Notre Dame DB Among The Nation's Top Returners In 2020
Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton earned a number of freshman All-American honors after a brilliant first season in South Bend. Now the rising sophomore is being viewed as more than just one of the best freshmen. Pro Football Focus ranks him one of the best returning defensive backs in the country.
PFF ranked Hamilton as the 20th best returning defensive back in the entire country as it looks forward to 2020. The list ranks both cornerbacks and safeties, but if you split it position-by-position it looks even better for Hamilton, who is the 5th-highest ranked safety on the list.
"True freshman safety Kyle Hamilton could not have done much more in coverage for the Fighting Irish this year. The 6-foot-4 defensive back finished among the five best safeties in the country in PFF coverage grade and had more interceptions plus pass breakups (nine) than catches allowed (seven). That production paved the way to just a 1.3 passer rating allowed. He read quarterbacks like books and made special plays all year long — he’ll be a vital piece to the Irish secondary over the next couple of seasons."
Hamilton finished his freshman season with 41 tackles and a team-leading four interceptions and 10 passes defensed. The rangy safety tied for second on the defense with six pass break ups.
A rotation player and starter in the nickel package in 2019, Hamilton will now step into a full-time starting role now that former standouts and captains Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott have departed for the NFL.
Two Notre Dame opponents for 2020 also had defensive backs on the list: Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo was ranked No. 29 and Wisconsin safety Eric Burrell ranked No. 25.
To read a full breakdown of Notre Dame's attempt to replace and reload at safety, which includes Hamilton, CLICK HERE.