Hamilton Remains High on Rutgers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) defensive lineman Darius Hamilton pushed back his decision twice to take as many official visits as possible. With his first two coming the next two weekends, Hamilton discussed where Rutgers stands among the five schools that still have his attention.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Five-star Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) defensive lineman Darius Hamilton had a series of sideline detours to make while celebrating his team's state championship last week at MetLife Stadium.

After the initial post-game handshakes and some quick hugs for teammates, Hamilton made a beeline for the sidelines to embrace former teammate and Rutgers freshman quarterback Gary Nova.

"It was great to see him here because he's a part of this just like I am," Hamilton said. "I know he couldn't get out here much this year because of the whole Rutgers thing, but just for him to come out and support us, it meant a lot. There's a lot of people from Rutgers that support us. It meant a lot."

Nova and freshman running back Paul Canevari make up two former Bosco players at Rutgers. With four-star receiver Leonte Carroo verbally committed to the Class of 2012 and as many as six other players being recruited by Rutgers, the chance to play with former teammates is a draw for Hamilton, he said.

"I hope [the state championship game] isn't the last one with some of these guys," Hamilton said. "I love them. They're my brothers."

Hamilton's last stop before entering the locker room to change and leave the stadium was Rutgers assistant coach Jeff Hafley. Hafley was one of five Rutgers coaches on the sidelines to watch the game and has a strong relationship with Hamilton since recruiting him as an underclassman while working with the Pittsburgh staff.

"That was great that they all came," Hamilton said. "I love Coach Hafley and [defensive line coach Phil Galiano] is just a great coach. I was glad they got to see us win."

Hamilton once named Rutgers as his top choice, but now says he has no leader. Don Bosco has a strict policy on seniors taking visits with a focus on team success, which prevented Hamilton from seeing many schools during the year.

A Rutgers trip was easy because of the proximity, but Hamilton plans to see the other four schools on his list at least once before making his decision.

"I still love Rutgers," Hamilton said. "The coaches, the guys, everything, Rutgers is great. It's like I always say, though, Rutgers is the only school I really know right now. I need to see other schools too. I need to find the best place for me."

Hamilton officially visits Florida this weekend and California the next week. After Christmas, Hamilton said he expects to visit Rutgers, USC and Tennessee before deciding on live television. After setting previous announcement dates of Sept. 9 and Dec. 23, Hamilton is avoiding putting a time on his college choice, but expects it to be close or on National Signing Day, he said.

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