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Notre Dame Football

Kyle Hamilton Impressed with Notre Dame Freshman Clarence Lewis & Senior Class

December 7, 2020

Senior Day is always emotional and Notre Dame got off to a slow start on Saturday afternoon against Syracuse. 

The Irish kicked in gear after its seniors made game-changing plays on both sides of the ball. Ian Book and Javon McKinley stepped up on offense, while Daelin Hayes, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Ade Ogundeji made huge plays on defense. 

"Overall, I think the defense had a great day," stated Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. "I think we showed up when we needed to. Turnovers, big plays by Ade, Daelin, and Wu. They're always flying around making big plays for us. I think when we had to come out and get stops, we did. There's some bad plays. That happens every game and we'll get that fixed eventually." 

The seniors on defense got timely turnovers in the win over Syracuse, but Hamilton has seen them step up before. A year ago, they were there for him when he hit the freshman wall and Hamilton credits them for keeping his spirits high.

"The biggest way they've impacted me is off the field," Hamilton said of the senior class. "Coming in as a freshman and playing as a freshman, it had its ups and downs. There would be days where I was frustrated and felt I was in a slump. I Could always count on Wu, Daelin, Ade, Ian and even offensive guys to pick me up and tell me we've all been through it and gone through it. 

"Seeing them say that and hearing them say that gave me some more confidence in myself, knowing this is just temporary. Mentally, I think they've helped me a lot." 

The weekend might have been about the senior class and moving to 10-0, but it was freshman cornerback Clarence Lewis that led the team in tackles. 

Sure, Syracuse seemed to pick on Lewis, but he embraced it and it's clear the veterans trust him. 

"There are times I forget Clarence is a freshman because he carries himself in such a mild manner," explained Hamilton. "He goes about his business day in and day out. He never complains and always does his job. He came in like that. Since day one of camp, you could tell he was kind of different - his demeanor and the way he plays. He's obviously very talented. 

"I think they were trying him a lot on the edge with a lot of hitch routes, but he was down on the ball and doing a great job in coverage. He has a great career ahead of him and he's only getting started." 

Notre Dame will now turn its attention to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game on December 19th, but how was playing in a conference? 

Hamilton enjoyed it, but maybe for not the reason fans would think. 

"I think one thing that's a lot of different from our schedule from last year is the consistency of the offenses and the type of offenses week to week,” said Hamilton. “It's consistent and everybody kind of does the same thing in comparison to when we're playing USC, which is air raid and the next week is Navy and the triple-option. That's a big switch up. 

"I think consistency has helped us learn week in and week out what to expect." 

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