2004 Prospect Profile: Mike Hamlin

The Gamecocks will start the 2004 season loaded at Safety with five seniors vying for two starting spots. Rod Wilson, Jamacia Jackson, Andre Gause, Jermaine Harris, and Corey Peoples give Carolina depth, talent, and senior leadership the likes of which fans of the Garnet and Black have rarely if ever seen at one position over the years. Four of the five have already proven themselves to be fearless defenders in big games this season. So what's the problem you might ask? ...

The problem is that the Safety position, as it stands now, is very top heavy having 5 JRs, 1 SO (Davis), and only 1 FR (Wells). Freshmen Fred Bennett could make a move to the position as could fellow 2003 signee Corey Boyd. At the same time, both may be needed at other areas next fall. Potentially, the Gamecocks could start out the 2005 season with only 2 safeties with Div 1 experience. In order to dampen the blow of loosing 5 SRs Carolina will need to sign one or more quality safeties this season.

One of the top difference makers at the position this year is three star Mike Hamlin (6'2" 190 4.6) of Lamar. Last season's Class A Player of the Year has already picked off 26 passes during his career. As a Junior Hamlin made 96 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, and intercepted 10 passes from his safety position. Hamlin isn't just a safety though. He also racked up over 400 yards as a wide receiver and averaged 18.1 yards per punt return. He is a big hitter that seems to thrive on big games. In last year's playoffs, he returned an interception 40 yards for a TD at the end of the third quarter to break a close game open and lead the Silver Foxes to victory. Performances like that make it easy to see why Hamlin will be a top priority for the Gamecock coaches come the first Wednesday in February.

Hamlin currently boasts offers from Carolina, Clemson and Vanderbilt. Although he names Clemson and Carolina as co-leaders, teams such as Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Wake Forest, and North Carolina are also in the running for his services.

Does Hamlin have a favorite? He grew up a Clemson fan but he says South Carolina is recruiting him the hardest right now. How does Hamlin feel about the Gamecocks who are recruiting Hamlin as both a receiver and a defensive back?

"I prefer to play defense. South Carolina is close to home. They have pretty cool coaches."

The "X Factor" could be Clemson's recruitment of Hamlin's friend, athlete Phillip Morris. Morris currently lists Clemson and UT as his favorites with USC and a host of others trailing. You still have to like the Gamecock's chances since he has camped exclusively with the Gamecocks for the last two summers.

Hamlin currently has a core GPA of over 3.0 which is quite an accomplishment for a young man that excels in three varsity sports. He bats .250 for the Lamar baseball team and was named All-State in basketball. The future sports management major wouldn't mind being a multi-sport star at the next level. Either way, those wearing the Garnet and Black would love to have a player of Hamlin's caliber on the field at Williams Brice.

We'll keep you updated on this prospect as recruiting season goes forward.

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