numerous Southern schools, including Clemson, Arkansas, LSU and Lousiville. But Alabama and Auburn are ahead of the rest.
"You get called all the time," Hamilton said. "(Recruiting) gets old after awhile. But I'm getting it narrowed down. I think I'm going to stay in the state."
Defensive Ends Coach Paul Randolph has led Bama's effort to convince Hamilton to play for the Tide.
"Coach Randolph is recruiting me," Hamilton said. "He's a good coach. I like him. He's a ‘straight up' guy.
"The Alabama coaches are telling me I need to come up there and work on getting stronger and faster to play on the defensive line."
RECRUITING NOTES: With Prattville out of the playoffs, Hamilton could make his decision soon. The latest reports have him leaning to Alabama.
Reportedly, Hamilton's high school girlfriend prefers Auburn.
Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.