The last three weeks have seen Dominique Hamilton traveling from West Coast, to East Coast, to West Coast and back to the East Coast.
For now, however, Hamilton is settled again on the East Coast with the Washington Redskins’ practice squad. The rookie defensive lineman out of Missouri said the jet lag is well-worth the job in the NFL.
After all, Hamilton — a self-described “military brat” — is used to long plane rides, having lived in Germany, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Missouri.
“It’s just a whirlwind,” Hamilton said Wednesday before participating in his first practice with the Redskins. “I’m just getting acclimated with everything going on.”
Hamilton had high hopes of becoming an eventual NFL Draft pick, but said those plans were derailed when he suffered an ankle injury while playing at Missouri in 2010.
“It’s been a rough journey,” he said. “That’s what kept me from being drafted. A lot of teams didn’t want to take a chance on picking me up because of my ankle.”
Hamilton still had a productive career at Missouri, where he appeared in 46 career games with 32 starts. He amassed 140 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in his career, earning All-Big 12 honors from conference media in his senior season in 2011.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Hamilton was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders on May 11, where he battled for a backup position along the defensive line. Although he had a strong preseason showing that included three tackles and a sack against the Dallas Cowboys, Hamilton was released by the Raiders during their final cuts.
Then came the traveling.
Prior to signing with the Redskins earlier this week, Hamilton had spent two days with the Seattle Seahawks and three days with the New York Giants.
Hamilton said he knows his role as a practice-squad player with the Redskins, but is confident he’ll have the ability to showcase his abilities and land on an active roster at some point in the near future.
“It’s just been going through the long process of finding a team and proving myself,” Hamilton said. “That’s basically what I’ve got on my back right now.”
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