There’s little to no rest for Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) football players, even during the offseason. Aside from typical lifting sessions and personal training work, the student-athletes are required to play a different sport each season, exposing them to the likes of basketball, lacrosse, track, baseball and the like. Add in classroom work and other extra-curricular activities, and school can often feel like a full-time job.
“It’s always busy; I’m always doing something, working, working out, going to practice,” said Greyhounds junior left tackle/defensive end Devery Hamilton, a 6-foot-6, 270-pounder with double-digit Division I offers. “I’m just finishing up basketball and then I start track in two weeks. Then I’m in the weight room every day – that’s a no-brainer. But it’s fun; I like playing different sports besides just focusing on football all the time.”
Although there is little downtime during the school year, Hamilton has begun to delve a little deeper into his recruitment. He currently holds verbals from the likes of Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Illinois, Clemson, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Northwestern, Virginia, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and, most recently, Stanford.
“Stanford, that was a really exciting offer,” Hamilton said. “I’d talked to their coaches a few times, and on National Signing Day [Feb. 4] their recruiting coach spoke to me and said they were looking toward the 2016 class now and they were offering me for defense. He said Coach [David] Shaw really liked my tape on offense and defense, and that they wanted to move forward with offering me a scholarship and were looking forward to getting me out there.”
Which Hamilton plans to do as soon as possible. He said he and his family plan to fly out to Palo Alton, Calif., during the spring or summer.
“That’s definitely a school I want to go see,” Hamilton said. “It’s a great school, a great football program, great academics. So I’ll go out there and see what it’s like. It’s a great opportunity.”
Besides checking out the Cardinal on an unspecified date, Hamilton has several other visits lined up in the meantime. On Feb. 14 he’s trekking down to Charlottesville, Va., to see UVA, and a day later he’ll be in Winston Salem, N.C., to take in Wake Forest. Then on Feb. 28 he plans to be at Alabama, whose staff has maintained contact but has not offered Hamilton yet.
Nearby Maryland is also in the cards, though Hamilton said he’s seen College Park, Md., enough where he might opt to check out some other locales before returning.
“I’ve been to Maryland a couple times for games and visits, and then I actually saw Maryland when they were up at Michigan [last fall],” Hamilton said. “I would say I have pretty good interest in [the Terps]. I love the campus there, I’ve had a good time at the games, and a couple players I know there went to Gilman. Both [Kenny Goins and Shane Cockerille] say great things about Maryland, and whenever I have a question I can talk to them about it.”
Hamilton was originally recruited by ex-Terps’ running backs coach Andre Powell, who is now at Pittsburgh. But even before Powell left the program, UMD offensive coordinator Mike Locksley had been in touch, by virtue of his son, Kai Locksley, attending school at Gilman.
“Coach Locksley has been on me for awhile now because of Kai. There’s a strong connection there with him. [Mike Locksley is] a really cool guy and someone I have a very good relationship with,” Hamilton said. “He and Coach [Randy] Edsall are all about staying home, staying in-state. Lots of people from Maryland are talking about staying at Maryland now, and [Locksley and Edsall] are saying they have the potential to be really good if that happens.
“So the coaches are telling me they want me to be part of that [hometown movement] too. They want me to come up for a basketball game, and come up with my parents to check the school out more. And I think what the coaches are really preaching about staying in state -- that strikes me. I have a lot of friends thinking about staying home, so that’s something that I’m thinking about as well.”
The Gilman tackle said he would like to eventually set up personal visits with all his foremost suitors so he and his family can talk one-on-one with the staff, speak to academic advisors, and also meet players so “I can get a real feel for the program and what it’s about.”
Hamilton didn’t point out any clear leaders yet, mainly because he wants to take in several more campuses first. However, he did hint that Maryland, Stanford, UVA, Wake Forest and possibly Alabama (should it offer) would be on the short list. (Hamilton said he originally had significant interest in Michigan State, but the Spartans hadn’t had much contact with him recently, so he’s unsure where he stands with them.)
“I feel like once I take some trips this spring and summer I’ll be able to really pinpoint things,” said Hamilton, who mentioned that most staffs (including Maryland’s) have not specified whether they want him at tackle or defensive end, letting him know his senior film will likely dictate his college position. “Right now I just have to see some more schools since Maryland and Michigan are really the only two places I’ve been recently.”
Hamilton has no timetable for selecting a college destination. He said it could be as early as late summer or as late as next winter, following official visits.
“I actually haven’t really even thought about decisions. I’m just now talking about a list with my parents and what I’m looking for in a school,” Hamilton said. “So I really haven’t thought about a decision at all, not even for an hour. Once I dwindle down the list, I’ll see where I want to visit, do some more research and then go from there.”
Hamilton Setting Visits, Talks Terps
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