Each time defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton took the field at Missouri, he had more than football on his mind. And now that his college career is over and he is ready to leap into the NFL, that same powerful thought remains with him.
“My mom passed away in 2006 of cancer so it’s been a drive for me ever since,” said the 6-foot-5, 305 pound Hamilton. “It was real tough. She got to see my whole junior season in high school then she passed away. I went through my whole senior year with her on my mind.”
Hamilton drew inspiration from his mother and went on to finish up his career at Missouri this past year by earning first-team All-Big XII honors.
But the dream of playing in the NFL began when Hamilton was just a youngster on the move. Having a step-father in the Army caused Hamilton to change locations quite a bit.
“It was a fresh start. I was a new kid every time,” Hamilton said. “I think I just got used to it. Now, I like traveling. I want to be that guy that travels. I want to see all those things out in the world.”
Growing up, Hamilton spent some time in a part of the world where football is very different. And it was there that he got his first start on the gridiron.
“I started off at center when I was ten. I was playing flag football when my family was living in Germany,” Hamilton explained. “It was different. They wouldn’t allow the younger kids to hit. They didn’t have Pop Warner, they just had flag football. It was really different. Germany itself was a different place. They try to make it as American as possible on the Army base but once you leave there, it’s a German crowd.”
Hamilton also spent time living in Arizona, Atlanta, El Paso and now resides in upstate New York.
But he will gladly welcome a new location later this year, a location he hopes to learn during the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.
“When I was little I always said I wanted to do this, but I’ve always been big on focusing going to the NFL,” said Hamilton. “I really took it serious when I went into high school. I just kept excelling and working on different stuff and made it to college. Hopefully, I’ll keep going. But I don’t want to just go to the NFL, I want to be good.”
Hamilton will take another step towards realizing that dream next week when he travels down to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the East West Shrine all-star game. And when Hamilton takes the field, he will be playing with the same inspiration that has already gotten him this far.
“My mom was a person that really harped on me to do good. When I was in middle school and in high school, she was a mom figure saying ‘I need to go run or get in shape and do this.’ She would say ‘your coach said you need to work on this so you need to do this.’ She was really a motivating factor so when she died I know that she really wanted this for me.”