If you’ve followed Irish recruiting over the course of the 2019 cycle, the Kyle Hamilton journey has been quite interesting as far as rankings go. When he committed originally, he was Notre Dame’s lowest rated recruit. In fact, on February 28th, 2018 Hamilton’s composite ranking was 1,156th in the nation. On his commit date, April 24th, Hamilton had risen to 992nd in the nation, at the start of the season he had made his way to 294th, and as we sit here today Hamilton is the 103rd player in the country. A rise of 839 spots!
Hamilton is one of the marquee players at this weeks All-American Bowl in San Antonio, where recruiting experts are pondering another jump in the rankings for Hamilton following the week of practices and the game. 247’s house rankings have him on the brink of five star status, the 22nd ranked player overall, and it’s almost a certainty when it’s all said and done, he’ll receive his 5th star by cycles end. He’s also going to rise in the overall composite rankings; he’s playing in a marquee all-star game, is getting lots of attention, has been named by the bowl committee as a finalist for defensive player of the year, and other sites are moving him up. For better or worse, there is a good amount of herding with these rankings.
Kyle Hamilton’s Senior Film
Want to feel better about things after the Cotton Bowl? Watch Hamilton’s senior season highlights. He does it on defense, offense, special teams, quarterback, pretty much everywhere. This is an elite player.
A Miss By The Services
When Hamilton committed to Notre Dame, the consensus from those who follow recruiting closely was that Hamilton was, literally, underrated. Despite his low ranking, Hamilton was getting heavy treatment from the major schools. Georgia, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, and Ohio State were all after him hard. Different caliber players receive different caliber treatment and you can always tell who the schools really want. These schools, especially Georgia, really wanted Hamilton. It made sense for the Bulldogs as Hamilton is a Georgia resident, and they kept after him throughout the season.
It was a foregone conclusion Hamilton would rise up the charts, the only question was how high.
Could He Play Next Season?
Notre Dame has a lot of bodies at the safety position who bring talent and experience. Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott return having just completed outstanding seasons, and Houston Griffith and Derrik Allen were signed the year before. That said, Hamilton is currently 6-3 and 195 pounds. He’ll like bulk up some heading into next season, let’s put him at 205. Point is, players with his athletic ability and physical makeup aren’t likely to be hanging around for four seasons. Notre Dame could have a limited time with this player and they need to get the most out of his time on campus.
A mitigating factor is when he arrives. Hamilton is not enrolling early, and that has a pretty big effect on early playing time, especially at a position like safety. For example, Griffith was an early enrollee who played immediately against Michigan and started some games for the Irish. Allen, who arrived in the summer, redshirted and never saw the field.
Whatever the case, Hamilton is the kind of elite player fans feel like Notre Dame isn’t getting, at a position where they have rarely hit on elite prospects. Come the fall, the Irish will have four underclass safeties on the roster in the top 250, three of those in the top 150, and two in the top 100. Things are looking very good on the back end.