Hamilton Is Stocked With 2009 Prospects

Hamilton High School (Chandler, Ariz.) is the 500-pound gorilla that no one wants to mess with. The Huskies have won three of the last four 5A Arizona state championships and they are the odds on favorite to take another championship in 2007. Hamilton has plenty of talent in their senior class, and there is more coming with the juniors.

Former Notre Dame player Steve Belles is in his second season as head coach at Hamilton High School and thus far he's enjoying the view. In his first season, he led Hamilton to the state title, and this season he has the talent on hand to repeat. Running back Covaughn Deboskie and quarterback Gerell Robinson are two of his top players, but the talent doesn't stop there.

"I was hoping that Notre Dame would recruit either Covaughn or Gerell," Belles said of his two star athletes. "Notre Dame is one school that Gerrell is really interested in, but that really didn't materialize. Maybe they need to see some film on him from this year."

If Belles sends the Notre Dame film of this season, there may be a few juniors that catch the eye of the Irish coaches.

"Anthony Jones plays outside linebacker for us," Belles said. "He's 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. He moved here last year from Mississippi, so he's known as Mississippi Jones. He's very athletic. He has 40 inch vertical.

"We had a bunch of seniors playing for us last year, so he didn't play a whole lot for us. He's probably a kid that could have played for us, but he was getting used to Hamilton and he was an athlete, and we needed to get him playing so we put him on JV.

"He's just been real special since he's been up on varsity. He runs around and makes plays for us. He just has great instincts and he flows well to the football. He plays outside linebacker for us, but he could move around.

"He's a playmaker on defense. He will hit you, try to take the ball away, but he'll do it all within the scheme of the defense. He's not going to do anything that puts anyone else in a bad position. He really stays with the flow of the game and does his job. He makes so many plays its ridiculous.

"We don't have anybody that goes both ways. That might be detrimental from a recruiting aspect, but we feel that will help us win state championships because our guys are fresh. He could play offense though, he just type of an athlete.

"He hasn't played a varsity game yet, but we're going to get him out there this year and see what he can do. We don't have a ton of stats on him, but we will as the season goes on."

Belles feels that Jones has the ability to play at a top Division I level program.

"There's no doubt about it," Belles said. "He's already starting to hear from several schools and once September 1 gets here, I expect that he'll hear from a bunch more."

Playing behind Anthony Jones will be another potential Division I prospect in Rueben Robinson (6-foot-2, 210 pounds).

"He was our back-up tight end last year and this year we're going to move in to his more natural position, so he'll be playing one of our safety positions," coach Belles said of Robinson. "We'll see how that works out, but he's a kid with a lot of energy. He doesn't say a whole lot, but he's the big hitter on our team along with Mississippi Jones. He was the only sophomore that we had on varsity last year. He was the back-up tight end and he played on all of our special teams. He had five or six five catches as our back-up tight end.

"He's got good instincts to the ball. He knows when to come up and when to drop back. Some of that you can coach, but in his case it just comes natural to him. I think we have him at the right place this year, so we'll just see how things go."

Although Robinson's best position in high school may be safety, he might be better suited for linebacker in college.

"It depends on the type of coverage that you're playing," coach Belles explained. "If you play a lot of man-to-man, he probably wouldn't be a safety at the college level, but if you play ‘cover 2' and work the safety up, he'd be the type of kid that you'd want back there. He could also be a strong outside linebacker."

Belles has a lot of young talent on the defensive side of the ball, but you'll also find some on offense. Andrew Terrell (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) might not have a lot of chances to make plays with Robinson and Deboskie leading the Husky offense, but if he gets the opportunity, he'll make an opponent pay.

"'Drew' can run and he can catch," Belles said of Terrell. "He can get open and he has the speed to spread things out. He'll catch the ball in big situations. He'll do a lot for us this year.

"We're going to use him on offense this year. I think he can do a lot of things from the slot position. He could play cornerback, but I think he could be a good slot receiver in college."

All three players will play a big role for Belles this season, and Belles expects to see the same coaches walk through the door that inquired about Covaughn Deboskie and Gerell Robinson. Coach Belles is hoping Notre Dame will be one of those schools.

"I think all these guys would be interested in Notre Dame," coach Belles said. "I think it depends on what type of interest there is from the Notre Dame side, but I think they'd certainly have interest in Notre Dame."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories