The NFL Draft looms ever so closer as the stars of tomorrow have bid farewell to their college careers. It was not so long ago when they were high school recruits about to set foot into the world of college football.
Dominique Hamilton came to Missouri out of Chapin High School in El Paso, Texas after having moved around quite a bit during his childhood.
He finished his high school senior season ranked the No. 35 defensive tackle in the nation according to Rivals.com. But it took a little while for his first offers to arrive.
“Missouri was my first offer. Coach [Brian] Jones was trying to recruit me coming out to El Paso,” said Hamilton. “I was that frustrated kid as a junior because I didn’t have any offers. One of my best boys from down there, Cliff Tucker, had mail coming in from everywhere. I wasn’t getting anything.”
Shortly after Missouri came through with an offer, another Big 12 school followed suit and more began to pour in.
“Oklahoma gave me an offer but they wanted me to move to O-line,” said Hamilton. “Then I went to the Nike Combine out in California. I killed that and then I got about fifteen more offers. Most of the Big 12 offered me except Texas, Kansas State and Kansas. I had Arizona, Michigan State and so on. But Mizzou was my first offer and I just wanted to go to a family atmosphere where I could play so I chose Mizzou.”
That translated into a productive four years both on and off the field for Hamilton. But it wasn’t easy to get used to at first for Hamilton.
“My redshirt freshman year was probably my hardest year,” he said. “I basically went out to Missouri alone. I had to make a whole new group of friends, which wasn’t hard especially playing sports and having all your sports buddies. It was just a brand new thing starting over but I adapted pretty well.”
Being a popular football player also made Hamilton a recognizable face on campus.
“Everybody kind of knows who you are. It’s really kind of hard not to distinguish the athletes,” Hamilton said. “They look at you and see that you can play some kind of sport. With me, everybody kind of knew I played football.”
Now, Hamilton is on new ground yet again as his future home remains uncertain. Wherever that future may take him, he knows one thing for certain.
“I’m missing Missouri a little bit right now,” he concluded.