Hello: Devery Hamilton

Submitted by Ace on June 24th, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Photo via 247

While Khalid Kareem's announcement earlier this afternoon didn't go Michigan's way, that didn't stop Jim Harbaugh from adding a four-star lineman to the 2016 class today. Baltimore (MD) Gilman OT Devery Hamilton chose Michigan over Stanford and Maryland this afternoon. Hamilton is the 18th commit in the class—potentially 19th, depending on when Benjamin St-Juste enrolls—and the fourth on the offensive line, joining Ben Bredeson, Michael Onwenu, and Erik Swenson, all four-stars themselves.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #13 OT,
#144 Ovr
4*, #26 OT 3*, 79, #33 OT 4*, 92, #24 OT,
#215 Ovr
4*, #23 OT,
#233 Ovr

Every site but ESPN considers Hamilton a four-star prospect, with Scout the most bullish on his potential. ESPN isn't even as much of an outlier as they appear at first glance; Hamilton is just three spots away in the position rankings from being a four-star there, too.

Hamilton has the size of a left tackle, listed at either 6'6" or 6'7". There's some discrepancy about his weight, with Scout and Rivals listing him in the 270-pound range and the other two pegging him around 290. It looks like the latter figure is more up-to-date.


Hamilton is an interesting case. He was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of nine, per TomVH ($). At the beginning of his high school career, he focused mostly on playing defense, and when he lined up on offense he often did so as a tight end. Last season was the first time Hamilton focused mostly on offensive tackle, and since then his recruitment has blown up.

Scout's Brian Dohn sees Hamilton as a prospect on either side of the ball, noting that on offense he's got that classic left tackle frame:

Hamilton can play offensive tackle or on the defensive line in college. He has the size and length to be a left tackle. He is aggressive and is able to disengage as a defensive lineman, and as an offensive lineman shoots his hands out is able to lock onto blocks and finish them. No matter the side of the ball, Hamilton plays hard and to the whistle. He chases plays down the field on defense, and gets to the second level on offense. -- Brian Dohn

ESPN's evaluation essentially boils down to "great physical tools, very raw." While they note a lot of technical areas in need of work, including hand usage and pad level, they like his long-term potential on offense ($):

Hamilton has experience on both sides of the ball and could receive interest and very well land on the defensive side of the ball where he could be a stout run defender. While defense could get him on the field a little sooner we feel in the long term he could make a bigger contribution as an OL. Would at this stage need a good deal of development leading to at least a red-shirt, but down the road could a good, productive starting Power-5 OL

While the technique isn't all the way there yet—and it never is with high school linemen, but that's probably more the case with a recent O-line convert like Hamilton—the physical ability is apparent. 247's Barton Simmons didn't even need to see Hamilton play offensive line to notice his potential as a future tackle at a scrimmage last September:

Over the weekend in a matchup against Ohio power Lakewood, Hamilton was lining up at both defensive end and tight end. Today Hamilton has been graded as a four-star on 247Sports with an 91 grade as an offensive tackle.

At 6-6, 270 pounds, Hamilton showed good feet and quickness with the ability to catch the ball as a tight end but his frame and his ability to hold the point of attack gives him the look of a future blue chip at offensive tackle.

Yes, we can dream of FAT GUY TOUCHDOWNS with this commitment, as well.

The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan stopped by a Gilman practice last October and praised Hamilton's athleticism ($):

Hamilton was the most impressive trench player for the Greyhounds. He needs to bulk up in the weight room, but as things stand, he's a long, lean offensive tackle with the frame to be a blindside player. He's also a very good natural athlete, able to get out and run to the edge and block for screens. He wasn't used as a pulling lineman, but could prove capable there, too. The 6-6, 270-pounder has plenty of potential.

