It’s getting down to crunch time for Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) offensive tackle Devery Hamilton, who is planning on selecting his college at the end of June. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound four-star is maintaining a top three leaderboard of Stanford, Michigan and Maryland, with Wisconsin and Illinois running fourth and fifth, respectively.
“Stanford, Michigan and Maryland, I guess you could say those are the schools that have been sticking out for awhile now,” Hamilton said. “Wisconsin and Illinois are still in there, but the three that have been with me the longest are Stanford, Michigan and Maryland.
“And I guess you could say, out of those three, I don’t really have a real leader. Before I had Stanford and Michigan out in front, but I’ve been talking to Coach [Mike] Locksley from Maryland more, and I’ve been talking to [Terps pledge] Dwayne Haskins [Bullis/Potomac, Md.] a lot too, and I’d say Maryland is right there with the other two.”
Hamilton said, in addition to team workouts and AAU basketball practice, the month of June will be all about weighing the pros and cons of his foremost suitors. He said he'll be having extensive discussions with his parents and coaches about the benefits and opportunities each program offers before making an informed decision.
“I’m going to continue building relationships with all the [college] coaches I know, and then at the end of June I should be ready to choose a school. I don’t really have a set date, and I don’t really want to make it a big deal, but around the end of June I should be ready,” Hamilton said. “Every school I’m looking at in the top three has a great academic reputation and a good reputation as a football program, and there’s a lot to like about all of them. It’s not going to be an easy decision.
“Relationships are definitely huge for me, just listening to what each staff is telling me the rest of this month. I realize I can’t base everything off coach relationships since coaches change all the time, but I definitely want to be comfortable with the people at each school.”
Hamilton has visited Stanford, Michigan and Maryland this offseason, and he has one more trip planned. He said he’ll be returning to College Park, Md., for a last look at the hometown school.
“In the next week or so I’m going back to Maryland to stay overnight with a few players, and that will be my last visit,” Hamilton said. “I just talked to Coach Locksley at his son’s [Kai Locksley] graduation party, and we briefly discussed it there. Then I talked to Coach [Randy] Edsall just recently, and when he gets back in town we’re going to set up a time when I can come out.”
The Gilman product has already visited UMD on multiple occasions for games, junior days and the like (he was most recently on campus back in May). His parents have joined him a couple times as well, giving them an opportunity to meet the staff and delve into Maryland’s academics.
But Hamilton has yet to stay overnight, so he said he’s “definitely looking forward” to connecting with the current Terps and seeing what they have to say about the university and staff.
“You know, I know a lot of guys at Maryland and they already have a lot of good commits coming in in the 2016 class,” Hamilton said. “It’s a top academic school, the coaches are great people, and I can tell they have a drive to win. I’ve been mostly talking to Coach Locksley, and we have a great relationship. But then I know Coach Edsall and I talked to Coach [Greg] Studrawa when I was down there in mid-May, and I think he’s a great offensive line coach.
“But now I just want to see a different aspect of the school and see what I think after that.”
Hamilton, though, insisted he’s not going to be basing his decision solely off of others’ choices and opinions. He’s gone on record as saying Haskins’ push for local recruits to join him in College Park “really doesn’t affect me.” Moreover, Hamilton said Maryland’s location near home doesn’t necessarily give it a leg up, either.
“The school I choose has to be the right fit for me. Basing my decision entirely off of location or who else is going there is not the right thing to do,” Hamilton said. “First and foremost, I have to feel comfortable there. And I guess each of three schools I’m really looking at, I wouldn’t be alone. My dad’s family is out in California so I know people out there around Stanford, and I know [Gilman Coach Biff] Poggi’s son up at Michigan. And at Maryland, everyone is around. But basing my decision off of who’s on campus or going to a certain school, that’s not smart.”
Hamilton does not have any plans to return to Palo Alto, Calif., or Ann Arbor, Mich. He said he saw enough during previous trips to know what Stanford and Michigan are all about.
“Both my trips to Stanford and Michigan were really good, and all my questions got answered while I was there,” Hamilton said. “Stanford has a great academic reputation, it’s one of the top universities in the world and it’s a great football program. The coaches there are some really great people, the campus is beautiful, and the weather is nice.
“Michigan, I love Coach [Jim] Harbaugh’s drive and the staff’s desire to win and compete at the top levels of college football. It’s also a top academic school and one of the best out there. So I loved both those places.”
Finally, Hamilton said that while he’ll be making his own decision, his parents’ opinions “do matter.” He will be consulting them extensively during the next couple weeks.
“My parents have given me advice and let me know what they think the pros and cons are of each school,” Hamilton said. “But ultimately they’re leaving this up to me. They’re making sure I feel comfortable and am not getting pressured by anyone to choose a certain school. So I appreciate that, and they do have some say in this, but they’re going to leave the decision up to me.”
Hamilton Closing In On Decision
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