College football preseason award watch lists are silly. Most of the time, they have no bearing whatsoever on who wins the award at the end of the season, so it’s usually not worth getting worked up over. In 2020 though, the lack of hype for Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton is reaching the level of being perfectly acceptable to get worked up over.
First, let me start off by saying I took this assignment because Greg, president and CEO of the Kyle Hamilton for Heisman Foundation, was too distraught to bring himself together to write this. That said, here we go.
Last year Kyle Hamilton was a freshman All-American while playing a reserve role. He racked up 41 tackles and 4 interceptions without being a starter. In 2020, he will not only be a starter, but he’ll be the star of Notre Dame’s secondary. So, in short, there should not be a lack of hype for the budding star of the Irish defense.
Instead, however, Hamilton’s name has been on nary a preseason All-American or watch list thus far. In Phil Steele’s preseason All American team, which features four full teams, only Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg made the list as a 4th teamer.
Ok, fine. Not giving Hamilton All-American hype is one thing since there are only eight safeties total listed by Steele. Where the disrespect has gotten out of hand is with the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. The award claims to be have generated a list of “49 of the nation’s best defensive backs.” I say claimed because Kyle Hamilton is not listed.
Are you kidding me? How Hamilton isn’t considered to be one of the top 49 defensive backs in the country, is a bit ridiculous. The Jim Thorpe Award committee included two defensive backs from Ball State and players from Old Dominion, Buffalo, Tennessee State, Troy, and UAB. But not Kyle Hamilton. They included 3/4 of Cincinnati’s defensive backfield. But not Kyle Hamilton.
If there is a season, the folks at the Jim Thorpe Award are going to look awfully silly when they are forced to add Hamilton to their list throughout the season.
Now, this column is at least in part, a bit tongue in cheek, since all of these award lists and All-American teams are silly when there wasn’t any spring football. At the same time, how a kid who was a freshman All-American who will be started for the University of Notre Dame is slipping past all of the when plays from much smaller schools are getting noticed is a bit interesting.
As for Greg, Notre Dame Twitter is already getting concerned over how he’ll respond to the lack of respect that Hamilton is getting this preseason.
Reminder that people are joking here just in case anyone decides to take any of this too seriously.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that one college football writer is getting it right on Hamilton at the moment. Bruce Feldman, of The Athletic, listed Hamilton at #9 on his annual “Freak List” because of Hamilton’s rare size, range, and athleticism. (Note: he also listed Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah at #37).
At least one writer understands that Hamilton is a rare talent at this point. Assuming there is a season in 2020, the rest of them will just have to be shown how wrong they were not to include him on their preseason lists when Hamilton has a monster season for the Irish defense.
Can’t wait for people to not actually click on this from Twitter and freak out in the mentions.