39 - Ronnie Hamlin
Ronnie Hamlin
Height: 6-2
Weight: 235
Year: Sr.
Hometown: Lacey, Wash.
High School: Timberline HS '09
Position: LB
Experience: 3L*

*** Buchanan Award Candidate (12th in voting in ’13) ***
*** Honors Candidate ***
*** Academic Honors Candidate ***

Career: Nearing the school record with a current career total of 361 tackles in 40 games, Hamlin returns for the 2014 season after being given a sixth year by the NCAA to replace two other seasons wiped out because of injuries. After redshirting the 2009 season because of a bum knee, it also kept him from playing during Eastern’s national championship season in 2010. He enters the season with 37 career starts – tops on the team. Hamlin is third in school history with 361 tackles, and the only players ahead of him are Greg Belzer (399 from 1997-00) and J.C. Sherritt (432 from 2007-10). Hamlin is just 71 tackles from Sherritt, who is third in Big Sky history and ranks 15th in FCS history. Hamlin has had 17 performances with at least 10 tackles in his career. Most importantly, he has helped lead the Eagles to a 29-11 record overall and 20-4 Big Sky Conference mark with a pair of league titles and two appearances in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. He originally hurt his left knee on Sept. 2, 2009 – just three days before EWU began its season. He had surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament on Oct. 21, but then tore the ACL again during spring practice on April 24, 2010.  He had surgery on June 17, then didn’t hit the practice field again until spring of 2011. Hamlin’s long hair has been a trademark of his, and a friendly wager between teammates lasted three years. During the 2010 season, Hamlin and safety Jeff Minnerly challenged each other to see who could go the longest without cutting their hair. Linebacker Zach Johnson was also in on the wager, but dropped out after EWU won the NCAA Division I title. Minnerly eventually cut his hair on Dec. 17, 2012 – just two days after his career and the 2012 season concluded – and donated the hair to Locks of Love.

2014: Listed as the starter at strong-side inside linebacker on the preseason depth chart. He is on the Watch List for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in FCS (he was 12th in the voting in 2013). He is one of 38 linebackers in FCS on the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Watch List. Was given second team preseason All-America honors from The Sports Network. He was one six Eagles selected to the preseason All-Big Sky Conference team as selected by a panel of the league’s media representatives. Beyond Sports Network selected him to its preseason All-Big Sky Conference team.

2013: He finished 12th in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award presented by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in FCS. He earned second team All-America (College Sports Madness) accolades and second team All-Big Sky honors. Hamlin was among the 43 winners selected on the 16th annual NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team. He also earned  Big Sky Conference All-Academic honors for the third time. Started all 15 Eagle games at strong-side inside linebacker and as an Eagle co-captain. He finished with 140 tackles to rank as the fourth-most in school history. His average of 9.33 tackles per game ranked 36th in FCS and eighth in the league. His momentum-changing 77-yard return for a touchdown against North Dakota (10/12/13) was the 10th-longest in school history. With UND driving for a potential game-tying score late in the third quarter, he leaped high to snag the third interception of his career, ran over one would-be tackler, then returned it down the sideline for his first pick-six as an Eagle. He added five tackles against UND to earn team defensive player of the week honors. He also had a diving interception against Idaho State (11/2/13) to squelch an ISU drive and lead to an EWU TD and 45-27 lead. Hamlin had 10 tackles or more in eight games in 2013, including the last five games of the season. He injured his shoulder in the first half against Jacksonville State on (12/14/13) and wasn’t expected back, but started the second half and finished with the second-most tackles in his career with 15. Early in the year he had 14 tackles against Toledo (9/14/13) to earn team defensive player of the week honors. Prior to the season, The Sports Network selected Hamlin to its Buck Buchanan Award Watch List and he earned various preseason All-America and All-Big Sky accolades. He ranked sixth on the preseason FCS linebacker rankings as selected by Josh Buchanan at philsteele.com.

