Jaren Hamilton has seen his recruit stock rise just as quickly as he made a move on defenders after his release at the line of scrimmage.
Hamilton now receives a four-star rating from multiple recruiting sites, and he has a top seven including Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Tennessee, USC and West Virginia. His senior season was filled with big games on the field during his freshman year at Buchholz High School. Hamilton’s combination of athleticism and size has some of the best programs yet, but his speed has earned him the nickname “Turbo.”
Jaren’s father Aundrae Hamilton saw his youngest son’s speed at a young age.
“I ran track in college,” Aundrae told Touchdown Alabama. “I tried all my kids on the track. I figured someone had to be fast in the family. Jaren was running around the house and I said wait a minute we might have something.”
Jaren’s track and field career began at the age of eight and he quickly became a young phenomenon. At the age of nine, he won three gold medals at the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics Track and Field National Championship Meet. He took first place in the 100-meter dash two years in a row in the 8-year-old and 9-year-old classes. He also won the 200-meter dash at the age of nine.
Hamilton’s track speed has carried over to the gridiron and his offering list reflects that. However, it still came as a surprise when Alabama called.
“They are the best of the best,” Hamilton said. “When Jaren first came home and told me that coach (Joe) Cox was following him, I told him that was great. He grew up a Gator fan. On Saturdays we sat in front of the television. I always told him he could possibly get a career scholarship and get on the football team. When he started playing football and he got these offers and Alabama got in the mix, I told him I’m not going to take him to any camps, but if Alabama wants you to go, you go. I’ll take you. I told him I know you’re a Gator fan, but it would be a business decision. They bring receivers to the league, their receivers do well. It wasn’t wiser to take him there and let her see him in person.”
Alabama hosted Hamiton for camp in June, and Nick Saban offered him the same day. The Gainesville, Fla. product has become one of the top wide receiver destinations in Alabama after multiple visits over the past few months. He will return to Tuscaloosa next week for an official visit when the Tide takes on Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Jaren has previously stated that a signing decision could come from him after he wraps up his official visits.
Aundrae said he felt Alabama would take care of Jaren if he decided to go to Tuscaloosa in the future.
“I know if Jaren decides to go there, I have a feeling they’re going to take care of him,” Hamilton said. “I want my son to be somewhere when I need to reach him, where I can. I want to know that the people he is there with will take care of him. You can’t imagine a better place. I would love it if he went there.”
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Justin Smith is a scouting/recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith