If you somehow haven’t heard, last Friday, Disney+ released a filmed version of the Broadway smash, hip-hop musical “Hamilton” for its streaming subscribers just ahead of Independence Day. The stage capture was filmed over three days in June 2016 at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre before a large portion of the original principal cast left the production — Jonathan Groff returned to the role of King George III for the filming after having previously departed the show in order to shoot his Netflix series “Mindhunter.”
The original plan was for Disney to release the film into movie theaters in October 2021 and then make it available on their streaming service sometime thereafter, but with the entire film industry shut down for the foreseeable future and all of their theme parks closed for months on end, the Mouse House realized that it was sitting on a rather sizable asset that could be deployed at any point and saw a way to infuse the company with some quick cash. After all, they paid a reported $75 million dollars for the film’s distribution rights — the largest total in movie history.
Written and originally starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, the ground-breaking musical won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, as well as the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, a Pulitzer Prize, and countless other honors. But, despite the fact that I have worked in the New York theatre community for nearly a decade, you aren’t reading this article for the history or theatrical impact of one of Broadway’s most revolutionary (pun intended) works; instead, you are here for the idiocy that I have cooked up when comparing characters — and aspects of characters — to Ohio State football players (and one other silly surprise).
So, as Alexander Hamilton says to George Washington in the song “Non-Stop,” “Let’s go.”
Zach Harrison | “Young, Scrappy, and Hungry” Alexander Hamilton
Now, obviously when I’m comparing players to characters in a musical called “Hamilton,” someone is going to end up being compared to Hamilton himself. But, in a show that spans 30 years of his life, it’s hard to pick just one player to represent all of the $10 Founding Father’s complexities.
So, I’m going to break A. Ham down into different parts of his life, so that I can spread as much of his personality around to as many players as possible.
Therefore, we are going to start with Hamilton at the very beginning of the show. In the musical’s third number “My Shot,” Hamilton explains that he is “young, scrappy, and hungry,” and to me, that called out for a Zach Harrison comparison.
In 2019 as a true freshman, the five-star defensive end wasn’t a full-time starter, but due to injuries to Jonathon Cooper (more on him later), that idiotic suspension to Chase Young, and OSU beating the living crap out of nearly all of their opponents, he got some decent time.
When he was on the field, he showed why he was such a coveted prospect coming out of Olentangy. He finished his freshman season with 24 tackles, including 5.5 for loss. Whether or not Harrison makes the leap to starter this season or not, there is no doubt that he is going to have an increased impact in Larry Johnson’s rotation, and I will not be surprised if the big boy eats!
Demario McCall | Aaron Burr
In “Hamilton,” the character of Aaron Burr — played by Tony-winner Leslie Odom, Jr. — serves as the musical’s narrator. His relationship with Hamilton was combative; in fact, you could say that they were America’s first frenemies. And in case you forgot the premise of the “Got Milk?” commercial from the early ‘90s, (spoiler alert) Burr actually killed Hamilton in a duel.
Now, I am not saying that Demario McCall is going to have a showdown with one of his teammates in Weehawken, NJ on the banks of the Hudson River, but one of the important characteristics that defines Burr is revealed in the song, “Wait for It.” America’s eventual third vice president is particularly machiavellian and is willing to wait for the perfect time to seize his moment.
Any long-time LGHL reader knows that we have been driving the #FreeDemario train for years. Heck, in an article oddly similar to this one, I even compared him to Spider-Man all the way back in 2016. But, between injuries, suspect position changes, and being stuck behind J.K. Dobbins, McCall has not yet been given the opportunity that his talents deserve. However, so far he has been willing to wait for it.
With injuries in the running back room, I’m not really sure where McCall is most likely to see snaps this season, but I am confident that if given the opportunity, he won’t be throwing away his shot.
Thayer Munford | George Washington
Unlike the rest of the revolutionary figures that we meet in “Hamilton,” General George Washington is a bit older and wiser. He is, after all, the head of the colonial army. Similarly, Munford is one of the respected elder statesmen on the team, and one of the most experienced offensive linemen in the country having started 26 games over the past two seasons. With two first-time starters making their way to the OL this year, Munford’s leadership will be invaluable.
It also helps that Christopher Jackson, who plays GW, is one of the few principal stars of the show who is six-feet-tall, so at times, he towers over his scene partners. At six-foot-six, Munford often does the same. In fact, pay attention when the Buckeyes score a touchdown this season, the senior tackle is invariably the player who rushes to the end zone in order to pick up the always smaller skill position player who scores.
Chris Olave | Marquis de Lafayette
As Miranda has said during interviews, as he began exploring Hamilton’s life, he noticed that the people who were important in his story early on were very rarely the people who were important later in Hamilton’s life. So, a handful of actors, including Tony-winner Daveed Diggs, ended up playing different characters in the first act than they did in the second.
