May 30, 2020

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Louisiana Gridiron Football Rising Star: Alijah Hamilton

Alijah Hamilton is a defensive back from Boutte, Louisiana in the 2021 class. The sophomore, who plays for Hahnville High School, stands at 5’11 and tips the scales at a powerful 185lbs, and runs a speedy 4.56 forty. As an eighth grader he was an Under Armour All-American, and selected to play in the All American Game coached by former NFL players LaVar Arrington and Deion Sanders.

What was your experience like at the All-American Bowl as an eighth grader?

It was a really good experience, I was able to learn a lot of things that I really didn’t know, being taught by Deion Sanders and being coached up by him was a really good experience. They had good coaches on staff so, all around it was a good experience for me.

When did you start playing football?

I started working out when I was about four years old, my dad didn’t really want me to play football until he thought I was ready. I really started playing when I was about eight, playing recreation ball.

Were you always a DB or did you play any other positions?

I played quarterback until maybe my eighth grade year, that’s when I made the transition to go play DB.

That transition worked out pretty good for you I guess?

Yes sir, it has.

What do you love about football?

I fell in love with it when I felt that I was good at it. I always thought I was ready to play, but didn’t really have the confidence when I first started playing. I love it because, I feel like it’s my only avenue out to make my family proud, and I’m consistent with it.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes sir, I played baseball. I was a shortstop and centerfielder. I was a catcher and also pitched a little too.

What style of play best describes you?

I like playing aggressive, I don’t mind covering, but I like hittin’. Hitting is something I like doing, A LOT!

What were your goals this past season?

My goal was to have 50 tackles, five interceptions and a few pass break ups.

Did you meet all those goals?

Not all of them, I was down two interceptions, I only had three interceptions this season. I didn’t get to five. I did make the goal for tackles and pass break ups though. I had 54 tackles and a bunch of pass break ups.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

The person that motivates me the most is my mom, because I don’t like to see my mom hurting, I feel like I will do whatever to make sure to see her not hurting. My little sister too, really it’s all my family. But, my mom and my little sister are the main focus.

My favorite DB is Sean Taylor.

Why is that?

You know how I like playing aggressive, Sean Taylor was always a head hunter, so he was always hitting somebody. When I watch his highlight videos I just get amped. It just does something to me. Also, I play a little bit of offense, and Odell Beckham, I watch his videos and they get me hyped too.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

Yes sir, you have to be a team player to win. You can’t be a selfish player on a team, because if you’re selfish that’s just putting the team down. So I have to make sure I’m on my “A Game” with my attitude. Rather than think about myself I have to think about the whole team. If I’m down, they’re gonna look and me, and think to themselves, he’s down so we might as well get down. I can’t do that.

What do you think is a strength in your game play?

My coverage ability, and my IQ. I don’t think I’m a mind reader but when I look at a certain formation, I already know what certain teams will do. I watch a lot of film, and when I see them line up I kinda know what they are going to do.

How has watching film translated on the field?

I just got a feel for it, it really depends on how the wide receiver lines up. It also points out the opponents weaknesses. If a receiver is lining up inside, the more he’s lining up inside he’s more likely to run an outside route. Or whatever formation they are lining up in this is the combination of routes they are going to run. So, I’ve just gotten a feel for it, and film has really helped me out with that.

Having your quarterback (Andrew Robison) on the sideline this year, did he give you any pointers?

Yes sir, Andrew was a very good leader, even though he didn’t play most of the year he would tell me what to look for from a wide receiver stand point, to the quarterback standpoint. This is what a wide receiver is going to do, this is what the quarterback is going to do. If you’re lining up against a good quarterback this is what they’re gonna do. So he gave me pointers on what the wide receivers are going to do, what combinations they are going to run against us in this situation. So that’s what actually helped me get the stats I have. Andrew is actually just as competitive as me, he’s always wanting all the DBs to get better, not just me. He’s a very good team player, he’s a leader all around.