"I had a talk with the defensive coaches and Coach Flood [Sunday] night, and they felt it was probably best for me to play three-technique [defensive tackle] because that's where I'm comfortable at," Hamilton said Monday. "They said I picked up on end really well, but I played three-technique all my life. So it's not a big change at all."
Picked in a preseason poll to finish third in the Big East, the Scarlet Knights hope to mix a highly touted freshman class - highlighted by Hamilton - with a group of 16 returning starters from a team that finished 9-4.
"I don't put any expectations on the freshmen," said Flood, a longtime Rutgers assistant who took over in January after Greg Schiano left to coach Tampa Bay in the NFL. "It's a different game against different-size people, different speed, and they go from playing against high school players to playing against 22- and 23-year old men. So I don't put any expectation level on [Hamilton]. We do think he's very talented. We do see him as someone who has an opportunity to help us early in his career. But how early that is, we'll find that out in training camp."
Hamilton understands he will need to bulk up considerably to make an instant impact.
"Now that I'm inside, I definitely want to focus on getting a lot stronger," he said. "I'm quick, but you know that's only going to get you so far, especially against some big guys."