Rising sophomore safety Kyle Hamilton continues to get a great deal of offseason attention. ESPN ranked him among the Top 10 returning safeties in the country, and Pro Football Focus has him among their potential breakout players in 2020.
PFF released a list of 37 players that could go into the season relatively unknown and as they put it, finishing as "bona fide superstars."
"Hamilton is among the players who could take their performance from good to elite in 2020. He started just once for the Fighting Irish in his true freshman season and flashed some insane playmaking ability in coverage. The 6-foot-4 safety allowed only seven catches on 23 targets in coverage while making four interceptions and breaking up another five passes en route to a 1:3 passer rating allowed."
The criteria of relatively unknown to bonafide superstar doesn't quite fit with Hamilton. The bonafide superstar part makes sense, and I don't think it would surprise many Irish fans if Hamilton did in fact emerge as one of the nation's top safeties.
But Hamilton doesn't strike me as a relatively unknown. He was a freshman All-American in 2019 after racking up 41 tackles, breaking up six passes and interception four more (official stats).
He constantly gets brought up when Notre Dame and the 2020 gets written about, which makes him not an unknown player. But their bigger point is him having a breakout, and that is where PFF is spot on.
Hamilton has a unique combination of tools, combining rare length with top-notch athleticism, tremendous instincts and a high football IQ. He will be counted on to become a playmaker in the Irish defense this season.
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