High-SchoolNew-Jersey: Darius Hamilton

FAB 50 Offseason Primer: Don Bosco Prep

May, 30, 2012
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TBD EditorJeff Skopin/ESPNNewYorkDon Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) won its sixth straight state title last season to finish No. 1 in the POWERADE FAB 50 for the second time in three years.
During the offseason, we’ll check out one team per week that looks like a sure bet to be among the best in the nation this fall.

FAB 50 Offseason Primer archive

This week’s team: Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)

2011 Season: 11-0, Non-Public Group IV state champion, No. 1 in the final POWERADE FAB 50.

Projected 2012 Preseason Ranking: Top 25. The Ironmen have an almost unmatched resume in recent seasons, winning six straight state titles, achieving three consecutive unbeaten seasons and earning two FAB 50 national crowns in the last three years. Don Bosco will take a 46-game win streak -- the second-longest active winning streak in the nation -- into the season. This year, the Ironmen will once again face a difficult schedule. Season-opening opponent Gilman (Baltimore) finished No. 21 in the FAB 50, while St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was the 2010 FAB 50 champ and Alta (Sandy, Utah) is a strong program. Don Bosco could move up the FAB 50 ladder with early-season success against the non-Jersey foes, but it faces its biggest task in recent years. The Ironmen must replace several talented starters, including ESPNHS All-American and Rutgers recruit Darius Hamilton and sophomore running back/cornerback Jabrill Peppers, an ESPNHS Underclass All-American who transferred to Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.). While coach Greg Toal’s track record has to be respected in the preseason FAB 50 positioning, top 10 might just be too high in the early going.

Team Strengths: The major strength of this fall’s squad will be on defense, especially along the line, which returns standouts Alquadin Muhammad, who’s the No. 145 recruit in the ESPN 150, and Razohnn Gross. Also expected back is junior linebacker Spencer Scannell and junior defensive backs Isaiah Hill and Justin Wimberly. The Ironmen won the FAB 50 crown with a first-year starter, Mike Yankovich, at quarterback. They’ll have to do the same this year. Sophomore Eric Meile could be in line for the starting nod this fall. Sophomore running back Aaron Guzman could be another key offensive performer.

Another New Jersey team to watch: Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) could be the team that ends of the domination of Don Bosco. Bergen Catholic’s losing streak against the Ironmen is 10 games, but they did lead after three quarters in the first of last year’s two losses. The Crusaders, however, have the returning personnel to get the job done. The veterans for coach Nunzio Campanile, a former Don Bosco coach, include quarterback Jon Germano, who passed for 2,359 yards and 31 scores for the 8-3 team; wide receiver John Tsimis, who caught 50 passes for 754 yards and 11 scores; top rusher James Dawson; and linebackers Parker Tobia and Dan Grasso.

Hamilton leads big signing day for Don Bosco

February, 1, 2012
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Don Bosco Prep signing dayRob Abruzzese/ESPNNewYork


Despite seeing its head coach depart for the NFL last week, Rutgers was still able to sign one of the nation's top players in Don Bosco Prep defensive lineman Darius Hamilton.

The senior, ranked No. 69 in the ESPNU 150 and son of former New York Giant Keith Hamilton, announced his decision Tuesday on the same day that fellow Ironmen and senior wideout Leonte Carroo solidified his commitment to the Scarlet Knights program.

Hamilton and Carroo weren't the only players from the reigning POWERADE FAB 50 champs to sign with Division I programs. Click here to see where five other Ironmen will be playing next fall.

Of course, National Signing Day is a 24-hour affair, so click here to follow all of the day's major news.

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Three Don Bosco defenders named ESPNHS All-Americans

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
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The main reason Don Bosco Prep captured its sixth straight Non-Public Group 4 title and second POWERADE FAB 50 crown in three years was simple: defense. So it's no surprise that three of those defenders earned spots on the ESPNHS All-American team.

Senior defensive lineman Darius Hamilton was named to the first team, senior DB Yuri Wright made the second team and two-way starting RB/DB Jabrill Peppers earned a slot on the third team. Peppers was the lone sophomore named on any of the teams.

Click here to see the full roster.

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Five Days of List-Mas: NJ's A-List

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
11:38
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5

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in New Jersey? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Edward Cheserek (JR), St. Benedict's, Cross Country/Track
Credentials: Set course records in seven of eight races in 2011, won 2011 Foot Locker Nationals, course-record holder at Holmdel Park, 2010 NXN runner-up

4. Jabrill Peppers (SO), Don Bosco Prep, Football
Credentials: Team's top rusher, led Ironmen to 2011 national title and state titles in 2010 and 2011, two-way starter

3. Devin Fuller (SR), Old Tappan, Football
Credentials: No. 39 in ESPNU 150, U.S. Army All-American, surpassed 10,000 total career yards, state's top-ranked recruit

2. Darius Hamilton (SR), Don Bosco Prep, Football
Credentials: No. 66 in ESPNU 150, led Ironmen to 2011 national title and state titles in 2010 and 2011, U.S. Army All-American, son of former New York Giant Keith Hamilton

1. Kyle Anderson (SR), St. Anthony, Basketball
Credentials: No. 5 in ESPNU 100, led Friars to 2011 state and national titles, 2011 Elite 24 participant, UCLA recruit

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Don Bosco Prep football faces big test in opener

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
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For weeks, we've talked about the juggernaut that is Don Bosco Prep's football game. Four straight state titles. 35 consecutive wins. No. 1 ranking in the POWERADE FAB 50.

