Every day until fall camp begins for Ohio State, we will profile a different Buckeye football player. Today that player is redshirt sophomore defensive end Cormontae Hamilton. Yesterday it was defensive tackle Jerron Cage. You can find all of the daily Scoop Profiles right here.
No. 83 | Defensive End | 6-2 265 | Redshirt Sophomore | Whitehaven High School | Memphis, Tennessee
How’d He Get Here
You could say that Cormontae Hamilton got to Ohio State via a Greyhound bus. Prior to his senior season, the Memphis native Hamilton took trips in June to camp at Tennessee, Louisville, and Alabama, earning offers as a tight end at each stop. Unable to get a ride to Columbus for OSU’s old Friday Night Lights camp, Hamilton bought a Greyhound ticket and took the bus to Ohio State, where he worked out and and earned yet another offer. Five weeks later he committed to Ohio State. He was the No. 25 tight end in the 2019 recruiting class and the No. 584 player in the nation.
Cormontae Hamilton came to Ohio State as a tight end. He was on the shorter side for the position, but earned offers by being athletic and showing the ability to be a downfield threat. Hamilton didn’t play as a true freshman and following his freshman season, he was moved to the defensive line. When head coach Ryan Day spoke about Hamilton’s move, he said they weren’t sure whether he’d end up at defensive tackle or defensive end. He started out at defensive tackle but eventually found a home at defensive end. Hamilton played in five of Ohio State’s eight games last year, seeing snaps on defense in each of the final four games. He finished with three tackles last year, including tackles for loss against Michigan State and Northwestern.
What to Like
Position moves are rarely ideal, but they are done with the player’s blessing. Cormontae Hamilton saw a move to the defensive line as a quicker path to the field. He performed well in the spring and is still learning and mastering the proper techniques. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson likes his athleticism. If Hamilton is fast enough and quick enough to get down the seam as a tight end, he should be able to get around a tackle or by a guard on the interior.
What’s the Ceiling This Year?
Reaching a ceiling isn’t necessarily going to guarantee playing time for Cormontae Hamilton. The Buckeyes are very deep at defensive end, bringing back four of their top five from last year. They also added in five-star freshmen Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau. Hamilton is one of nine scholarship defensive ends on the roster, and if he slides inside to defensive tackle, he’d be one of 10 at that spot. Larry Johnson has no problem rotating his players, but it’s going to be a tall order for Hamilton to make it into a meaningful rotation this year simply based on the returning pass rushers the Buckeyes have at the ready.
Ohio State could be losing three defensive ends and four defensive tackles after this season, so where Cormontae Hamilton plays this year may not be where he is next year. Larry Johnson likes sliding defensive ends inside to the three technique spot in order to boost the Buckeyes’ pass rush. Could that be in Hamilton’s future? There hasn’t really been any talk of late about moving him inside, but there is no doubt he’ll go where the need is greater. And when he does get on the field, don’t be surprised if you see some surprising athleticism that maybe you weren’t expecting.