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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Devery Hamilton, OT, Duke University

Devery Hamilton is a versatile offensive lineman who was a graduate transfer from Stanford that played at Duke this past season. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I graduated from Stanford with a double major in Philosophy and Communications. I’m currently a graduate student at Duke University studying to obtain my Master’s in Management Science in the Business School. After my football career, I plan to one day attend law school somewhere down the line.

I have participated in community outreach projects with my teammates. We went into local schools with Read Across America, and we also did hospital visits when we were able.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that my best quality is that I’m a good teammate. I always strive to be the best version of myself, while putting the team first. I set an example to others by getting my work done early and holding others accountable. I put in my work on the front end in order to get the team goals accomplished.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I see myself as a lead by example type of player, and I do things the right way. I can be quite versatile along the offensive line. I spent this past season playing right tackle. Previously, I started 2 years at guard. I’ve more or less been a 4 year starter that has played every OL position except center. We played a west coast pro style offense at Stanford, and we played more of a spread offense at Duke. I was able to learn 2 different sets of playbooks and terminology. I’m a very teachable and willing teammate.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The best player that I faced was Vita Vea who played DT at Washington. He was drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers, and he’ll be in this upcoming Super Bowl.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
I’ve had a lot of great teammates that I was able to face in practices and others that I’ve watched make great plays. While at Stanford, I got to practice against guys like Solomon Thomas and Harrison Phillips. Going against them every day in practice while playing on the scout team helped me be a better player. Here at Duke, we had a great tight end in Noah Gray who was at the Senior Bowl. He made important plays for our offense, and I’m excited to see what his future holds.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
In 2019, my season was cut short due to an ankle injury. I reinjured the ankle that I had issues with my sophomore year. The rehab process was definitely challenging. Although, I knew that I had to attack that in order to work my way back onto the field. Because I had only played 4 games in 2019, I had another year of eligibility. I wanted more tape to show pro scouts my versatility. I decided to attend Duke which is on the east coast and closer to home. It made things easier for my family to attend my games. Yet, it also gave me the opportunity to play tackle again. In 2020, I was able to start 11 games (830 snaps) at right tackle and show that I was healthy and durable enough to finish the season.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. I played basketball all 4 years of high school and was a solid role player. There were a few schools that had interest in me as a basketball player, but football was my first sport and that is what I want to pursue.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Graduating from Stanford is what I’m most proud of. Obtaining a scholarship and not having to pay for my education was a huge blessing. My biggest achievement is persevering through college as a student athlete and all the challenges that came with it. I made the Pac-12 All-Academic Team in 2017 and 2018. I was also able to make the ACC All-Academic Team in 2020. I was able to play football at 2 great institutions having 30 starts in 37 games played.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
Two plays come to mind. My sophomore year, we were playing against Notre Dame at home. The play was Power King to the left side. I was playing left tackle. We made our blocks and opened a hole for Bryce Love. He hit the LB with a spin move and ripped off a 50 yard touchdown run. Bryce made several long 50 yard plus plays that year going over the 2000 yard mark. I remember in our game against Washington that we made our blocks giving him space to work. Then, he was able to make one of his spectacular plays.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete is Serena Williams. I hope to see her play at Wimbledon one day. My favorite basketball team is the Boston Celtics. As for football, there are a lot of players that I’m a fan of. I like watching guys like Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, Mike McGlinchey and Terron Armstead. I’ll take a little bit from each player in order to help my game.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite artist is Prince. But before games, Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” is one of those songs that I need to have on my playlist.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I love eating Sushi. 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I like to go hiking. I also like to play video games like Apex Legend, Overwatch and Call of Duty. I also like to read. One of my favorite books is a graphic novel called “Watchmen”.

Who or what motivates you the most?
Family is the most important to me. I desire to put them in the best position after I’ve made it to the NFL. My Dad really motivates me. He’s shown me that hard work and dedication can really pay off.

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