18 in 18: DE Darius Hamilton

The first wave of Rutgers football incoming freshmen are a week away from enrollment for summer classes. Getting ready for training camp, ScarletReport.com is happy to bring back its freshman "18 and 18" series. To kick off this daily feature, ScarletReport.com spoke to the top-rated Rutgers signee Darius Hamilton.

Five-star defensive lineman Darius Hamilton is well aware of the expectations he faces when he arrives at Rutgers next week for the beginning of his freshman year.

A national champion, defensive player of the year and U.S. Army All-American, Hamilton does not expect to be handed anything and expects the college adjustment to be a tough one.

"We have a ton of depth and people ready to make an impact out there," Hamilton said on expectations to play this season. "I'm going to come in and try to make an impact any way I can. They're a great group of guys and they all have more experience than I do. I'm looking forward to learning from them."

Hamilton comes to Rutgers as the gem of coach Kyle Flood's first recruiting class, but will not begin his college career at his natural position of defensive tackle.

At 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, Hamilton expects to play defensive end as a true freshman. Based on Hamilton's size and the lack of depth at the position, defensive end is the best opportunity for him to instantly improve the defense.

"They want to try me at defensive end," Hamilton said. "I've never played the position before, but they're going to try me there and we'll see what happens. I think as a sophomore maybe, as I mature, I'll be playing defensive tackle unless I do really well at defensive end. I've never played it before so I don't know what to expect."

Hamilton is one of three players enrolling May 28 for the first of three summer sessions. High-school teammate Leonte Carroo and Archbishop Carroll (Washington D.C.) offensive lineman Derrick Nelson will all be on campus next week and preparing for their first classes.

"It's going to be me, Leonte and Derrick Nelson all rooming together," Hamilton said. "Me and Leonte are obviously already the best of friends. We don't know Derrick too well yet. He let us know we're all going to be rooming together, so we're excited to get to know him. When we get down there, it's going to be fun."

After graduating from Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) this week, Hamilton will enjoy Memorial Day weekend with his family and then move on to life at Rutgers.

"I'm trying to enjoy the little time I have left with the guys, with my teachers and stuff," Hamilton said. "I'll have a little bit of fun before I go to Rutgers, but nothing crazy or out there or anything. Rutgers is going to be a lot of fun when I get there and I'm looking forward to it."

Arriving at Rutgers, Hamilton is reunited with high-school teammates Gary Nova and Paul Canevari.

"I'll definitely be going after Gary in practice, just like old times," Hamilton said. "It's going to be a lot of fun being teammates again with both him and [Paul Canevari].

"I'm excited to learn from all of those guys like Scott Vallone, Michael Larrow, everybody. I'm excited to just come in and compete every day."

And like most members of the Rutgers family, Hamilton cannot wait to see the new uniforms in action.

"It's going to look sick," he said. "I saw the uniforms when they came out, when coach (Greg) Schiano was there. I was one of the first to see it and they're beautiful. We're going to look good, but we're going to have to dig deep if we want to get that Big East championship. We're definitely going to have to work hard for it, but that's the goal."

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