The most detailed scouting report comes from Scout's Dave Lomonico, who took in Gilman's exhibition against Washington DC St. John's last August ($):

He has a wide frame and a good base, to go along with long arms and big, strong hands. Hamilton comes off the ball well, gets good extension and has a potent punch at the point of attack. He’s surprisingly agile for a big man, shifting his feet well to readjust to edge rushers, while also showing the ability to block in space. Hamilton also possesses that “grinders” mentality, mauling his man when running plays go over his side. Hamilton does need to work on his leverage and, as a pass blocker, become more effective as an anchor with control, hand placement and footwork. And while he can push to the second level and finish blocks, Hamilton can become an even more consistent punisher. 

The reports are pretty dang consistent: Hamilton has a lot of raw potential as a left tackle prospect, with a heavy emphasis on both the "raw" and "potential" aspects until he gets more experience playing the position.


In addition to Hamilton's final three, he held offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. That's a pretty impressive list from both a football and academic perspective.


Gilman is one of the East Coast's most consistent producers of football talent. Michigan fans are familiar with current defensive lineman Henry Poggi. Alabama corner Cyrus Jones, Virginia Tech linebacker Melvin Keihn, former Virginia wideout Darius Jennings, and 2015 Texas signee Kai Locksley are the other four-star prospects to come out of Gilman since 2002, according to the Rivals database.


Offensive lineman, no stats.


None listed.


Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


Hamilton is a prospect in clear need of development, and he should be afforded plenty of time to come into his own at Michigan. After an almost certain redshirt year, he'll compete at tackle with Mason Cole, Logan Tuley-Tillman, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Grant Newsome, and Nolan Ulizio for a spot on the two-deep. In all likelihood, it'll take him a few years of development before he sees the field; after the last several years, it's worth reminding Michigan fans that this is optimal for an offensive lineman. When Hamilton does compete for a spot, he should slot in at left tackle.


Michigan is up to 18 commits for the 2016 class, 19 if you include St-Juste, who could come in as early as this fall or as late as 2017. The mailbag I've promised in which I'll take a much closer look at the scholarship numbers will come on Friday, before I take a much-needed week off. (Barring new commitments this week, which I can't rule out, in which case I'll address the scholarship situation when I'm back in July.)

One thing is certain: Michigan is assembling a heck of an offensive line class. Swenson and Hamilton are ideal tackle prospects, Bredeson can play either tackle or guard, and Onwenu is a pure guard. Michigan also leads for four-star guard Terrance Davis, and they'll still accept his commitment if he wants to be a part of the class; the Wolverines would be set with that group of five.


Space Coyote

June 24th, 2015 at 4:22 PM ^

I said this in the thread earlier:

Good athlete for the position. Could play OT or OG, similar to Bredeson, because he moves well. I like his length, and I think he has the skill set and build of an eventual RT, where I think his upside is highest, but has the feet where he could really play any position along the OL.

Could also move over to the other side of the ball and be a pretty decent interior DT if the OL doesn't work out  (he has to learn about pad level, as cliche as it is, and basic techniques, but technique is often easier to come by than OL; he's also pretty raw from a technique standpoint on OL, which is normal for high school kids) because he's a good enough athlete to push the pocket and chase.

Would obviously be a really nice addition to the OL class, and along with the group that's in the fold and presumably Davis, it's a group that could fit multiple positions to all find a spot along the OL (Swenson is an OT, Bredeson and Hamilton could fit OT/OG, Davis and Onwenu are interior OL; Hamilton and Onwenu could both potentially flip to defense as well).

This really gives Michigan a lot of versatility along the line, and better yet, gives them some high ceiling athletes. It's always easier to mold athletes, and I think that's what Michigan is getting on the OL, moreso than finished products.

EDIT: I'll also add that he seems to be a willing physical player, both on offense and defense. The technique isn't necessarily there, but he seems to enjoy hitting and being physical, which is a good thing to see on film for a lineman.


