Missouri Lineman Overcomes Life's Hard Hits to Succeed
COLUMBIA - A defensive lineman's job is to hit...hard. But life gave Missouri Tigers lineman Dominique Hamilton a hard hit of his own.
A player who always has a goofy smile on his face, his team thinks he's the goofiest guy on the defensive line.
"He's a good character to have in meetings, he keeps everything entertaining, he's always got something to make you laugh," says Missouri junior defensive end Brad Madison.
Senior defensive lineman Terrell Resonno has seen that entertaining quality first-hand.
"Oh man he's gonna be mad when I say this but...he dances to Chris Brown..yes dances to Chris Brown in the mirror."
Adds senior defensive end Jacquies Smith, "He's a jokester, funny type guy you know...in the lockerroom, dancing, trying to do Chris Brown moves."
But for Hamilton life hasn't always been a song for dancing. When Hamilton was just a junior in high school, his mom died of stomach cancer.
Says Hamilton, "Defenitely missing my mom a lot, going through, seeing other relationships the other guys have with their moms and not having that, it's defenitely hard but that's just part of dealing with it in life."
"His story...it made me sad..cause I'm a momma's boy, so you know, seeing him lose his mom, I kinda cried about it a little bit," says Terrell Resonno.
Then seventeen-year-old Hamilton had to make a difficult decision with his mother gone.
"When she passed away it was really hard, I had to decide whether to stay with my stepdad or dad."
One of the main reasons Hamilton stayed with his stepdad was so he could keep playing football like his mom had always encouraged him to do so.
"She'd be proud of me, her wish was, she really wanted to me to go to college and graduate and I'm one class away from doing that, so I'll be the first one in my family to do that," says Hamilton.
Mom would also be proud of his play this year as Hamilton leads the defensive line in tackles.
"Just having someone like that in the middle is great not only for the run game, but the pass game too," says Brad Madison.
"Leadership wise I think he brings it by example. He plays very well on Saturdays, just leading by example playing well for our team, a lot of guys look up to him that way, " says Jacquies Smith.
Hamilton's positive fun attitude even after what he's been through impresses his teammates.
Adds Smith, "Dominique, he gets serious when he needs to be, but it's great he can still joke around and do those things ."
Whether he's dancing in a lockerroom or sacking a quarterback, Hamilton knows his mom is with him.