2011 Ohio TE gets Rutgers offer

A three-star prospect in Ohio received a written offer in the mail from Rutgers on Thursday, and talked about his knowledge of the school and the program. His grandfather is in Rutgers' Olympic Sports Hall of Fame and his uncle was a member of the school's track and field team. The player also has offers from several Big East schools, a Big Ten school and is getting interest from many others.

Ray Hamilton of Strongsville (Ohio) High heard it from his grandfather, and also his uncle. Both went to Rutgers and excelled in sports for the Scarlet Knights, and they aren't shy about pointing the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Hamilton in that direction when it comes to college.

So when Hamilton, a class of 2011 three-star tight end, opened his mail Thursday and found a written offer from Rutgers, had moved quickly.

"I called them and they were both really excited,'' Hamilton said. "My uncle says he has to get me there (for a visit) soon, so I'm actually excited to get up to Rutgers and look.''

Hamilton's grandfather, Jack Daut, was a two-time first-team All-American in lacrosse and is the Rutgers Olympic Sports Hall of Fame. His uncle, John Daut, ran track and field for the Scarlet Knights.

"They've actually been on me since the recruiting started,'' Hamilton said. "My uncle is actually friends with coach Schiano, so there are actually a lot of ties there.''

Although no date has been set for an unofficial visit, Hamilton said a stop in New Jersey during his spring/summer trip circuit is in the cards.

"When somebody offers, you definitely want to take a look at them,'' Hamilton said, "especially when the program is as legitimate as Rutgers is, and on the rise as I think as Rutgers is, with all their young talent. I like how they use the tight end.''

Hamilton also has offers from Colorado, Pittsburgh, Indiana, West Virginia and Akron. He added he received a verbal offer from Alabama in the summer but is yet to receive a written one, and he is receiving plenty of attention from other schools as well.

Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Boston College, Syracuse and Michigan State were among the non-offering schools to come by Strongsville High lately.

"It means something to offer this early, but everyone is on a level playing field,'' Hamilton said. "I need to get out and start checking out these schools in the spring and the summer. I want to give everyone the same chance and not be biased.''

Of course, Rutgers isn't the only school with family ties. West Virginia has them as well, and they are more immediate.

Hamilton's father, Tom, played football for the Mountaineers, but Ray said family ties will not factor into his decision.

"I want to do this on my own and pick the school that's right for me,'' he said. "I'd like to see the atmosphere of the colleges.''

Hamilton is in the process of sending out his junior tape, which should solicit more interest.

He finished with 28 catches for approximately 300 yards despite missing the first four games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, but he fashions himself as much more than a pass catcher.

"I feel my blocking is good,'' Hamilton said. "I definitely need some work at it, but as a tight end I take a lot of pride in my blocking. I've heard that I'm a pass-catching tight end, which I guess you could say.

"But at the same time that makes me a little bit mad because I think I am a multi-dimensional tight end that can stick his hand on the ground and block, and also catch passes.''

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