Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton is the Best DB in College Football


Notre Dame Safety Kyle Hamilton did “not throw away his shot” and making a name for himself, as soon as he arrived in South Bend. Sure, there’s still a million things he hasn’t “done, but just you wait, just you wait.”

Okay I’ll stop now with the references to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical. But Hamilton, as blue as a blue chip recruit can be, made an instant impact as a freshman, finishing seventh on the team in tackles (41), tied for second in passes defended (6) while leading the team in interceptions (4) and scoring the only defensive touchdown in 2019.


In his sophomore season, Hamilton was one of the leaders of the defense, as he continued his fast learning curve. After serving as a backup safety to Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott in 2019, he became a starter and was named first-team All-ACC after recording 63 tackles, six pass breakups, and an interception.

He’s the best individual player on this Fighting Irish squad.

Kyle Hamilton is the best safety in college football this year, and he’s among the best three defensive backs. He’s also probably a top five defensive player, and given all his measurables and skill sets, it’s hard to imagine he sticks around beyond this season.

Hamilton should be a top 10-15 overall pick in the very next NFL Draft, and if that happens it would simply complete the story arc of his collegiate career.

He came to South Bend as a highly rated 5-star recruit. He’ll leave as blue chip NFL prospect.

“Kyle Hamilton is an eraser,” said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

“It’s hard to get (All-American candidate at Tight End) Mike Mayer the football when we go against him because we’re bracketing the inside backer with Kyle Hamilton and Kyle’s got him over the top, then we got him inside-out, so when you have that kind of player, who can take a player like Mike Mayer away, imagine what he can do to others.”

BK then discussed the individual attributes of the Atlanta native (who was actually born in Greece) and Irish co-captain.

“He’s long, rangy, athletic, fit the run, you just don’t get many players of that caliber.

brian kelly notre dame

“He is so much more aware of where he is in the big picture now than he was last year, and what I mean by that specifically, is that this is a big year for him, and he knows that. His focus, his attention to detail, he is now locked into that.

“And we are the beneficiaries of that.”

Kelly also discussed the rest of the secondary, beyond his superstar safety. Houston Griffith returns as the other starting safety while Cam Hart returns as the CB1. This summer sees an open position battle for CB2; and the nickel of course.

“We have to have more than Kyle Hamilton, okay?” Kelly said.

“We like the spring that Houston had. We love his leadership. We love what he’s been about in terms of his makeup, so we’re counting on Houston. DJ, obviously we’re counting on him to really play a significant role for us.

“I think it starts with those two guys.

“Those three in particular, and then finding the fourth. There’s a number of guys that will compete for that position, but I think you start with the three safeties and let’s go find a fourth.”

2021 Team Season Preview Series:   Northwestern   Notre Dame   Illinois

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.


  1. […] defense, one that is ball-hawking to say the least. Led by All-American safety and first round NFL prospect Kyle Hamilton, the Irish bring a stout pass defense, especially against the pass that leads the nation in […]

Speak Your Mind