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If the 11th hour of the recruiting season was any sign, the Samford Bulldogs are getting a receiver whose word is as firm as his hands are soft.
Strawberry Crest WR Karel Hamilton (second from right) capped his breakthrough senior year by signing Wednesday with Division I-AA Samford, but only after receiving late pushes from Iowa and USF, according to Chargers coach John Kelly.
Hamilton's response to the Division I suitors, who never made a formal offer: Thanks, but no thanks.
"They were just coming on, they were trying to talk to me," said Hamilton, one of four Chargers athletes to sign Wednesday afternoon. "I just told Coach (John) Kelly I wasn't interested."
The first Division I or I-AA signee in the Chargers' four-year history, Hamilton helped resuscitate Crest's floundering program (it went 4-6 in 2012) with 59 catches for 948 yards and 10 TDs last fall. Kelly said his commitment to Samford, the first school to really jump on him, shows Hamilton's "character and makeup."
"It's nice to go to somebody that really, really wants you," Kelly said.
Strawberry Crest 2013 signees
Brianna Alonso, softball (Ave Maria)
Karel Hamilton, football (Samford)
Andre Steadman, baseball (Ave Maria)
Maddie Turner, softball (HCC)