2012: Hamlin earned All-America honors from Phil Steele Publications (fourth team) and was a first team All-Big Sky Conference selection. He was also named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team after starting all 14 games for the Eagles. In addition, he was chosen as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. He had 136 tackles in 2012 to rank fifth in school history, and his average of 9.71 per game ranked 31st in FCS and fourth in the Big Sky. His 11 1/2 tackles for loss ranked 13th in the league. Hamlin had four performances of at least 11 tackles in 2012, including 15 in Eastern’s 27-24 win at Big Sky co-champion Montana State (10/13/12). He also had a key interception in that game to earn ROOT Sports Defensive Player of the Week as selected by the Big Sky, national FCS recognition as one of four College Sporting News National All Stars and team defensive player of the week honors. His diving interception in the third quarter was the first of his career and led to a field goal that cut Montana State’s lead to 10-6. He had six tackles after Eastern took a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter, including one for a loss of one yard. In fact, three of his tackles in the quarter – all solos – were for a collective net of one yard. He also had a tackle for loss of six yards in the third quarter. The Eagles held MSU to 375 yards of offense, including just 70 rushing. Hamlin had 14 tackles versus Montana (9/29/12), coming two from his career high of 16 set in 2011 versus Cal Poly. With the Eagle offense scoring on drives on its final two possessions, and EWU recovering an onside kick, Montana had the ball for just eight plays in the final 8:26 as Eastern prevailed 32-26 over the 21st-ranked Grizzlies. Earlier in 2012, Hamlin was honored by the Big Sky as ROOT Sports Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with eight tackles and a pass broken up in a season-opening 20-3 victory over Idaho (8/30/12). Eastern held Idaho to a long rush of seven yards, forced Idaho to punt nine times and held the Vandals to a 2-of-15 performance on third down. Eastern’s defense allowed just 237 yards, with 66 of that coming through the air on a defensive breakdown by EWU in the first quarter. It was the fewest points allowed by the Eagles since beating Idaho State 38-3 in the 2009 season and Northern Colorado 16-0 two weeks earlier that year. He had two passes broken up and 10 tackles against Wagner (12/1/12) in the FCS Playoffs.

2011: Named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. He started eight games, and made his starting debut against Montana (9/17/11) after proving himself in EWU’s first two games. Hamlin had a team-leading eight tackles in his collegiate debut versus Washington (9/3/11), four against South Dakota (9/10/11) and seven against the Grizzlies. After recording double-figure tackle performances with 11 against Weber State (10/1/11) and 10 against Northern Arizona (10/8/11), he had a season-high 16 against Cal Poly (11/12/11) in EWU’s second-to-last game of the season. He also broke-up passes versus WSU and NAU, and was the team’s special teams player of the week versus the Wildcats. After recovering from a knee injury that kept him from playing in the 2010 season, a hamstring injury kept him out of all but the first day of spring practices.

2010: Was unable to play because of a knee injury.

2009: Redshirted.

HS: Graduated from Timberline HS in 2009. Selected by Associated Press as a 3A All-State first team selection as a defensive back. He earned the same honor from the Tacoma News Tribune and was named by the Seattle Times as a “White Chip” selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. The TNT and The Olympian also honored him on their All-Area squads, with the Olympian also selecting him as its player of the year. In addition, he was a member of Ron Siegel’s 31-member preseason All-State squad. He was the Olympic Western League MVP after finishing with 156 tackles and 10 interceptions. He also finished with 16 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, six passes broken up and a sack. He also had 1,778 all-purpose yards, including 1,018 yards and eight touchdowns on 63 receptions as a receiver. He also had 19 punt returns for 405 yards and rushed for another 150. He helped lead the Blazers to the State 3A Playoffs as they finished 8-3. As a junior, he earned first team All-Western Cascade Conference honors as a defensive back. He caught 31 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns, and on defense he had 89 total tackles (10 for loss) with six interceptions and six passes broken up. Timberline finished the 2007 season with a 4-6 record. Had a 3.9 grade point average in high school. His new Eagle teammate Asan Neil-Evergin (’14) also attended Timberline.

Personal: Technology major with a 3.56 grade point average at Eastern. Born 4/15/90 in Fort Riley, Kan.

Year

GP

TT

Hi

S

TL-Yds

FF-FR

PBU

I-Yds

2011

11

85

16

0

5-4

0-1

2

0-0

2012

14

136

15

0.5

13-28

2-1

4

2-9

2013

15

140

15

2

8-16

2-1

0

1-77t

Totals

40

361

16

2.5

26-48

4-3

6

3-86


Top Tackling Performances
16 – Cal Poly – 11/12/11
15 – Jacksonville St. - 12/14/13
15 – Montana State – 10/13/12
14 – Portland State – 11/23/13
14 – Toledo – 9/14/13
14 – Montana – 9/29/12
13 – South Dakota State – 12/7/13
13 – Southern Utah – 12/27/12
11 – Towson – 12/21/13
11 – Weber State – 9/22/12
11 – Weber State – 10/1/11
10 – Six occasions, including three in 2013

 

HONORS WON IN 2013

12th in Voting for the Buck Buchanan Award Given to Top Def. Player in FCS
Second Team All-America (College Sports Madness)
Second Team All-Big Sky Conference
FCS Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team
Big Sky Conference All-Academic (technology major)
EWU Athletics Scholar-Athlete for Month of November



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