According to The Athletic’s Pete Sampson, Notre Dame star safety and surefire All-American Kyle Hamilton will be limited this spring football season after a minor procedure on his ankle.
Hamilton missed the South Florida game in September with an ankle injury but started every other game of the season including the College Football Playoff matchup in the Rose Bowl versus Alabama.
It’s not ideal that Hamilton will be limited while the Notre Dame defense learns new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman’s system. At the same time, Hamilton is good enough that he can more than get by even while limited. It could somewhat limit what Freeman does with Hamilton outside of his traditional safety role, but likely only temporarily. It would be surprising if Freeman didn’t utilize Hamilton all over the field – even if such a role is only limited to defensive snaps much to the chagrin of our own Greg Flammang who’d love nothing more than to see Hamilton on offense.
If there is a silver lining here, it’s that Notre Dame does need to find other players at safety this spring. Houston Griffith is expected to start opposite Hamilton after withdrawing his name from the transfer portal, but outside of Griffith, the safety depth is largely untested. If Freeman does intend on moving Hamilton around a bit, the Irish will need to develop some depth behind him this spring. This could give the Irish the opportunity to do that.
Still, you never want the best player on your roster limited while a new defensive coordinator is installing their defense. The good news is that it doesn’t sound like anything too major that would in any way inhibit Hamilton during fall camp.
Even with missing the South Florida game and the second half of the North Carolina game following a targeting penalty, Hamilton still paced the Fighting Irish with 63 tackles including 4.5 TFL. After recording 4 interceptions as a freshman in 2019, his INT total dropped to just one last year though he was robbed of one on a bogus penalty in the Boston College game.
Hamilton is already drawing the eyes of NFL scouts as they watch film of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft and should start the season on virtually everyone’s All-American lists.