Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Michael Hamlin
Michael Hamlin (FS)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 214
College: Clemson
Conference: ACC
Hometown: Lamar, SC
High School: Lamar
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Dallas Cowboys
Round: 5
Pick (Overall): 30 (166)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The Cowboys add a rangy safety prospect with hard-hitting ability. Hamlin lacks elite speed, but he has the instincts and awareness to develop into a solid player in spite of his deficiencies.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Hamlin showed his leadership skills in 2008, speaking up and imploring his teammates to play up to their ability after the team struggled and underwent a midseason coaching change. The young players responded, with Clemson winning four of its final six games to earn a spot in the 2009 Gator Bowl.


Hamlin and his two brothers all followed in their father's footsteps and became defensive backs. While Michael went on to star at Clemson, his siblings, Markee and Marquais, play for South Carolina State. The two teams played each other in 2008, marking the first time since 1981 that brothers competed vs. each other in a Clemson game (Mark Richardson of Clemson and his brother, Jon, who attended North Carolina, played vs. each other at Chapel Hill that year).


The Tigers' defensive captain started 43 games for Clemson, the most by a defensive back in school history. His 14 interceptions rank third in school annals and his 243 yards gained on interception returns rank second. He also ranks second in school history with 18 takeaways (four forced fumbles, 14 pass thefts).


At Lamar High School, Hamlin was a finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina. Rated the 11th-best safety in the nation by Tom Lemming, he was named the state's Defensive Player of the Year by High School Sports Report. He added All-State honors as a junior and senior and was a three-time All-Region selection, capturing Region Player of the Year honors in each of his final two campaigns.


Hamlin registered 23 career interceptions, including a team-high four as a senior. He threw three passes as a senior and two were touchdowns, including one to his brother in the state title game. He had 20 catches for 290 yards and four scores, and gained 148 punt return yards and 179 kickoff return yards. He added All-Region accolades in both baseball and basketball, as Lamar's baseball squad won the state championship as a junior.


Hamlin enrolled at Clemson in 2004, participating on the scout team. He shared "Cat" (strong safety duties) with C.J. Gaddis in 2005, as the 190-pound defensive back started the final seven games. On 492 defensive plays, he recorded 55 tackles (30 solos), broke up three passes and intercepted two others as the first freshman to start in the Tigers secondary since Justin Miller in 2002.


As a sophomore, Hamlin missed three games after breaking a bone in his left foot vs. Boston College. He still managed to get on the field for 576 plays in 10 starts. He was in on 64 tackles (47 solos), including five stops for loss. He picked off two passes, returning one 74 yards and knocked down three other throws while recovering a pair of fumbles.


Hamlin received All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition in 2007. He started all 13 games for the first time in his career, producing 97 tackles (73 solos), the fifth-highest total among league defensive backs that year. Three of his stops were for losses, as he also picked off four passes and deflected six others. Three of his four fumble recoveries led to Clemson scoring drives. He also intercepted a two-point conversion attempt and returned it 100 yards vs. North Carolina State for the first defensive score off an opponent's extra point in school history.


Hamlin was an All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated and an All-ACC first-team choice as a senior. He ranked eighth in the nation with six interceptions and was second in the conference with a total of 16 passes defended (10 breakups, six interceptions). He also placed second on the team with a career-high 110 tackles (74 solos), as he served as the squad's first two-time team captain since the 2001 campaign.


High School

Attended Lamar (S.C.) High School, playing football for head coach J.R. Boyd...Finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina...Rated the 11th-best safety in the nation by Tom Lemming, he was named the state's Defensive Player of the Year by High School Sports Report... Added All-State honors as a junior and senior and was a three-time All-Region selection, capturing Region Player of the Year honors in each of his final two campaigns...Recorded 23 career interceptions, including a team-high four as a senior...Threw three passes as a senior and two were touchdowns, including one to his brother in the state title game... Added 20 catches for 290 yards and four scores, and had 148 punt return yards and 179 kickoff return yards...Earned All-Region accolades in baseball and basketball, as Lamar's baseball squad won the state championship as a junior.


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Analysis

Positives: Rangy player with the frame to add an additional 10-15 pounds of mass. ... Quick to come up in run support. ... Willing to take on blocks to get to the action. ... Reliable tackler in the open field who flashes hitting ability. ... Wrap-up tackler who looks to punch or rip the ball out to create a turnover. ... Instinctive in coverage. Reads the quarterback's eyes and gets a good break on the ball due to his feel for the game. ... Natural hands for the interception. ... Competes for the ball and can time his leap to catch it at its highest point. ... Good vision and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. ... Cerebral player who lines up the Clemson defensive backfield and was voted a permanent team captain as a junior.


Negatives: Questionable straight-line speed. ... Much better with his eyes pointed toward the quarterback, as he lacks the deep speed most teams want as the deep safety. ... Reliable open-field tackler, but lacks bulk and explosive hitting ability to be an intimidator over the middle. ... Durability red flags: broke both feet in his career, missing three games in 2006 after breaking one against Boston College and undergoing postseason surgery after the 2007 season with a stress fracture in the other.


Injury Report

2006: Suffered a fifth metatarsal bone fracture in his left foot during fourth quarter action vs. Boston College (9/09), missing the next three games vs. Florida State (9/16), North Carolina (9/23) and Louisiana Tech (9/30).


2007: Left the Chick-fil-A Bowl with an undisclosed injury.


2009: Suffered a hamstring pull working out nine days prior to Pro Day (3/24).


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