Shaun Hamilton is wandering through his final days in Montgomery, emotionally remembering his time at G.W. Carver and eagerly preparing to become a college man.
Hamilton leaves in a week for the University of Alabama to start his college career — as student and football player.
“I’m extremely excited to get there,” Hamilton said. “I’m ready to start working out and be a part of the team. I’m ready to play ball.”
Hamilton, a week after starting class, will have one engagement to attend in Montgomery.
He’s a finalist for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 6A lineman of the year, an award that will be presented Jan. 15 at a banquet downtown.
Hamilton, Auburn defensive end Rashaan Evans and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa linebacker Keith Holcombe are the three finalists. Holcombe is also an Alabama commitment. Evans has not revealed his college choice.
“It’s an awesome honor just to be a finalist,” Hamilton said. “I kind of expected it, but there is some great talent in this state.”
Edgewood’s Josh Crawford will also be in attendance. He’s a finalist for the AISA back of the year, along with Monroe Academy’s Jake McKenzie and Clarke Prep’s Jarrette Pope.
Crawford is just a junior and has another season with Edgewood. Hamilton will move into his college dorm room Jan. 6, wade through freshman orientation and start class Jan. 8.
Montgomery will soon be behind him.
“The reality is starting to kick in now,” said Hamilton, who has regularly cheered Carver basketball and plans to continue to avidly follow the Wolverines.
“I’m just trying to enjoy these last few days with my friends.”
It will be at least the third straight year a first-semester Alabama player has been at the player of the year banquet. Running back T.J. Yeldon from Daphne won Mr. Football two years ago, and tight end O.J. Howard from Autauga Academy was the AISA’s top lineman last year.