This weekend, the curtain will finally be raised on the Ironmen and the Jersey football scene.

Don Bosco is waiting no time proving its worth as the nation's top team as it hosts No. 6 Mission Viejo (Calif.), a program that's produced the likes of Jets QB Mark Sanchez. This year's quarterback, Alex Bridgford, looked solid in the Diablos' opener, passing for four touchdowns. But the Ironmen defense present quite the challenge for Bridgford.

From lineman Darius Hamilton and Mike Strizak to defensive backs Elijah Shumate, Yuri Wright and Jabrill Peppers, the Ironmen have the potential to lock down any and every opponent that comes their way. (Good thing, too, judging by the monster schedule Don Bosco has this season).

The X-factor could be Ironmen quarterback Mike Yankovich. The senior replaces two-year starter Gary Nova, who is now at Rutgers. Yankovich has a good target in All-State wideout Leonte Carroo, but he certainly has little time for growing pains with a squad like Mission Viejo coming to town.
Prediction: Don Bosco 28, Mission Viejo 24

No. 5 St. Peter's Prep vs. Montclair at Rutgers
This matchup serves as the biggest in-state matchup, as there's plenty of star power on both sides. St. Peter's Prep has the experience edge, boasting senior quarterback Brandon Napoleon (West Virginia commit) and tight end Michael Giacone (Rutgers). In pursuit of Napolen will be All-State defensive lineman Julian Pinnix-Odrick, who had 82 tackles and 10 sacks last season.
Prediction: St. Peter's Prep 35, Montclair 21

Hammonton at Mainland Regional
It will be quite the emotional weekend for Mainland Regional's football team. Not only is the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 sure to be heavy on some minds, but this will mark the first game played by the Mustangs since losing four teammates in a tragic car crash in August.

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
Don Bosco Prep FootballSteve Boyle/ESPNHSDon Bosco Prep, the top-ranked football team in the POWERADE FAB 50 and five-time defending state champ, is led by this senior quintet. Clockwise from left: Elijah Shumate, Mike Strizak, Darius Hamilton, Leonte Carroo and Yuri Wright

Winners of the last five state championships. A record of 59-1 in that span. Currently atop the POWERADE FAB 50 Football Team Rankings for the second time in three years.
The maroon-and-white tradition within Don Bosco Prep's football program is indeed a strong one, especially of late. And with 10 of its 11 starters returning on defense, one can't help but think that the saga will continue this upcoming season.

Anchoring this charge is a quintet of seniors headed for Division I BCS programs -- Leonte Carroo, Darius Hamilton, Elijah Shumate, Mike Strizak, Yuri Wright. In the September edition of the ESPNHS New Jersey magazine, each veteran took time to share what it felt like to enter into this special dynasty as well as their plans in making sure it carries on in 2011. Click here to see what they had to say.

Hamilton's path to football success intertwines with father

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
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Darius Hamilton hasn't always been good. Just two years ago, Don Bosco Prep coach Greg Toal would have labeled "average to below average." And multiple accounts described him as an underperformer on the field and in the classroom.

So how do you explain the All-State defensive lineman's ascension as a junior, when he racked up 63 tackles and 13.5 sacks to become the state's third-best prospect as a senior and leader of the nation's top team? Well, having the genes of his father Keith, a former star defensive lineman for the New York Giants, doesn't hurt.

But Hamilton's path to glory and connection with his father goes much deeper than football, as this stirring story by the Star-Ledger's Matthew Stanmyre highlights.

As good as Hamilton has become, though, he isn't the sole reason for Don Bosco Prep's recent success. Check out the senior quintet that anchors the Ironmen in our September cover story.


Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Don Bosco Prep dominates All-State football team

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
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As featured in the ESPNHS New Jersey magazine that hits schools this week, here's our annual All-State Football Team along with 50 other players to watch.
(The team is based on projected on-field performance and accomplishments, not necessarily recruiting potential. For a list of the top football recruits in the state, click here)

Want to see the All-State teams for the other 49 states? We've got 'em right here.

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

Ryan Davies, Howell, QB, Senior
Had 2,864 yards and 36 TDs in first year as starter

Devin Fuller, Old Tappan, QB, Senior
Dual-threat QB is ranked No. 40 in ESPNU 150; had 52 total scores

Sean Maguire, Seton Hall Prep, QB, Senior
Florida State commit expected to break out in 2011

Kye Morgan, Franklin, RB, Senior
Racked up 1,501 total yards and 21 TDs; also excels in secondary

Donta Pollock, Holy Spirit, RB, Senior
Speedy back ran for 1,878 yards and 29 touchdowns last season

Delon Stephenson, Sayreville, RB, Senior
Two-way starter rushed for 1,089 yards and snagged five INTs

Carlton Agudosi, Franklin, WR, Senior
Rutgers commit registered 42 catches for 865 yards and eight TDs

Leonte Carroo, Don Bosco Prep, WR, Senior
Exploded as junior with 45 catches for 1,005 yards and 14 scores

Read More »

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