Defensive tackle James Hamilton of Olympia High in Orlando has switched his commitment from Florida State to USF. Hamilton was a three/four star on the major services. What does this mean for the USF program? Go to USF Voodoo Five.
Why did he switch to USF?
Playing time. Hamilton will almost certainly start for USF next year. At FSU, he would have been asked to take a red-shirt, and even in his second year, was unlikely to see significant reps. Jimbo Fisher recently said that he could not recall a better freshman defensive tackle tandem than FSU's Jernigan and Erving. He is USF's only defensive tackle commitment, while FSU already has two and is in serious contention for the #1 DT in the country, Eddie Goldman.
Also, his cousin plays for USF.
What is the impact on FSU?
Slight. There is no doubt that FSU liked Hamilton. He was extremely impressive at FSU's camp, and FSU was one of the first schools to identify and offer him at the defensive tackle position. But FSU was not blindsided by this in the slightest. In fact, many expected that Hamilton might switch.
Did FSU tell Hamilton to go elsewhere?
Not officially, but he knew that he would have to replicate his camp performance on the field this year if he wanted to keep the offer from FSU. That hasn't happened, in part due to a back injury.
If Hamilton values early playing time over all, this is the right choice. As a very young kid for his grade level, however, there is no doubt he could benefit from a red-shirt year.