Kyle Hamilton A Top-10 ‘Freak,’ Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Makes List As Well
Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List” is a staple of the college football preseason, an enlightening and information-packed piece in the middle of an oft-mundane talking season that highlights some of the most athletically gifted players in college football. Well-known starters, All-America candidates, breakout players, Group of Five players, and little-known lower-division stars are all covered.
Notre Dame is often represented in some way. And this year’s list featured arguably its best two defensive playmakers. Safety Kyle Hamilton was No. 9 on the list of 50, and Feldman called Hamilton’s “freakiest attribute” his vertical leap. The 6-4 Hamilton is up to 221 pounds, Feldman said, right around the same number his father, Derrek, told BlueandGold.com in May.
“His top-end GPS speed was almost 21 miles per hour, but it’s his vertical — 42.3 inches — that earned him a spot this high on our list,” Feldman wrote ($). “Hamilton’s explosiveness and athleticism with that kind of height and length is rare.”
Hamilton was Rivals’ No. 75 player in the 2019 class and forced his way into the rotation at safety despite the presence of two established starters. Multiple outlets named him a Freshman All-American after he had four interceptions and 41 tackles while averaging 32 defensive snaps per game.
Per Pro Football Focus, Hamilton allowed only 74 yards and seven catches on 23 targets. PFF gave him a team-best 89.8 coverage grade.
Another Irish breakout defensive player, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, made the list at No. 37. Notre Dame is one of 11 teams with multiple players represented.
“He arrived in South Bend weighing 198, but is now a rock-solid 220 at 6-½,” Feldman wrote. “His explosiveness is reflected by his 39-inch vertical, a 10-3 broad jump and an equally impressive 20.4 mph on his GPS. Owusu-Koramoah also notched 42 pull-ups in off-season training and back-squatted 555 pounds.”
Owusu-Koramoah had 80 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2019 as Notre Dame’s starting rover. All were either team highs or tied for the team lead. It was his first year in the lineup after recording no stats in 2017 and 2018. He allowed 7.6 yards per catch and no touchdowns when targeted.
The former three-star recruit was a January 2017 signee and one-time Virginia commitment who then-defensive coordinator Mike Elko targeted to play the rover position, a hybrid linebacker/defensive back spot in the new defense he was bringing from Wake Forest.
• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue & Gold Illustrated.
• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel
• Sign up for Blue & Gold's news alerts and daily newsletter
• Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes
• Like us on Facebook.