Title: Kyle Hamilton could be the best football player in the NFL draft, but he’s not overly concerned with when he’ll hear his name called

Description: Yahoo Sports’ NFL Draft Analyst Eric Edholm visits with the former Notre Dame safety. Considered by many as a can’t miss star, why is Hamilton not being considered as the first overall selection? How has his father, former NBA draft pick Derrick Hamilton, helped Kyle understand the process? Did his diverse ethnic background help prepare him for the next step of his career path? And with the NFL Draft in sin city, what does Kyle like most about spending time in Las Vegas? Kyle Hamilton appeared on Yahoo Sports thanks to Sleep Number. Sleep Number is the official Sleep + Wellness Partner of the NFL. More NFL players sleep on a Sleep Number 360 than any other bed as part of the most comprehensive, league-wide sleep initiative in professional sports. Transitioning to the NFL means taking training and recovery to the next level. One of the easiest and most effective ways for these new professional athletes to optimize their recovery and help them perform at their best on the field is through consistent, high-quality sleep each night.

Video Transcript

ERIC EDHOLM: Well, we are pleased to be joined by Kyle Hamilton, safety at Notre Dame, one of the best NFL draft prospects this year. He is joining us on behalf of Sleep Number. We're going to get to that in just a little bit. But first, Kyle, welcome to draft week. Got to ask, where are your emotions right now as we head into round one on Thursday night?

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KYLE HAMILTON: Yeah, I mean, it's been a wild process. Obviously, this a lifelong dream for everybody in this position. But yeah, this process has been crazy. It's been long. It's been fun. It's been all over the place. But definitely thankful for it at the end of the day. And excited for Thursday.

ERIC EDHOLM: People may not realize, you were born on the island of Crete and you also spent some time living in Russia. I know your mother is from South Korea I believe. And I'm guessing you don't remember a lot of the times living overseas. But how do you think your life was different maybe being exposed to so many different cultures and not just growing up in the United States? Has that had an effect on you at all?

KYLE HAMILTON: Yeah, it's kind of funny. I joke about it sometimes. So my mom is Korean, my dad is Black, my mom is from South Korea. My dad is from Mobile, Alabama. I grew up in Atlanta. I was born in Greece. And then I went to school in Indiana. I kind of had-- I like to call myself the racial rainbow. I'm a chameleon and I can fit in with a lot of cultures. But I think it gives you a different perspective and opens your eyes a little bit to different cultures and being respectful of whether that be other beliefs, or religions, or foods, just whatever it may be.

ERIC EDHOLM: Now you have a little bit of experience with the draft. Your dad was drafted in a different sport, in the NBA. And I know that was years ago. But and he had to wait a little bit, round three. But even if it's a different sport, different era, has he talked about his experience in the draft? And is there maybe any parallel to what you're going through right now?


KYLE HAMILTON: Yeah. I mean, basketball is obviously different. It's a numbers game. But at the same time, he has always preached, it's back to square one at that point. It doesn't matter where you get drafted. And it's kind of the same thing on a smaller scale at high school. You could be a five star or whatever two star, and then it doesn't really matter what you get there. It's about how you perform. So I'm excited to make a new name for myself. I'm excited to earn some respect, and feel like I'm going to do that. So I'm ready to get it going.

ERIC EDHOLM: We've heard people say, Kyle Hamilton is the best player regardless of position in this draft. And yet, there's talk you may slip, maybe even out of the top 10. I guess, tell us what your thoughts are when you think about that scenario. Best player, maybe not a top 10 pick? I don't know, those two things don't seem to jive in my mind.

KYLE HAMILTON: Yeah, I mean, it all factors into preference and whether-- how much a team values positional value, all that stuff. But I've kind of tried to take a step back at the end of day these past few weeks, and just understand the most likely, knock on wood, going to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. And that's been the dream ever since I was five years old. And that's every football player's dream. So no matter where I go, if I go one, 11, or 31, no matter where it is, I'm just happy to get the opportunity. And then the real work starts.

ERIC EDHOLM: Now you've partnered with Sleep Number, which I'd love to hear about. I can only imagine during this sort of stressful pre-draft build up having a little relaxation and comfort is a pretty key thing as you've gone through this process.


KYLE HAMILTON: It's been life changing. And throughout training, the first few weeks, I didn't have a Sleep Number bed. I was in a hotel bed. And jet lag, all that stuff was kind of killing me. But then, I got the 360 smart bed with the temperature control. And then I set my bed really cold because I love sleeping in a meat locker. And then all of a sudden, jet lag is gone, I was getting my eight hours every night, very well rested in the morning. So it's been very helpful to me for sure. And I'm glad i partnered with them for sure.

ERIC EDHOLM: Yeah, I'm a cold sleeper as well. So I'm right there with you as well. Last question as we wrap up here. You're in Las Vegas for the draft. You've got to have a little fun I would imagine. What's the best thing in your mind about Vegas? And is there one thing you want to see or do before you skip town that has nothing to do with the NFL?

KYLE HAMILTON: I think the best thing about Vegas is if you're here more than 48 hours, you've been here too long. The very short and sweet, maybe not so sweet, weekend trip. But it forces you to do stuff, which I appreciate.

ERIC EDHOLM: All right. Let's hope you get drafted early. You can get on that flight and join your NFL team. Kyle Hamilton, the best safety in the 2022 NFL draft, best of luck to you this week. And thank you so much for joining us here today.

KYLE HAMILTON: Thank you, Eric. I appreciate you.