Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Counting down the top Pitt football players of the last 40 years- No.35 Keith Hamilton

I will be counting down my own list of the top 50 Pitt football players since 1972.  I have spent time doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people when formulating this list, but ultimately it is MY opinion.  The great thing about lists like this is that people will disagree, and feel free to, but just remember that there is no right answer so there's no need to go crazy if you do disagree.  I will post this same intro with all 50 bios because I know the one time I don't, people will complain about not knowing what criteria I used.  I will add at least one a day, maybe two.  

My criteria for selecting the order is as follows:

1.  Productivity.
2.  Talent.
3.  Place in program history.
4.  Only the player's careers while at Pitt are considered, not their NFL careers. 
5.  No current players.

35.  Keith Hamilton (1989-91)-  There is no doubting Hamilton's ability.  He was an athletic 6'7" 275 pounds, and he is one of the best sack artists in the history of Pitt football.  But the rest of his game was not nearly as strong and to be quite honest, he was often a lot more than he was worth.

As a freshman, Hamilton was already productive with 42 tackles, 9 sacks, and 13 tackles for loss.  He followed that up with a 9.5 sack season as a sophomore but showing what kind of trouble he was becoming, he threatened to transfer before the season started because new head coach Paul Hackett fired defensive line coach, and ace recruiter, Frank D'Alonzo, who was investigated at both Pitt and Iowa State for paying players.  As a junior, injuries limited him to 9 games, 6 of them starts, but he still managed 33 tackles and 8 sacks.   

After his junior season he left for the NFL draft and convinced fellow lineman Sean Gilbert to do the same.  He left the program with 26.5 career sacks, tied for 4th best in school history.  The 1st round talent was taken in the 4th round because of his reputation for trouble and laziness, but he had a 12 year career, played in the Super Bowl, and had 63 career sacks.

His problems continued after football, however, and was charged with both cocaine possession and hitting his then 12-year old son with an electrical chord after seeing his poor report card.  That son is now at Rutgers and was considered one of the best defensive prospects in high school last season.

1 comment:

  1. Too bad his son will never be on this list...