Today we meet a former four-star recruit who's got one last shot to become a full-time starter.
#90 DT James Hamilton
Senior, 6'2", 301 lbs.
Stats in 2014: Hamilton got lost in the shuffle a bit on USF's 3-4 defensive front last season, playing in 10 games and recording five tackles with one TFL. It was the quietest of his three seasons as a Bull.
Spot on Spring Depth Chart: James was listed as a second string defensive tackle behind Derrick Calloway and Deadrin Senat.
How He Came to USF: He very nearly didn't. James played both offensive and defensive line at Olympia High School in Orlando, and was originally committed to Florida State. He flipped to USF right before Signing Day in a move that Tomahawk Nation assumed was for immediate playing time.
Recruiting Rankings: Rivals, 247 and Scout all gave Hamilton three stars, but ESPN gave him four. All four services ranked him between #25-#30 among defensive tackles.
Projected Playing Time: It'd be really, really nice to see James go out with a bang in his senior season, but his playing time really tailed off last season (he even briefly moved to offensive line last spring) and Deadrin Senat seems to be pretty entrenched at nose tackle. Regardless, he'll likely be a key cog in USF's defensive line rotation even if he doesn't crack the starting lineup. There are much worse things than having players like James Hamilton providing depth.
Fun Fact: The big story from USF's 2012 recruiting class was that the Bulls had managed to snag three of Orlando's top prospects-- Hamilton, D'Vario Montgomery, and Guito Ervilus. Hamilton is the only one still with the program.