[This is the 12th installment in our annual series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the previous season’s freshman class and the impact they had as rookies, as well as the impact they could have during the upcoming season. Up next is tight end Cormontae Hamilton.]
Cormontae Hamilton spent the summer of 2018 traveling from school camp to school camp looking to earn scholarship offers from some of the nation’s best programs.
In June, the 3-star Tennessee prospect camped at Louisville, Tennessee, and Alabama — earning offers from each school he visited.
He also visited Ohio State’s Friday Night Light camps, getting there via a Greyhound bus. After showing what he could do, the Buckeyes also offered the 6-foot-2, 263-pound tight end.
Hamilton ended up as the No. 25 tight end in the 2019 recruiting class and the No. 584 player overall.
Despite being a shorter tight end, he presented the Buckeyes with a number of possibilities.
“Cormantae Hamilton, tight end/off the ball, fullback, H-back. Can do a lot of things for us,” said head coach Ryan Day on signing day. “Insert, block at the point of attack, athletic at catching the ball.”
He caught 18 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns as a senior.
Hamilton ended up dealing with some injuries during fall camp. This kept him at the bottom of a deep group of tight ends. He began the season as the fifth man, behind Luke Farrell, Rashod Berry, Jeremy Ruckert, and Jake Hausmann, who all played a considerable number of snaps.
Hamilton never ended up seeing any action last season and redshirted.
So Now What For Cormontae Hamilton
Ohio State returns Farrell, Ruckert, and Hausmann who all played regularly last season. Farrell caught seven passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Ruckert led all tight ends with 14 catches for 142 yards and four touchdowns. Hausmann, meanwhile, finished with two receptions for 13 yards and a touchdown.
So while Farrell and Ruckert played in over 400 snaps last season and Hausmann saw action in over 200 snaps, there weren’t necessarily a lot of passes being thrown their way. And this is with two of them on the field together in a large number of snaps.
As such, expecting Cormontae Hamilton to get out on the field this season and rake in 20 catches for 300 yards is probably out of line. The first step for all new tight ends is generally being the second guy in to help block. Even a guy like Jeremy Ruckert, who was a receiver in high school, was used primarily as a blocker in 2018 as a freshman.
The Buckeyes have also signed a tight end in the 2020 class. Cincinnati Elder’s Joe Royer committed to Ohio State last July and is ranked the No. 14 tight end in the nation. Royer won’t enroll until the summer, so Hamilton will have a full spring to continue to distance himself from the rookie.