Strawberry Crest High wide receiving standout Karel Hamilton has committed to play football for Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., making him the first player at SCHS to ever commit to a Division I football program.
Hamilton, the 2012 Plant City Observer Player of the Year, chose Samford over Chattanooga and Coastal Carolina. According to Chargers head coach John Kelly, Hamilton also had an offer from Jacksonville University, his only in-state Division I offer.
Samford competes in the Southern Conference at the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known at Division I-AA) level. The Bulldogs finished 7-4 in 2012, its best season to date under head coach and former Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan.
Hamilton’s senior season was one of his best as a Charger. He compiled 1,629 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns on offense and special teams. He also played safety for the Chargers, racking up 21 tackles, one interception and two forced fumbles.