Most Notre Dame fans should know this already by now, but Kyle Hamilton is a really, really good football player. Those outside of the Notre Dame fanbase are starting to see the same. ESPN Insider recently tabbed Hamilton as one of the top five returning safeties in all of college football.
The article that ranks Hamilton, who is just a sophomore, as the fifth best returning safety in all of college football is Insider content that requires a login so I won’t cut and paste the excerpt here, but you all should know how good Hamilton is by now.
On the first drive in his first game he ever played in Notre Dame Stadium, Kyle Hamilton intercepted New Mexico Sherrion Jones and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. By the end of the season, Hamilton led Notre Dame with four interceptions and tied for second in pass breakups with six. Only Tariq Bracy had more – seven. One of Hamilton’s four interceptions sealed Notre Dame’s come from behind victory over Virginia Tech.
Hamilton spent the 2019 season primarily playing the nickel position as Notre Dame’s third safety. Despite not being a full-time starter, he was still seventh on the Irish defense in tackles with 41 – one more than starting corner Troy Pride and just eight fewer than starting safety Jalen Elliott.
With Elliott and Alohi Gilman both out of eligibility and off to the NFL, Hamilton steps into a full time starting role in 2020 and is expected to be one of the stars of the Irish defense. There is still a question of who the other starting safety will be between Ohio State graduate transfer Isaiah Pryor and junior Houston Griffith who moved back safety after ping-ponging back and forth between positions in the secondary.
Notre Dame loses three starters overall from its 2019 secondary making Hamilton one of the veterans of the group in 2020 despite being just a sophomore. While they will all of that experience, they won’t be short on talent and athleticism with the safety trio of Hamilton, Pryor, and Griffith.
There are a lot of unknowns right now in terms of college football, but for Notre Dame fans, there is one thing that is pretty certain. When there are football games again, Kyle Hamilton will be a damn good player for the Fighting Irish.