June 24th, 2015 at 5:00 PM ^

A non-expert theory of mine is that a player's comfort (or lack of it) with physical violence (on the field) is an overlooked and important part of what makes a player who he is.   I understand why coaches want great athletes, but not every young man who would do well in a decathlon wants to smash his upper body into a 240 pound running back or a 330 pound defensive tackle.   


June 24th, 2015 at 6:46 PM ^

While we are propounding non-expert theories, my dad--a hard-drinking blue collar type who's been in his share of scrapes--always told me that it's not the biggest or strongest guys who fight the best, but the guys who are crazy and don't care what happens to them.   


June 25th, 2015 at 10:00 AM ^

But I think that otherwise sound advice applies to generalized situations, not highly specific scenarios like football.  A real fight has no rules.  As for football, my exhibit A is Chris Bryant -- he was hyped up by the D as "bringing the pain", but he often brought pain upon himself.  It's a known medical fact that if you don't feel pain, you break before you hurt.  Exhibit B, Schofield.  Considered more of a "finesse" player (in as much as getting blocked by a 6'6" 300 pound tackle feels like "finesse"), he didn't PWN many people even in his Michigan days but was highly effective at his position.

In my experience, OL need controlled aggression.  When I see great O-line play it never seems particularly wild.  More like coordinated wrestling, though that description may earn a few guffaws.


June 24th, 2015 at 6:09 PM ^

hamiltons def a solid addition.  hes certainly an athlete which is not always the case at OL, really like his potential versatility, and seems to enjoy physical aspects of the game (which is never a given).  plus in an era of ever increasing specialization, you gotta love kids thatll bust it playing both ways.

its pretty obvious after only a few mins of tape that hes a good athlete for his size.  he appears to undertand leverage and angles for young OL (even if inconsistently at this stage), he can move, bend, demonstrates flexibility, etc, and the kids got the longer, athletic frame coaches love building upon in the trenches.  hamiltons got real potential, nice fit with other OL.

fyi - his high school team looks huge across the front, poggi's pops obviously recruiting well


June 24th, 2015 at 4:18 PM ^

Keep planting that crop, harvest around... oh, 2019 as a redshirt Jr.? Plenty of time. Great get, in keeping with the theme of bringing in hard-to-find athletes and coaching them up for a few years before unleashing.

micheal honcho

June 24th, 2015 at 4:29 PM ^

They just dont make near as many 6'7" guys who can carry around 300lbs and still move with athleticism. For every one of this type of guy that are probably 400 or more sub 6' guys who can run a sub 4.7 sec 40.

I've been saying this for years, recruit with priorities based on rarity. You could literally never offer a WR or RB, S or CB until your class was set on big boys and my feeling is it would not hurt your program a bit. If you have serious quality on both sides of the trench you could have nothing but low 3 stars filling out the rest and still win big. Switch it up and you wont post a .500 record EVER IMO.


June 24th, 2015 at 4:25 PM ^

In a few seasons, Michigan might actually have an OL that will be able to maul people they way we like to see it.  Hello 1990s!  Nice to see you again.


June 24th, 2015 at 4:30 PM ^

This O Line class has the chance to be something very very special. Just waiting on Terrance Davis.

I also like what this does for us in pursuit of Xavier Kelly. He should be our #1 option for DE now!


June 24th, 2015 at 4:41 PM ^

Drevno is going to make defenses really uncomfortable here in a year or two with the lineman we are bringing in.

I'd like to take a moment to thank Jesus, Harbaugh, Hackett and the 49ers.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


June 24th, 2015 at 4:48 PM ^

I really didn't think he was going blue and thought for sure Kareem was. I am beyond excited to see what these guys will be doing for our team in a few years. Ready to bully inferior teams around again.

Welcome Devery!

El Jeffe

June 24th, 2015 at 5:19 PM ^

Pedantic fact alert:

  • You "emigrate from" a place (like Germany).
  • You "immigrate to" a place (like the U.S.).

I'll sit quietly in the e-corner and take my negs.