Report: Kyle Hamilton 'Trending Toward' Playing for ND Again If School Makes CFP

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2021

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton watches during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Navy in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Notre Dame could get its star safety back if it makes the College Football Playoff.

Pete Sampson of The Athletic reported Kyle Hamilton is "trending toward playing for the Irish again" if they do make the four-team field. He has not played since he suffered a knee injury during an Oct. 23 victory over the USC Trojans.

"Six weeks would take him through the end of the regular season," former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly told reporters on Nov. 15 when estimating a timeframe. "And then we have to see where we are with College Football Playoffs, bowl games, things like that."

This has been quite the week for the Fighting Irish. Kelly left for LSU, and Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported the program is expected to name defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman as its new head coach.

Hamilton's potential return could be a selling point for Notre Dame when the CFP committee considers its qualifications. It is a much better defensive team when he is on the field.

Still, the Fighting Irish need some help at No. 6 in the current rankings with no games remaining.

They should be rooting for some combination of Georgia defeating Alabama, Houston beating Cincinnati, Baylor handling Oklahoma State and Iowa upsetting Michigan. That should put them back into the picture even without any games remaining.

They would also have to overcome the fact that they have zero victories over teams ranked in the current CFP Top 25. That could hurt them if the committee reconsiders where they stand in relation to some two-loss teams such as Iowa if it beats the Wolverines, Baylor if it defeats the Cowboys or even Ohio State.

If everything broke right for Notre Dame, Hamilton would give it a much better chance in the playoff.

He checks in at No. 10 on the latest 2022 NFL draft big board from B/R's Scouting Department.