5-9, 170-pound Centreville (Clifton, VA) defensive back Darryl Hamilton is excited about his position switch this season. It is something he feels will help bring more attention from Division 1A recruiters. The talented senior already has one major Division 1A offer in the fold, but he is waiting to see if more offers roll in before he makes a college decision.
Last season, Hamilton primarily played outside linebacker under head coach Mike Skinner. He played well, tallying 70 tackles and two interceptions. This year, under new head coach Gerry Pannoni, Hamilton is playing on both sides of the ball. But what he likes the most is a move to safety.
"I'm also playing offense this year. I'm the starting running back and I'm starting at safety," said Hamilton, who returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown and blocked a punt in the first game of the year. "Last year, I was more of a cover linebacker. I would blitz and cover from the linebacker spot. Now we have other people to play outside, so I can stay at safety.
"A lot of hesitation in offering me is because some coaches have never seen me cover too often. Last year, I was always on the line, making tackles from my linebacker spot. This season, they will be able to see me cover and play. They can see me in zone coverage and in one-on-one coverage."
Several ACC programs are interested in seeing Hamilton's senior game film.
"N.C. State is one program that wants me to send tape after my first three games," Hamilton said. "UNC wants tape of my first game. I'll probably get that one out soon. Duke wants the same thing. I'll probably also send tapes to a few other schools to see what they think."
The lone 1A offer right now is from the University of Virginia, which of course is the program where Darryl's older brother, Marcus, starred at cornerback. The UVa coaches didn't waste any time in offering the younger Hamilton one year ago.
"I was offered by Virginia on the first day they could offer me last September," Hamilton said. "They have me listed as a corner, but they know I can play safety or corner. They have seen me play both. With them, I think I could play either one."
Hamilton admits that he initially wanted to play his college ball at another school. Right now, Virginia is very much under consideration.
"At first, because my brother went there and did real well, I was thinking I might want to make my own name somewhere else," Hamilton said. "Now, I honestly think it will come down to where I feel comfortable. I want to go on an official visit and spend time with the players there. If it feels right, then maybe that's where I will end up going. If it feels at home at another school, then maybe I'll go somewhere else."
Hamilton plans on making an official visit to UVa, but he has yet to set a date. That could happen in the near future, though.
"I haven't yet," Hamilton replied when asked if he had set an official visit to UVa. "I've planned with my parents to ask their coaches after our fourth game when a good time to visit would be. After the fourth game (Centreville is 1-1 on the year), I'll call down and see if we can set something up."
At this point in his recruitment, Hamilton will not name a favorite school. Instead, he is more in a wait-and-see mode.
"I don't have a number one or anything like that," Hamilton said. "I have been waiting to see what else I might get. A lot of teams have been saying that I could get an offer. A lot of them have used my height as an excuse. To me, that doesn't make sense. If you prove you can play, it doesn't matter. If a team is showing genuine interest in me, then we will go from there. I haven't narrowed it down, but UVa is still there especially since they are the only one that has offered so far."