Thanks in part to Clemson, Atlanta (Ga.) Marist School safety Kyle Hamilton saw his recruitment explode last month.
Before Clemson extended a scholarship offer on Feb. 18, Hamilton’s offer sheet was highlighted by the likes of Louisville, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Duke, Northwestern, NC State and Georgia Tech.
Now, Hamilton holds offers from many of the nation’s premier programs, including Georgia, Ohio State, Stanford, Notre Dame, Florida State, Michigan, Auburn, LSU and Tennessee.
“My blowup actually started with Clemson,” Hamilton said at The Opening Atlanta regional camp last Sunday. “So, that actually means a lot. They took a chance, and I guess it inclined a whole bunch of other schools to do it.
“But I mean it’s a good process to enjoy. A lot of kids would love to be in the position I’m in, so I just have to take advantage of it.”
Hamilton (6-3, 188) took the next step in his recruiting process when he narrowed down his options earlier this month. On March 11, he announced seven finalists: Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Northwestern and Duke in no particular order.
After a crazy few weeks that brought a flood of offers, Hamilton said things have been a little more laid back since he cut down his list of college suitors.
“After I’ve done that (the final seven), it’s kind of slow down,” he said. “But it’s good to narrow things down to what I really want, and it’s not as hectic. I’m really just trying to get back to some of these schools so I can get a for sure idea of what I want to do.”
Hamilton has recently made trips to Duke, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame and Ohio State. He is scheduled to visit Northwestern on April 7 and Michigan on April 14, and he will get a second look at Georgia when he attends its spring game on April 21. He also hopes to fit in another visit to Clemson.
There is no set date for Hamilton’s decision as of yet, though he wants to have his recruitment wrapped up sooner than later.
“I don’t have a specific date or month or anything, but I want to make it before my senior season starts so I can just focus on the season,” he said.
In the meantime, Hamilton is continuing to develop his relationship with Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
“I’ve been hearing from coach Conn, coach Venables a lot,” he said. “They keep in touch. We go back and forth, so we’re building a good relationship.”
Hamilton’s visit to Clemson for its junior day on March 3 put the Tigers in a good position with him. In fact, it’s a big reason they’re a finalist.
“I really enjoyed my visit there,” he said. “It was only junior day, so I didn’t get too close and personal with the coaches, but hopefully I can get back up there for a more personal day.
“But it just seemed like a great environment. They’re going to compete for a championship every year. I know they take it serious up there, but it seemed more laid-back, and the players have a lot of fun and everybody enjoys each other.”
As a junior in 2017, Hamilton recorded 60 tackles, eight interceptions and six pass breakups.
Offensively, he had 507 yards and seven touchdowns receiving for a Marist team that finished 14-1 and made it to the state title game.