But TheInsiders.com caught up with Hamilton yesterday and confirmed the news. ">
But TheInsiders.com caught up with Hamilton yesterday and confirmed the news. ">

Hamilton talks about commitment

A combination of family holiday demands and an NCAA-mandated "dead period" on recruiting meant that Kevin Hamilton's recent commitment to sign with Alabama was slightly "underreported." <br><br>But <i>TheInsiders.com</i> caught up with Hamilton yesterday and confirmed the news.

When word first got out that the Prattville star may have pulled the trigger on his commitment, recruiting writers were left scrambling to get the story. Obviously the Tide coaches couldn't talk about it. That would be a violation of NCAA rules. So attention focused on Hamilton himself.

But of course with Christmas festivities in full swing, a teenaged youngster isn't always that easy to find. One story referred to a "close family source," while our own reporter had to rely on a sister for confirmation.

Hamilton was a mainstay for Prattville High School's defense.

No one doubted the truth of what happened, but it's always best to speak to the athlete directly.

"I committed the day after Christmas," Hamilton confirmed to TheInsiders.com in a recent interview.

Hamilton (6-3, 255, 4.88) is a long, lean athlete who runs very well. At first glance he frankly looks more like an end than a defensive tackle, which is where he labored this past season for Prattville High School. But most coaches say the best thing is to just let Hamilton enter college, take part in normal weight training work, and then let nature decide where he'll play.

Bama Defensive Ends Coach Paul Randolph was instrumental in getting Hamilton to decide for the Tide.

"I called Coach Randolph with the news," Hamilton revealed. "He called (Head Coach Mike Shula) with the news. Then, I called Coach Shula."

Hamilton has been linked with several top schools during recruiting. Besides the Tide they included LSU, Clemson, Louisville, Auburn and Arkansas. But while he listened politely and carefully considered his options, Hamilton says there was little doubt.

"I have known all along that I was going to Alabama," he stated firmly.

It helped that Bama's starting strong safety and a key reserve lineman on the squad were both former teammates of Hamilton's at Prattville.

Hamilton's height have many projecting him at defensive end.

"I know Roman Harper and Kyle Tatum," Hamilton explained. "Recruiting went well. I just know more people at Alabama and I felt more comfortable there."

At this point Hamilton's biggest challenge involves academics. He's smart enough, but frankly Hamilton has fallen behind in getting eligible. Most sources say that junior college is a likely starting point for the tall lineman, but he hasn't given up yet.

"My school work is going good," Hamilton related. "I need three points on the ACT to be where I need to be."

With the Tide's almost-desperate need for linemen, they'd love to get Hamilton qualified and enrolled in school this fall. But a sign-and-place (probably at a Mississippi JUCO) is a possibility.

"Coach Shula talked to me about what all is going to take place," Hamilton said. "Depending on how things work out, Coach Randolph talked to me about when I might come up there and work-out with the team."

Defensive lineman Kevin Hamilton is the 17th prospect to commit to Alabama as part of the 2004 recruiting class.

Other Tide commitments include:

Bama's D-Line coaches targeted Hamilton from the beginning.

Cullman two-way lineman Justin Britt,
T.R. Miller tight end Trent Davidson,
Hillcrest High School offensive tackle Cody Davis,
Hoover middle linebacker/defensive lineman Curtis Dawson,
Hoover defensive end Jeramie Holifield,
Thomasville defensive back Aaron Johns,
Randolph County wide receiver Ezekiel Knight,
Fort Payne wide receiver Aaron McDaniel,
Jacksonville, Fla. wide receiver Will Oakley,
Hillcrest cornerback Travis Robinson,
East Central (Miss.) Community College running back Titus Ryan (who is actually not expected to graduate from junior college),
Clarke County offensive tackle B.J. Stabler,
Hartselle wide receiver Nikita Stover,
Northwest Mississippi Community College defensive tackle Chris Turner,
Pike County tight end Nick Walker, and
Hoover quarterback John Parker Wilson.

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 22 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified. It's also possible that one or more players may be asked to delay entry into The University until the following January, counting against 2005 scholarship numbers, depending on how qualifying issues play out.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.

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