Hamilton Sorry for Big Mistake in Fresno Loss

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers sophomore Darius Hamilton learned a lesson the hard way Thursday night against Fresno State on a mistake he swears never to repeat. Hamilton cost Rutgers a first down and eventual touchdown with a personal foul penalty and apologized for his mistake Monday morning.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Darius Hamilton does not want to hear any excuses. His unsportsmanlike penalty was not a mistake by the officials and his decision cost Rutgers four points in a 52-51 overtime loss to Fresno State.

Making a big stop at the goal line on third down, the sophomore defensive tackle celebrated by making a throat-slashing gesture in the direction of Fresno State and quarterback Derek Carr.

"It was completely my fault" Hamilton said Monday. "It was in the heat of the moment playing the game that I love. The adrenalin was pumping. I made a big play and I got up and did a throat slash. It wasn't a Superman. I didn't bump my chest. I did a throat slash. ... I wouldn't have done it. But I did and it was a mistake."

No one felt as bad as Hamilton two plays later. With one second left in the half, Carr connected on a corner fade to star receiver Davante Adams that put the Bulldogs ahead at halftime.

"I've learned from it already," Hamilton said. "You see the effects from it. You see third and goal turn into first and goal all over again.

"Your defense just came out and played stout on the goal line for the first three downs. You took it upon yourself to make a dumb decision that put all 11 guys on the field back on there for another drive. I wasn't looking out for the best interests of the team when I did that. That was a selfish move by me."

Hamilton was a high-school team captain and is described by his teammates as having high character and leadership skills. Not wanting the wrong reputation, Hamilton was quick to apologize for losing his cool.

It will not happen again, Hamilton promised.

"I don't want people to think that's the character, the kind of guy that I am – a hothead, who loses his cool when he makes big plays," Hamilton said. "That's not me. That's something I've never been about. It was a passionate game, I was giving it my all and I made a mistake. It won't happen again."

The former five-star recruit is used to the spotlight after multiple perfect seasons at Don Bosco Prep and a huge following in recruiting.

Attention and accolades, however, are not what Hamilton wants despite making his first career start Thursday at Bulldog Stadium.

"It's great to have people recognize your talent," he said. "That's always great, but at the end of the day you have to go out there and play. You really can't get caught up in what everybody says on the field. You have to go out there and play."

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