In the trenches, size matters. When looking at size, there are not many people bigger than 2012 Olympia high school, offensive lineman, James Hamilton. Currently standing at 6-foot-4 and 345 lb's, Hamilton has tremendous size for a high school junior, however he doesn't want to be just another tackle, he wants to play center. He feels he has the tools to be an elite center and is working hard to prove his critics wrong.
"College and NFL centers aren't usually my size, but I think I have the ability to play center at the next level. People tell me that I will just be a tackle or a guard, but I am going to prove them wrong. I see the Pouncey's on TV and I think that I play like them. I am real big, but I am agile just like them. I like having this athleticism to go with my size. I don't want to just be another massive tackle or guard, although I would be fine with it if my coach feels that is best. I just want people to know that I am not some slow, out of shape tackle. I am an agile, strong, quick lineman with a bright future."
With his elite size, coaches are starting to take notice of Hamilton. He is being recruited by some of the top colleges in the country, but it's a local school that currently leads for his services.
"I actually got invited to the University of Georgia for their Junior Day. That was a real good time. I really like the campus and the stadium. Everything was really nice and looked new. I got a chance to check out the academic facilities and they were impressive. I spoke to Coach Ball, who is my main recruiter. He definitely is a cool dude. As a whole, I have around 10 or 11 offers. I get a lot of stuff from USF and Texas A&M. They are definitely showing a lot of love. Michigan State has sent me a lot of information as well. I also have some offers from Cincinnati, Purdue, Illinois and Rutgers. I really want to hear more from LSU, Miami, Nebraska and Stanford. Right now, I would say that Miami is my leader, but it's really early. I would like to check out South Florida and Florida State. I also really want to get out of the state and take a few unofficial visits."
Most schools tell Hamilton that he can come in and compete for early playing time, that they have great facilities, and they have a family atmosphere, but there is something more important that he is looking for in a school.
"I need a school that has a great education. I take that part very serious. I made some major promises, to some important people, that I would graduate and get my degree. Academics are really important to me. Also, I want a place that fits me and gives me a good vibe. Oh, and I really want to go to a place with great food. I am an offensive lineman and I have to eat and eat well."
Over the last few weeks, Hamilton has been working extremely hard to get his name on the national scene and a great way to do that is through camps.
"I was at the Scout combine with Mike Bakas. The competition was really tough down there, but I definitely played well. I got a lot of compliments from the coaches, but they also pushed me and showed me better technique. I was down there with my boy Duaron Williams, the lineman from Jones high school, and we definitely showed out. I love run blocking and tore it up. Put me in a three point stance and I will explode off the ball. That is my best attribute right now."
With one year left, Hamilton is making sure that he is in great shape for his final season at Olympia high school and his great work ethic is paying off.
"I am working hard to get my weight down. I play well at my current size, but I think if I drop a little more weight, I can add agility and strength. I want to make sure I am in great shape by the time I get on a college campus. I want to get down to 325 and improve my agility even more."