It may be the “dead period” for NCAA football recruiting, but there’s been plenty of life around the Syracuse Orange. Yesterday was proof, as multiple scholarship offers went out, including to wide receivers Dez Fitzpatrick and DeVaughn Cooper, as well as running back Jawon Hamilton.
Hamilton is another name I mentioned earlier this week as being a possible target of the new staff, and it appears he is indeed someone Dino Babers and his staff are hoping to get in Orange. The 5-foot-9, 185 pound running back from Homestead, Florida was committed to Miami before backing off of that pledge a few days ago. He also holds offers from Louisville, Temple, Central Florida, and Kansas, among others, and currently has official visits set for UCF on January 15 and Kansas on January 29.
There’s a strong possibility Hamilton will work in an official visit to Syracuse, which would pretty much have to fall on the weekend of January 22 – a weekend which is rapidly becoming one of the busiest and most important recruiting weekends in some time, since Fitzpatrick, Kentrail Moran, Joshua Black, Jaquwan Nelson, and Evan Foster will be visiting along with already committed players Sam Heckel and Airon Servais. There’s still a possibility one or two more big names will be added to the visit list for that weekend, hopefully including Devon Modster.
Watching Hamilton’s highlights, the first thing that jumps out is how quickly he finds and hits a hole and explodes through, and hit a second gear to run away from defenders. Now, in terms of his 40-time, ESPN.com reports his official time as 4.68, but he certainly looks faster than that on film. Odds are he either ran poorly the day that time was recorded, or he’s improved his speed since then, because he certainly appears to have home run ability in his highlights. Either way, he’s clearly “football fast.”
From a build standpoint, he’s already pretty impressively put together. He may only be 185, but he’s a solid 185 whose build and film actually remind me a little bit of Jordan Fredericks, who pretty much immediately became Syracuse’s most effective running back last season. He’s not quite on par with a guy like Moe Neal in terms of his shiftiness, but his strength, toughness, and acceleration make him an extremely intriguing prospect.
Syracuse has some catching up to do in order to win over Hamilton, and it’s clear that the Orange are looking to bring in multiple running backs in this cycle. Moran is a strong possibility to flip from Illinois, while Sam Brodner will also be paying a visit to the Orange on January 15. Another running back to keep an eye on is Sean Riley, a teammate of DeVaughn Cooper’s in California. Riley, along with Cooper and fellow Narbonne teammate Cedric Byrd, are planning visits to Syracuse as well, though Riley is still awaiting an offer at the moment.
Last season, Hamilton rushed for 1,259 yards with an average of 9.6 yards per carry to go along with 16 touchdowns.