After spending three years in the Purdue University football program, Tyler Hamilton transferred to Eastern Illinois. He also made a position change, switching from defensive back to wide receiver.
“Having my chance to get my opportunity for more playing time (is why I transferred),” Hamilton told Prairie State Pigskin. “I also built a great connection with the guys and coaches here. It’s a great place to be and it’s not that far from Purdue. Eastern was the best choice for me academically and on the field.”
Hamilton scored a touchdown on his first carry of the season, taking a jet sweep and using his speed to get into the end zone against Indiana State Aug. 28. He also had a 15-yard gain on a catch and run play.
Get to know Tyler Hamilton in our Prairie State Pigskin Moving the Chains Q&A.
Hometown: Hilton Head, S.C.
High School: Hilton Head
How did you feel about being switched from defensive back to wide receiver?
I definitely felt that’s where I needed to be. Being on the offensive side of the ball is something that I’ve been suitable at since I’ve been playing it the first couple of years at PurdueT and all through high school. I played defensive back my last year at Purdue. That’s helped me as an offensive player by knowing a lot more about defenses and strategizing against that. It definitely helped me in the long run.
What can people expect to see from Eastern’s offense that they may not have seen in the spring season?
You’re going to see a lot more driving on the ball (as receivers). A lot more speed and tempo. We’re going to throw the ball more. We’re playing more receivers and the offense is counting on us to make plays.
What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made?
My first pair of cleats. I bought my first pair in high school as a freshman. Knowing that I had the money to do that myself and didn’t have to rely on my parents felt good.
What’s the worst purchase you’ve ever made?
Probably buying things like Jolly Ranchers and a bunch of other candy that I didn’t need at the end of the day. Buying fast food when I know I didn’t need to eat that.
Who’s the neatest player on the team? Who are the guys that are tidy and clean?
I’d probably say (fellow receiver) Demetrius Garrett or me. I’m a pretty neat person; I like my things organized.
Who’s the messiest player on the team?
I probably have to say Elk (offensive lineman Elkhanan Tanelus). He’s messy in the locker room, but not a messy person overall. It’s probably him or (center) Ben Solomon.
What’s a phone app you would recommend?
Definitely Instagram. I’m on it almost every day, not just seeing what other people are posting (socially) but seeing guys who have made it to the NFL and what their motivations are.
I watch a lot of food things on Instagram too. Seeing how things are made.
So, what’s the best meal you can make?
Some chicken Alfredo. I’ve tried different ways of making it with different spices in there. I’ve done a lot of juicy chicken breasts. I’ve found a lot of alternative sides for it. Things like broccoli, green beans, macaroni and cheese.
Would you put yourself up as the best cook on the team?
I’d definitely put myself up there, but if I had to say the best cook, it would probably be . . . yeah, I’d put myself as the best cook.
How would your family describe you?
Very humble. Not humble is the way of selfish, but humble in the way that I can be hard on myself and knowing how to talk to people. I learned how to be polite from my parents. Being taught the right things and how to do them.
Outside of football is there an EIU sports program that you follow more than the others?
Women’s soccer. They started (about the same time that football did this semester). I see the players coming across (campus) and ask them who they’re playing and wish them good luck and things like that. I also follow both basketball teams (men and women). I really try to keep up with all of them though. But, it’s tough because we’re all busy with our sports so it’s hard to get to see the other teams (compete).
When it comes to studying, where do you prefer to study?
In my own house, usually in my room or in the living room area. Somewhere that it’s more quiet. Sometimes I go to the Booth Library, put on my headphones and listen to a bit of music and study like that.