Back and better than ever

The 2010 season was all about bouncing back for Iowa tight end commitment Ray Hamilton. Through eight games, he's accomplished he that. Come inside as HI goes 1-on-1 with the senior.

The 2010 season was all about bouncing back for Iowa tight end commitment Ray Hamilton. The Strongsville HS (OH) product only played in six games last year as a junior. With three games left in the season before the playoffs start, Hamilton has already played eight games this year. His numbers: nearly 45 catches, almost 700 yards, and seven touchdowns.

"Being out definitely teaches you a lot about the game. This off season, I was doing stuff I have never done before and I think its definitely paying dividends now," said Hamilton to on Monday night. "Not only the conditioning part, but I was playing catch with the quarterbacks every day. I was spending time with the coaches, who have college experience, trying to learn everything before I make the next step and to help my team more importantly this year.

"I feel that I'm an important piece in the offense. More than a year ago. Personally I feel that the coaches are doing a great job of putting me into positions to succeed. They are giving me an opportunity to show my talents all over the field. It's been great."

Strongsville is 5-3 overall and 2-1 in league play. They are looking to finish the regular season strong. They have won five out of their last six games.

"We only play on Fridays, so I have been able to watch almost all the Hawkeye games," said Hamilton. "They are playing really well. If it wasn't for that one quarter in Arizona, they would be undefeated and one of the top teams in the nation. Still, they are sitting alright. They really bounced back from that loss and have showed what Iowa football is all about."

A true evaluator of all the positions on the field, Hamilton is quick to give an evaluation of all the positions/starters on both sides of the ball, identifying each Hawk starter by name.

His favorite game to watch this season was last weekend against Michigan.

"To watch the Hawks in the big house really take it to them was pretty awesome. I have a best friend, Jack Miller, who is committed to Michigan. He was there and we were exchanging texts back and forth. Obviously, I had the last laugh," said Hamilton. "I really think with their schedule and coming off a BCS game last year, they could do it again."

Hamilton has plans to take his official visit in late November, when the Buckeyes visit Kinnick.

What does he think of Iowa's remaining schedule?

"The best thing about all of their upcoming homes games against ranked opponents is it will give people a chance to see Kinnick a little more this season on TV," said the senior. "For everyone that has experienced Iowa football before knows how special Kinnick is. This home schedule is just going to give the rest of the nation a glimpse of the atmosphere there."

Strongsville plays 3-5 Brush this Friday night.

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