After seven rounds of the 2010 NFL draft without Ryan Hamilton's name being called, the Eagles made an effort to bring the Vanderbilt safety back home to Philadelphia. But Hamilton had already committed to the New Orleans Saints. Well, just over a month later, Hamilton and the Eagles have joined forces after all.
Released by the Saints earlier this week, Hamilton, a native of Wycombe, PA, who attended high school at Council Rock North High School, signed with his hometown team this morning and participated in his first practice as an Eagle.
"It was good," he said of the first day. "I just got here yesterday so I'm just trying to pick everything up as quickly as I can and try to catch up to all the guys that have been here for a little while, but so far so good. It's great here."
Hamilton said he was cut loose by the Saints because "they had to bring in a few guys to fill in for some injuries on offense." There were already six other safeties on the Saints' roster and, being an undrafted rookie, Hamilton was the low man on the totem pole.
So the Eagles brought Hamilton in for a tryout on Wednesday and agreed on a contract later that day. Though he's disappointed he didn't really have a chance in New Orleans, the turn of events that have landed him back in Philly are welcome to Hamilton.
"My agent was back home talking to teams and luckily the Eagles happened to be one of those teams on the other end of the line," he said. "It's exciting to be back in my hometown, so I don't want to disappoint anyone here or myself. Playing for the Eagles would be a dream come true so I'm going to try to make it happen."\
Hamilton, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, was a defensive co-captain his senior year at Vanderbilt, but he suffered a season-ending chest injury during the second game of the season. Over his collegiate career, Hamilton amassed 36 starts, 222 tackles and five interceptions. He describes himself as a cerebral player who uses his mind to get the most out of his body.
"I've always taken a lot of pride in being a good student of the game, so I expect to catch up pretty quick," Hamilton said. "I always try to be the smartest player on the field, that way I can help myself and help my teammates out. I'm just going to give everything I got every play and do whatever I can for the team really."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 7:34 p.m., May 27