Michael Hamlin was surrounded by family and friends at his Pee Dee home expecting to get a phone call at any minute when the third round of the NFL Draft began on Sunday at 10 am. But the phone didn't ring as the third and fourth rounds came to a close. Hamlin would stop watching the draft coverage within an hour and went to his room alone to take a nap and read the Bible. Finally, in the 5th round with the 166th pick, the phone call came from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Lamar High School has now produced three players drafted by the NFL. Hamlin joins Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham and retired Pro Bowler Levon Kirkland. 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.
Clemson players selected in 2009 NFL Draft
4th: Dorrell Scott - Saint Louis
5th: Chris Clemmons - Miami
5th: Michael Hamlin - Dallas
6th: James Davis - Cleveland