Senior Defensive End Derron Hamilton is Known as the "Sackmaster" for Good Reason
BEREA, OHIO -- In today’s world of collegiate football, size counts. When most offensive linemen, even at the NCAA Division III level, seem to be massive, how is a six-foot and two-inch and 195-pound defensive end supposed to be effective? Just ask Baldwin Wallace University senior Derron “Sackmaster” Hamilton (Euclid).
In BW’s (6-1 overall and 5-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference) first seven contests, Hamilton has record an NCAA Division III-high 11 quarterback sacks, including 9.5 sacks in a three-week span. He enters game on Saturday October 29 with Muskingum eighth on the team in total tackles with 31. Hamilton is first with 11 sacks for 69 yards in losses, 13.5 tackles for lost yardage totalling 73 yards and he is one of three Yellow Jackets who have recovered a pair of fumbles.
According to BW Defensive Coordinator Jim Meyer, Hamilton is his best lineman this season. And Meyer, who coached one of the pass rushers in NFL history in Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins when he was an assistant coach at the University of Akron, ought to know a good one when he sees one.
“Derron is probably our hardest worker in practice and has all kinds of desire,” said Meyer, who also praises his entire line, includng his other defensive end Sonny Hazelwood (Elyria). “Derron has a ton of raw talent and continues to get better each day, each week and each game. It is just fun to watch him play. He just stalks the opposing quaterback. They know he’s coming and they know he’s generally too quick to block.
Hamilton Leads Division III In Sacks
"But the thing that Derron has done more of this season is play strong, solid run defense,” continued Meyer. “He knew that working on his run-defense was an important part of him getting additional playing time this season and being a starter. He has done that and more. We are very pleased with his effort so far, and he knows he has to keep getting better to help his team. Derron comes to practice every day looking to get better and working to help us win.”
Four years ago, Hamilton entered the Yellow Jacket program all of 175 pounds. His progress has been nothing short of progressive.
As a freshman, he strictly played on the junior varsity team and got an opportunity to rotate at defensive end with a number of other players.
As a sophomore, Hamilton began to split time between the varsity and junior varsity and received limited varsity playing time. It was that offseason that the transformation from simple DE to “sackmaster” began to materialize.
“You could see Derron change from just being one of our sophomores to being a junior who was committed and really wanted to play and help his team,” said Assistant Defensive Line Coach and 2011 BW graduate and All-American Kevin Phipps. “He got bigger and stronger and more committed. What he did in our scrimmage last year against Case Western Reserve was just a prelude to what has occurred the past two seasons. Now, Derron is one of the best DE’s in the OAC.”
So, what happened in that scrimmage against CWRU in late summer 2010? Hamilton dominated everyone who tried to block him, and although “official” statistics are not kept in a scrimmage, He registed five and possibly six quaterback sacks and totally disrupted anything that the Spartans wanted to accomplish.
“It was like someone just unleashed him,” said current senior defensive tackle Max Wagner. “It was fun just watching him from the sideline. When you are on the field with him, it is even more fun to watch him play. He’s relentless when chasing a quaterback. Just relentless.”
Hamilton Had Five Sacks
During His Junior Season
As a junior, Hamilton continued his emergence and contributed 34 total tackles, including 22 solo stops, 5.5 QB sacks, two forced fumbles by QBs while being sacked, two fumble recoveries and at least two deflected passes.
“It is fun playing football and helping your team,” said Hamilton, who is a sport management major, interned with the Akron Racers Professional Softball team and works both with the Lou Higgins Recreation Center and sports information staffs at BW. “I enjoy chasing and catching the opposing quaterback. But I knew that I needed to get better at run defense to start this season. This year, it is a bit more of a controlled rush, but that has diminished my desire to sack the quaterback.”
So, what does Hamilton think about his nickname, “Sackmaster”?
“It is fun to have that nickname in particular,” said Derron, who always seems to have a big, wide smile on his face. “It implies that I’m pretty good at something, and that’s a good thing. But the most important thing is that we win as a team. I’m here to contribute to my team. That is my one and most important goal every time I step on the field.”
Hamilton comes from strong football roots. His father, Chris Hamilton, played football at The College of Wooster. It made for a fun beginning of the season the past two years when the Yellow Jackets opened the season against the Fighting Scots.
“I really enjoyed the game and the experience,” said Derron, who was featured with his father during this fall’s SportsTime Ohio telecast of the BW versus Wooster contest. “I think my Dad was both proud of his son and also happy to see us play at Wooster. He got to go back to campus and to his college roots. It was just a special experience for both of us.”
Hamilton Has Earned OAC and BSN
Player-of-the-Week Honors and BW
Player-of-the-Game Vs. Capital
In that game, a 23-0 Yellow Jacket victory, Hamilton had 1.5 QB sacks and both forced a fumble and then returned it for a touchdown. Unfortunately a penalty negated the score.
Two weeks later, he had 2.5 sacks in a 14-11 upset loss to Capital University. Following the game, he received the 34th Annual Lee Tressel Shrine Classic BW Player of the Game for his efforts.
"It was nice, but I would trade it in a minute for a win," said Hamilton with that trademark grin. "A happy team is much better than a happy individual."
Then, the following week, he again stood out in a 3.5-sack performance in a 17-7 win at Marietta College. Hamilton was subsequently selected as the OAC Defensive Player of the Week as well as a Beyond Sports College Network (BSN) Defensive Player-of-the-Week.
"I liked that honor much better," said Hamilton. "It's not that I didn't apreciate the award on Shriners' Day. It's that we won at Marietta and I could share that game and effort with my teammates."
“It is just a joy to watch him play,” said injured senior running back Tim Miker (Parma). “Just the way he goes after the quarterback and the way he plays the game. The desire that he exudes. It just makes you proud to be a Yellow Jacket.”
It seems that Hamilton's trademark smile and laugh rubs off on his teammates.
Saturday when the Yellow Jackets take the field against the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies, keep your eyes on number 93 for Baldwin Wallace. You can bet the Muskies will be looking for him every time they even think about passing the football!
FOR MORE BW Sports Information, please contact Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at email@example.com. or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org Fans can access the latest BW athletics information at www.bw.edu/athletics and we invite you to join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwyellowjackets and Twitter athttp://twitter.com/bwathletics.