Tight end goes out of his way for offer

Tim May

While killing time before the kickoff of Ohio State’s game with Indiana on Saturday, just for kicks, Google the name “Cormontae.”

If only “Cormontae Hamilton” comes up, do not adjust your settings. His mother planned it that way.

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“She always wanted our names to be different from others,” said Hamilton, whose older sister is named Cornaja and younger sister is Corlecia. “So that’s the name she came up with. … And I think that’s a name no one else has, at least in the United States.”

Label that a success.

Now search for the meaning of “drive.” That’s what Hamilton showed in June. With the aim of impressing Ohio State coaches enough to offer him a scholarship, the tight end from Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tennessee — located on Elvis Presley Boulevard, by the way — let Greyhound Bus Lines do the driving as he traveled to Columbus to take part in one of the Buckeyes’ summer skill camps.

“I think I left around 7 that morning, we went through Jackson, Tennessee. We stopped in Nashville and changed buses, then went through Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Louisville before stopping to change buses again in Cincinnati, then went on to Columbus,” Hamilton said.

He did so knowing he had banged up a shoulder that week during a camp at Alabama and that it might not let him show everything he could do in a workout. But Ohio State offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson encouraged him to show up anyway.

“I arrived up there early in the evening, I checked in at a hotel, got in a workout, went in the pool, took a shower, woke up the next morning, felt great, and I headed to Ohio State early and was talking with the coaches before the camp started,” Hamilton said.

He put in an impressive workout. His shoulder gave him few problems.

“I just had the confidence I was going to do good, and I did,” Hamilton said.

He also gained a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.

“Then after the camp, as coach (Urban) Meyer was about to talk to the group, I had to get a shower because that night I had to get back on the bus to head back to Memphis,” Hamilton said.

But he had the offer in hand, and soon committed to the Buckeyes’ 2019 recruiting class.

“I was just proud of myself of the accomplishment I’d made, the sacrifices I’d gone through to get it,” Hamilton said.

Oh, and the cost of the bus ticket was just over $200 round trip.

“It was well worth it,” Hamilton said.

Rodney Saulsberry, his coach at Whitehaven, chuckled about the story, but it was in admiration.

“It’s a great example of what I mean when I say he is driven,” Saulsberry said of the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Hamilton. “He’s driven to improve, driven to be the best he can be, driven to be the best teammate he can be, the best leader he can, to do all it takes to be a winner.”

Except this time he got on a bus.

“In this age of entitlement, there aren’t many kids who would do something like that,” Saulsberry said. “You know, most kids don’t even know Greyhound still exists. So that’s another great testament to the drive he has to find a way.”


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