August 18, 2010

Hamilton excited for senior year

With the weight of his college decision off his shoulders, Iowa commit Ray Hamilton is focused on just one thing right now and that is his senior season, which he is excited to start here shortly. We caught up with the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Hamilton to talk about the upcoming year, his future with the Hawkeyes, the Iowa basketball program recently offering one of his best friends, and more.

Q: When did you guys start practice?

HAMILTON: We actually started on August 2nd, so we're a couple weeks in now.

Q: Did you have a scrimmage on Friday?

HAMILTON: Yeah, we had a scrimmage against Glenville.

Q: How did that go?

HAMILTON: It went well overall. Glenville is always a powerhouse. I think they're ranked No. 1 in the state and they should be ranked nationally. They've got some quality guys on their team and we've got guys that need to get those snaps against the caliber of players that they bring, so it was good. As a team, we hung in there. Now, we're just working towards our next scrimmage this Friday. We're at Massillon, which will be awesome in that environment.

Q: Then do you open the season the week after that?

HAMILTON: Yeah, we play that following Thursday (August 26) on TV (Fox Sports Ohio).

Q: What is the feeling like for you as you get ready to start your senior year?

HAMILTON: It's good. It's weird to think that I'm a senior now, but once you kind of put yourself in the moment and realize you've only got one more year of high school football left to play for the city that you grew up in, it's a huge year. Not just for me, but also for the other 21 seniors that we've got on the team. We came off a year two years ago where we had our best season in school history, then came back last year and put up a 3-7 record, which I believe is our worst year in history. For me individually, last season was a struggle just getting hurt for a couple weeks in the season and feeling helpless. It really puts things into perspective and makes you realize you can't take things for granted. You've got to enjoy every day and every grueling practice. You've got to be a leader, not only vocally, but by example, so play your butt off every snap because you don't know if the next one might be your last. Nothing is guaranteed.

Last season, Hamilton caught 22 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown as a junior at Strongsville High School despite missing four weeks with a knee injury. In June, he verbally committed to Iowa over 32 other scholarship offers, which included Florida State, North Carolina, UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Oregon, Oklahoma, Boston College, Colorado, Cincinnati, and Stanford, among others.

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