Ohio State has a bit of a storied history when it comes to keeping it in the family. We’ve seen countless legacy players come through Columbus, including Brendon White, and an almost equally large number of brothers. It isn’t uncommon at all to see a whole family suiting up for the Buckeyes, be it Bosas up front, Malik and Marcus Hooker in the defensive backfield, or Borens all over the field. Ohio State has the rich history to dig into, and does so often.
On Sunday, the Buckeyes added yet another familiar face to that group, picking up a commitment from Ty Hamilton, brother of projected starter Davon Hamilton. While familial ties aren’t everything (see: Carter, Duron), if Ohio State’s newest addition is anything like the elder Hamilton, it seems that Larry Johnson has yet another diamond in the rough.
For the Hamilton boys, much like the Bosa brothers, the connection isn’t just in name. Ty is a mid three-star defensive lineman, undersized but filled with potential, and likely to move to tackle at Ohio State, just like his brother.
Now, of course, there are differences between the two. The younger Hamilton is actually ranked a bit higher than his brother. and, as we’ll get to in the scouting report, I think he’s a bit more college ready as well.
On the field
At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Hamilton isn’t done growing into his frame, which means a lot of his evaluation has to be projection rather than straight assessment. On top of that, he plays defensive end at Pickerington Central. I expect he’ll move inside to tackle at least part-time (think Cam Heyward) in Columbus, which means we have to project for a position change as well.
So, with maybe 20 extra pounds, and occasionally at a different position, what is Ohio State getting from Ty Hamilton? Firstly, they’re getting someone that’s never going to have any kind of issues with “motor” or effort. Hamilton goes 100 miles per hour all the time, and that’s absolutely the first thing that shows up on his film.
He doesn’t have the breakneck speed of a player like Chase Young, or the technical skills of Nick or Joey Bosa, but he gives 100 percent on every play, and that, paired with good athleticism and strength, makes Hamilton a super interesting prospect. It also makes him a project for Larry Johnson, and we know Larry Johnson loves a project.
I say that because, well, Hamilton isn’t using a ton of actual moves to this point, at least not in the traditional sense. He’s a great bull rusher, and his strength allows him to blow tackles off their spot, but his hand usage isn’t much to write home about at this point, because he very rarely uses his hands for anything but engaging with blockers.
Like with his size, that isn’t a huge issue. Ohio State has time to develop him both physically and technically, and when looking at the track record on the defensive line, it’s hard to doubt Larry Johnson and Mickey Marotti. Would Ohio State prefer a bit more refined lineman? Sure, a college will never turn down an opportunity to do less coaching, but teaching up someone with the football IQ and motor of someone like Hamilton is not going to be a huge challenge.
If he has the work ethic of his brother, he’ll be a starter a few years down the line. He probably won’t be a star, but I could see him developing into a leader on the defense, a tackle machine, and someone that the Buckeyes can count on for eight or nine high-effort tackles on every play. You need those type of guys on the defensive line, just like you need five-star freaks. That balance matters, and Hamilton has what it takes to serve in the role his brother is expected to fill this year as one of the leaders up front.