Will 4-Star LB Shaun Dion Hamilton Pick Alabama, Auburn or Tennessee?
The time is drawing near for 4-star linebacker Shaun Hamilton, as he's set to choose between Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee.
According to Andrew Bone of Rivals.com (subscription required), Hamilton is planning on doing the good 'ole "hat dance" this Wednesday, with the press conference scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. (assumed EST).
Where will Hamilton commit?
Hamilton is a highly ranked recruit, and he's one of the better players from the state of Alabama in 2014. He's 6'1'', 240 pounds and is ranked as the No. 14 inside linebacker recruit according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He's also ranked as the No. 12 player from the state of Alabama (247Sports Composite).
He has good size, but he combines that with good speed as well, so he has great potential. He runs a 4.65 40 according to 247Sports.
Hamilton talks a bit about each program in his top three, via Bone's report:
I am committing to the school that was the best fit for me ... My family will be able to see me play. I have a really good relationship with the staff and my family does also.
At Tennessee it was my relationship with Coach Thigpen. We had a previous relationship from when he was at Auburn. It carried on at Tennessee. As soon as we stepped on campus I realized it was really nice up there. Knoxville is a nice town. The whole coaching staff is cool and down-to-earth. They offer early playing time.
Auburn is an in-state school. They were always my childhood favorite. Coach Malzahn is a good coach. I also have a good relationship with Coach Lashlee. I have a good relationship with all of them. I have a teammate [Jeremy Johnson] who signed with them in February. Auburn is a great school, and I know Coach Malzahn will get them back to the top.
Alabama is a real good school. Coach Saban is a great head coach. He is a defensive guru. Coach Smart is a great coordinator. I have a great relationship with him. They know how to get players to the next level. Year-end-and-year-out they will be playing in BCS bowl games.
Now that we know how Hamilton feels about each program, it's time for the part that you've all been waiting for: predictions.
Where will Hamilton commit?
He may have given us a hint with the line about his family being able to see him play. He's from Montgomery, Ala., so let's eliminate Tennessee from the running right away.
As far as proximity from Montgomery to either Auburn or Tuscaloosa, the Tigers have a slight advantage. Auburn is about an hour away from Montgomery, while Tuscaloosa is just about two hours away.
An hour difference may not seem like a lot, but one hour is an eternity in the world of recruiting.
According to Bone's report, Hamilton talked about having a good relationship with Auburn's coaching staff, and he also has the relationship with Jeremy Johnson to fall back on. One can only imagine that Johnson would help create a comfort level for Hamilton at Auburn, and the cherry on top would be the fact that he grew up an Auburn fan.
It has to be tough to turn down Alabama, but it seems like Auburn makes the most sense when considering all the factors Hamilton is looking at.
The Tigers have a few years of rebuilding to do before they can get back to a national championship level, but Gus Malzahn appears to be the right coach for the job, and the defense could become something special considering last year's haul—featuring 5-star defensive ends Carl Lawson and Elijah Daniel, and 5-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams.
My prediction is that Hamilton will end up at Auburn, and for the record, five out of the eight experts that predicted as well via the 247Sports Crystal Ball agree.
We'll officially find out Wednesday morning.
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