Ohio State’s newest recruiting pipeline is one that not many could’ve predicted. While they do still make inroads in Ohio, Texas, Florida, and the other traditional power states, there’s been a rise of Buckeye recruits coming from the south, by way of Tennessee. From Max Wray in 2018, his brother Jake in 2020, and Kane Patterson in 2019, the Buckeyes are paying more attention to the Volunteer State than ever before.
They cemented that minutes ago, as they landed a commitment from Memphis tight end Cormontae Hamilton. Hamilton, a Whitehaven High School captain, picked up an offer last month at OSU’s Friday Night Lights camp, and has been in constant contact with the Buckeyes ever since. The interest was mutual between both parties, obviously.
The Ohio State offer was the last one Hamilton needed. He was sold on Ohio State, and with the green light from Ohio State, it was only a matter of time before Hamilton joined the fray. What is Ohio State getting in the Tennessee tight end?
On the field
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.
In the class
Hamilton is the 15th member of Ohio State’s 2019 class. He’s the first and probably the only tight end, because Ohio State really doesn’t need anymore right now. They landed two in 2018, and have a few top targets in 2020. It’s a relatively week year for tight ends, so I imagine they’ll finish up the position here with Hamilton, though they may still look to add Brenton Strange.
Hamilton’s commitment puts Ohio State at sixth in the nation, just barely leaping over LSU, and sitting four points behind Georgia. I don’t think Ohio State is landing the number one class in 2019, but this commitment will help them move closer to the top. Despite his current low rankings, I think Hamilton could be in for a jump following his senior season. He’s a tough player to evaluate, but he’s very, very talented.
You can view Hamilton’s fantastic film below, and read more about his commitment here.