The Ohio State Buckeyes have been recruiting everywhere to find the talent to make up their 2019 class. Now, they can add Tennessee to the list of states with a Buckeye presence, as Memphis native and three-star tight end Cormontae Hamilton has signed his National Letter of Intent with Ohio State.
Holding over 10 offers, Ohio State worked their way into SEC country to get Hamilton’s commitment. Alabama had an offer in for Hamilton, as did Cincinnati and Louisville — two schools in driving distance of OSU. Additionally, Memphis and the University of Tennessee made an offer to their in-state star, but were ultimately rebuffed.
Hamilton comes in at 6-foot-2, 263 pounds, and according to the 247sports composite, he’s the 23rd best prospect in the Volunteer State. Compared against other TEs, he’s ranked as the 29th best for the 2019 cycle.
Is this a diamond in the rough for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes? Let’s take a look at the scouting report:
[Scouting Report] Cormontae is a bit of an unusual player. At 6-foot-1, 256 pounds, you’d expect him to be an old-fashioned middle linebacker, or a defensive end. His film proves however, that despite his strange frame, he’s a tight end, and a very good one. With his measurements, you’d expect Hamilton to be a bit chunky, but he really isn’t.
He’s well built, in good shape, and honestly, he just looks like a big wide receiver. The thing about Hamilton is that no matter how unusual to see a player of his size play like he does, that is just how he is made. He’s naturally big, and while he’s not as tall as a traditional tight end, it really doesn’t seem to hurt him that much.
His size actually seems to be an advantage. He’s extremely strong for how young he is, and he’s able to play physically against linebackers, something a lot of tight ends are afraid to do. He knows how to use his arms subtly to get separation, and his football IQ is through the roof. Throw in his surprising speed, and Hamilton is an extremely difficult player to guard, because you pretty much have to have a freak athlete at linebacker to cover him.
On top of his speed and strength, Hamilton has fantastic body control. He knows exactly where he is relative to the field and defenders, and contorts himself to make catches cleanly while avoiding contact that could pop the ball out. This also helps him when running after the catch, because he’s got great balance, and can run right through defensive backs.
As a blocker, Hamilton is about as good as you’ll get from a high school tight end. He’s willing and capable to block anyone he’s asked to, including defensive ends, outside linebackers, and even blitzing defensive backs. He looks like a seasoned veteran dealing with a variety of pass and run rush moves, and will be a great asset to Ohio State’s running game as well as their passing attack.
Hamilton will need to improve his route tree in Columbus. It’s pretty basic right now, and if there’s one thing I think he really needs to work on, it’s footwork. That applies to blocking as well, as he will need to widen his stance and block more with his legs and his arms at the next level.
For those wondering what he’ll do in college, I’ll direct you towards NC State’s Jaylen Samuels, now of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hamilton is a bit bigger, and a little less fast, but I think he could be used in a pretty similar way. There are two definitions of h-back in college football, with the first being a quick, small guy (think Curtis Samuel/ Percy Harvin), and the second looking a lot like Hamilton.
Tight ends have done well in Columbus. With a pass happy offense with Day at the helm, we could see big things from Hamilton. But before he sets foot in a Buckeye jersey, look at his highlight reel that was posted on Hudl.