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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Football Has a 'Freak Athlete' in Kyle Hamilton

March 20, 2020

Notre Dame has had freshman players impress over the years, but none have approached the hype Kyle Hamilton had coming out of fall camp last August. 

The Atlanta native recorded three interceptions in his first practice and the legend started. 

Ed Miller has been training athletes since 2006 and opened up The Rack Athletic Performance in Atlanta in 2016. Miller has seen professional athletes come in and out of his building, but he knew Hamilton was special following his junior year of high school. 

“He didn’t have that many offers as a junior in high school and he was kind of under the radar,” Hill stated. “After his junior year, I told him he was going to blow up and that’s what happened.”

Miller won’t take much credit for Hamilton’s development, but he will be the first to tell you he enjoys training a mature athlete, which comes from the sophomore’s parents.

“He has never known anything else but work due to his parents,” said Miller. “He’s only known work. His mom is very intelligent and his dad is very intelligent, but he gets his academic acumen from his mom and his sporting acumen from his dad.” 

Hamilton’s freshman season earned him All-American honors and if you didn’t know his name following fall camp, then you quickly found out after his pick-six in the second game of the year.

The early success isn’t a surprise to Miller as Hamilton was putting up monster numbers before he arrived at Notre Dame last June. 

“He’s a freak athlete,” stated Miller. “By the time he left for college last year, Kyle had a 40-inch vertical and he jumped free-standing (no approach step) a 55-inch box. He has the fastest 10-yard split I’ve ever timed in my facility and that’s not handheld timing. That’s fully electric laser timed. Kyle’s broad jump is a little over 11 feet. 

“When you look at those numbers from an 18-year-old kid and then you put those numbers against people at the NFL Combine - he’s blowing them out of the water.”

Rick Kimball/ISD
Kyle Hamilton

Those numbers could make for an interesting NFL Combine in a few years as Hamilton will have three years under the guidance of Matt Balis at Notre Dame. 

And yes, as a high schooler, Miller admits he hasn’t seen many do the things Hamilton was doing as a senior. 

“I think he texted me after his first couple of weeks at Notre Dame and he had a 42-inch vertical,” Miller explained. “I’ve had a lot of guys come through the doors and I’ve worked with a lot of pros. There aren’t a lot of kids like him, but there aren’t very many pros that are as athletic as Kyle.

“I wouldn’t tell him that if he was standing here. The kid is good and he’s only going to get better. That’s the scary thing. How much better can this kid get? I really don’t think there is a limit to it because he’s 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. I think Notre Dame wants him playing at 220. How many 6-foot-4 safeties are there? How many 6-foot-4, 220 safeties are there who have a 40-inch vertical, almost a 12-foot broad jump and can run a 10-yard split in 1.66. There’s not very many.”

Everyone glows about Hamilton. NFL scouts are already stopping by Notre Dame to look at him, but where can Hamilton improve physically? Strength.

“His ability to move is crazy,” explained Miller. “His jumps are crazy and sprints are crazy. His athletic ability is just insane, but he needed to get stronger. He wasn’t weak, but he wasn’t as strong as a JD Bertrand. We worked a lot last year on getting him stronger and he put on some weight while he was here. I think when we started, he was about 185-188 and by the time he left, he was right at 200. 

“Now, he’s up to around 215, but he hasn’t lost his ability to play his position. That’s good. That’s what you want from guys when they get stronger and put on size. It’s not a detriment to their sport.” 

A popular theme on message boards is for fans to state what weight a player needs to reach to achieve maximum potential. 

Miller believes Hamilton is already there. 

“I really don’t think he has to put on a lot,” said Miller “If he stayed at 215 and got stronger, he wouldn’t have to put on any weight. You don’t always have to put on weight to get stronger. 

“If he got around 225 or 230, I don’t think he could - well, I don’t want to say he couldn’t because he would do it just to piss me off. If he continues to play safety, 215-220 is where he kind of needs to live. Could he play heavier than that? Sure. Should he do it? That’s the question. 

It’s not just the incredible numbers, but it’s the mental makeup and maturity. It’s the length. Everything about Hamilton puts him into a rare category, which is high praise for a player entering year two at Notre Dame. 

“If everything continues to go the way I think it’s going to go, you’re looking at a top-five pick in two years,” Miller said. “The kid is not only a great football player, but he’s a great kid. I’ve been very fortunate to be a very small part of his sports life.”

The Kyle Hamilton Vault

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