Bob Hamelin, Irvine High School’s All-County tackle, has all the markings of a major college football recruit.
As a 6-foot 1-inch, 225-pounder, he has speed, size and intelligence (a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale).
But until recently, not a single major college recruiter had offered Hamelin a scholarship. One reason, Hamelin said, is that he also wants to play college baseball; many coaches shy away from two-sport athletes.
But Hamelin’s fortunes changed when he was discovered at the movies by Lou Holtz, Notre Dame coach.
Holtz, visiting Capistrano Valley High School last month to review films of Cougars quarterback Scott Stark, noticed something in the Capistrano Valley-Irvine game film.
Namely, Bob Hamelin.
Capistrano Valley won, 36-7, but Hamelin stood out, intercepting a Stark shovel pass--a trick play where Stark casually flips the ball to a running back from the shotgun-passing formation--and generally wreaking havoc in the Cougar backfield.
That kind of play earned Hamelin honors such as the South Coast League’s defensive player of the year and first-team lineman on the Times’ All-County team.
“It’s almost unbelievable,” said Terry Henigan, Irvine coach. “I haven’t been able to convince anyone that Bob is a major college player, and then Notre Dame discovers him on a game film.”
The kicker, however, is that Hamelin says he will probably turn down Notre Dame. The first day athletes can sign a national letter of intent is Wednesday, Feb. 12.
This is not to say that Hamelin, 18, isn’t honored and impressed by it all--he is. Hamelin spent last weekend in South Bend, Ind., visiting the Notre Dame campus and will visit the University of Utah this weekend.
Although the Irish coaches have suggested that Hamelin might be able to play baseball after his freshman football season, Hamelin thinks Notre Dame isn’t the safest route to major league baseball.
“I’m still weighing that right now, but it’s a high-intensity football program there and if you want to play football you’d probably have to devote all of your time to that,” Hamelin said.
Hamelin said he would serve his interests better by playing baseball on the West Coast, where he could hone his skills year round.
But whatever he decides, it still is nice to get noticed in the movies.