20 Days Away from Bama Kickoff: Shaun Dion Hamilton
Each day counting down to Alabama's Week 1 matchup with Utah State, I will highlight a former player whose jersey number coincides with the amount of days until the game. The Tide kicks off in just 20 days, so let's look at a recent Bama defender to don the number, Shaun Dion Hamilton.
Shaun Dion Hamilton was a four-star recruit in the 2014 cycle out of Montgomery, AL and a key piece of the Crimson Tide's top ranked class that year.
He was ranked as the ninth inside linebacker prospect in the country and the eighth overall in the state of Alabama, according to 247Sports.
In his first year on campus, the 6-foot, 240 lb. linebacker spent time as a reserve player, mostly seeing time on special teams, and ended the season with three tackles. As a sophomore, Hamilton started five games for the Tide and recorded 27 tackles. Alabama finished the season 14-1 and won the national title in dramatic fashion over Clemson.
In 2016, Hamilton's junior year, he took over as a starter opposite Reuben Foster on a fierce Alabama unit. The former four-star compiled 64 tackles, 9.0 TFL's and 2.0 sacks, but suffered a knee injury in the SEC Championship Game that ended his season early.
Coming back in 2017 as a senior, Hamilton returned to his starting spot, and had a solid season until injury cut it short once more. The Montgomery native suffered a second knee injury, this time against LSU in Week 9.
Hamilton entered the 2018 NFL Draft and was picked up in the sixth round by Washington. He spent three years with the team, mostly serving as a reserve linebacker and was waived in 2020.
The Detroit Lions signed the former Bama star ahead of the 2021 season, but another injury kept him sidelined the entire year. He looks to be healthy heading into this season, but he will have to prove he can stay that way.