In the first act, Diggs plays French revolutionary, the Marquis de Lafayette. In the musical, Lafayette is a flashy, rapid-fire rapping mercenary. If you don’t know what I mean, here’s his now iconic verse in “Guns and Ships”:
In the song, when America is running desperately low on supplies, it is Lafayette who comes through in the clutch with more, “guns and ships.” Similarly, Chris Olave has shown over his two-year career that he is a guy who can get stuff done in the most important of circumstances. For example, he has four total receptions in his career against TTUN, but three of them went for touchdowns.
Now that Olave is undoubtedly the number one receiver, Justin Fields is going to need him to show up when the Buckeyes’ backs are against the wall.
Justin Fields | “Non-Stop” Alexander Hamilton
Throughout the musical, we are constantly told that while Hamilton is naturally brilliant, one of the reasons that he is able to have as much success as he does is that he “writes like he’s running out of time.” He is a tireless worker, and — as the song says — he is “Non-Stop.”
For this Hamil-quality, I went with quarterback Justin Fields. He is obviously ridiculously gifted, as Hamilton was, but he came into a situation at OSU in January 2019 and worked his tail off to learn a new system, bond with new teammates, and acclimate to a new school (and not to mention climate). That work paid off as he ended up having one of the best seasons that a Buckeye quarterback has ever had.
And, when it comes right down to it, he scored 51 touchdowns and only threw three interceptions during his sophomore campaign, so very literally he could not be stopped; he was “Non-Stop”-able.
Burr asks Hamilton why he writes like he’s running out of time, and now with the fall football season in doubt, Fields might literally be running out of time as a college football player. Hopefully he will have another opportunity to prove to Buckeye fans that he will fight ev’ry second he’s alive.
Jonathon Cooper | Hercules Mulligan
By trade, Hercule Mulligan was a tailor, but in actuality, he was a spy working for Washington as a part of Samuel Adams’ secret organization the Sons of Liberty. In “Hamilton,” played by Okieriete Onaodowan, Mulligan is one of Hamilton’s early friends who shares his dreams of revolution.
As the Americans are preparing for the deciding battle at Yorktown, Mulligan, returns from his spy duties rapping, “Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction/When you knock me down I get the f*ck back up again!”
First off, Oak is a big dude, so right there is a good connection between him and Jonathon Cooper, but after his 2019 season, there’s no doubt that the fifth-year senior refuses to stay down. In what was supposed to be a coming out senior season paired with Young, Cooper was constantly beset by injuries.
However, he ended up taking his lumps in 2019 only to end up redshirting so that he could get back up again to finish off his OSU career in 2020.
Garrett Wilson | Philip Hamilton
Philip Hamilton — played by Anthony Ramos — is Alexander’s oldest son. Throughout the musical we see him grow from a precocious, piano-playing and rapping nine-year-old to a 19-year-old ladies man with all of his father’s skills and swagger.
So, when I think of a 19-year-old Buckeye with skills and swagger, the only option has to be wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Hopefully Wilson will end up being better one-on-one than Philip was.
Shaun Wade | “Never Satisfied” Alexander Hamilton
In the song “Satisfied,” Hamilton tells his future sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler that she is like him, and that she will never be satisfied. That quality to me screams of Shaun Wade. With two Buckeye corners taken in the first round of the NFL Draft earlier this year, Wade very well could have been the third.
However, knowing that his recent film was fairly limited since he served only as a slot corner last season, Wade wasn’t satisfied with a potential late first or early second round grade. He decided to return to Columbus for another year in order to prove that he deserved to be taken as highly as Jeff Okudah, Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, and Eli Apple.
Trey Sermon | Thomas Jefferson
So, as I said earlier, Diggs plays two roles in the show; Lafayette in the first act, and Thomas Jefferson in the second. The symmetry of this is perfect, because the former was a French national who had been coordinating aid between America and his home country. The latter actually spent the Revolutionary War in France as the U.S.’s ambassador.
So, like Jefferson, Sermon is coming to Columbus well into the story. Having played three seasons for the Oklahoma Sooners, the 2,000-yard running back is looking to make an impact now that he’s here.
Also, when Act II opens, Jefferson comes bounding down his Monticello stairs singing, “So what’d I miss?” When it comes to Sermon, the answer is a good portion of the 2019 season.
While his season ending injury didn’t come until mid-November, other issues kept him from getting as many carries as he had the previous two seasons. He only accounted for 54 rushes last season — 110 fewer than the previous year in which Lincoln Riley’s Sooners went to the College Football Playoff.
Jim Harbaugh | “Helpless” Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
Now, make no mistake about it, Elizabeth Hamilton is one of the strongest characters in the musical, so picking her to be the Michigan football coach’s avatar in this silly exercise is in no way a shot at his manhood. In fact, if I hadn’t qualified the selection, I would actually consider being compared to Eliza a great compliment.
But, as the middle Schyuler sister spots her future husband for the first time at The Winter’s Ball, she tells her older sister Angelica that she is helpless looking into Alexander’s eyes. And given how absolutely ill-prepared Jim Harbaugh has been in facing Ohio State during his first five seasons at TTUN, I think it is fair to say that he is “helpless” as well.
So, how did I do? Do you have any other OSU-to-”Hamilton” comparisons in mind? If so, drop them in the comments below.