Eagle Linebacker Hamlin Granted Sixth Year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Eagle Linebacker Hamlin Granted Sixth Year

EWU standout linebacker Ronnie Hamlin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. (Image Courtesy: EWU Athletics) EWU standout linebacker Ronnie Hamlin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. (Image Courtesy: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

Ronnie Hamlin has made up for lost time, and now the Buck Buchanan Award candidate will get one more season to make it count.

Nearing the school record with a current career total of 361 tackles in 40 games (37 as a starter), the Eastern Washington University linebacker will return for the 2014 season after recently being given a sixth year by the NCAA to replace two other seasons wiped out because of injuries. He is a 2009 graduate of Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash., and earned second team All-America and All-Big Sky honors in 2013 for the Eagles.

Eastern announced its 2014 recruiting class a month ago, and one month from today (April 4) Hamlin and his teammates will begin spring practice. But Eastern head coachBeau Baldwin is as excited as ever in March to announce the addition of a player voted by his teammates as a co-captain in 2013.

“He might be the best recruit in the class – he’s a special player,” said a beaming Baldwin. “It’s great to have him back from a talent standpoint and a leadership standpoint as a team captain. He brings so much to our program on and off the field – 365 days a year – and he does things right. It’s neat to see a decision like this made for such a quality player and person like Ronnie.”

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 originally hurt his left knee just 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.

He finished with 85 tackles his first season, 136 in 2012 and 140 last season to rank as the fourth-most in school history. 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. This past season, he finished 12th in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award presented by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in FCS.

“It was tough on Ronnie,” recalled Baldwin of the 2009 and 2010 seasons. “We were thinking he could play right away, and then all of the sudden he was injured. We knew he would fight through it, but a year later he was injured again.

“It was a challenge – not so much for us but more so for him,” he continued. “That injury is tough to go through once, but to go through it a second time can create some doubts in the heads of a lot of players. It was back-to-back years with the same injury, and a long rehabilitation process.

“But that was a credit to his mental toughness and his desire to play football, be a student and graduate from Eastern,” added Baldwin. “He just kept grinding through it the second time and never felt sorry for himself. He went out and attacked it.”

In exactly a month – on April 4 – the Eagles will return to the red turf at Roos Field for the start of spring practices. Baldwin and his team are anxious for that – as well as seeing the No. 39 jersey of Hamlin on the field again.

“We’re anxious to see the snow melt away and we’ll hit April rolling,” said Baldwin. “The players are ready for it. Don’t get me wrong, there are things we have to do between now and then to be ready for the start of spring practice. But you hit a certain point in March and they are anxious. During winter conditioning they are inside, it is dark outside for most of the day, there is snow on the ground and they are lifting and running. To their credit, they go outside and do things on their own, even in the cold. But they are excited to get back into real football mode and practice mode, no doubt about it.”

More on Ronnie Hamlin, Linebacker, Senior – Buck Buchanan Award Candidate (12th in the Voting)

* Hamlin was among the 43 winners selected on the 16th annual NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team at the conclusion of the 2013 season. He has a 3.54 grade point average as a technology major, and three times has earned Big Sky Conference All-Academic honors. He earned second team All-America honors in 2013 after finishing with 140 tackles to rank as the fourth-most in Eastern history, and had 136 in the 2012 season (now ranking sixth) when he earned fourth team All-America accolades. He was a first team All-Big Sky selection in 2012 and a second team choice in 2013. His average of 9.71 tackles per game in 2012 ranked 31st in FCS and fourth in the Big Sky. In 2013, he averaged 9.33 tackles to rank 36th in FCS and eighth in the league.

* Hamlin has 361 tackles already in his 40-game EWU career (37 starts) to rank third in school history. His 140 tackles in 2013 rank as the fourth-most in school history, and he has had 17 performances with at least 10 tackles in his career.

* Hamlin also has four career interceptions, and 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 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.

* 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. Hamlin has continued to let his hair grow.

  • College

    • Cougars Drop Series-Opener to No. 8 Stanford

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State dropped the series-opener with No. 8 Stanford 13-2 at Bailey-Brayton Field Thursday evening. The Cougars (24-27, 10-18 Pac-12) collected 10 hits led by junior Shane Matheny’s 3-for-4 performance, recording his third 3-hit game of the season. WSU also received two-hit games from sophomore shortstop Andres Alvarez, junior Cory Meyer and junior left fielder Blake Clanton. Meyer and Clanton each drove in a run in the ninth. S...

    • Offensive Surge Pushes Zags into Winner’s Bracket at WCC Tournament

      STOCKTON, Calif.—It took a few innings, but the Bulldog offense hit top gear Thursday afternoon, propelling the top-seeded Gonzaga baseball team past fourth-seed Saint Mary’s 11-3 and into the winners’ bracket of the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. Saint Mary’s scored the game’s first runs, scoring twice in the top of the third off atypical wildness from GU starter Eli Morgan. Afte...

    • 7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

      Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    • Former Gonzaga player Vivian Frieson named NAU assistant coach

      FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Loree Payne completed her staff on Wednesday with former Gonzaga standout Vivian Frieson announced as assistant coach. "We're very excited to add Vivian to our coaching staff," Payne said. "The culture that she has been around playing at Gonzaga

    • Huskies host USC for final regular season series

      SEATTLE - Husky Ballpark will be abuzz starting Thursday as the Huskies have a big weekend in store for the final home series of the year. On the field, UW (26-25, 12-15 Pac-12) hosts USC (20-32, 7-20) in an important series, starting Thursday

    • No. 1 seeded Gonzaga begins WCC Championships against Saint Mary's

      This is the second time the Zags have been the championship’s top seed, also taking No. 1 in the very first tournament in 2013...Gonzaga has reached Banner Island Ballpark four times in the competition’s five-year history...Gonzaga and BYU are the only two schools to qualify for four WCC tournaments.

    • Gonzaga's Johnathan Williams will return for senior season

      SPOKANE, Wash. – Johnathan Williams will return to Gonzaga for his senior season after initially submitting his name into the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.   By not signing with an agent, Williams retained his collegiate eligibility to keep the option to return to Gonzaga in 2017-18. A key player in last season’s run to the national championship game.

    • Idaho's Victor Sanders returns for senior season

      MOSCOW, Idaho – After working out with a handful of NBA teams, junior guard Victor Sanders has elected to return to Idaho for his senior season in 2017-18.   He led the Vandals with 20.9 points per game a season ago, helping Idaho to a Big Sky Tournament Semifinal appearance and a first round win in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

    • WSU hosts No. 8 Stanford for final home series of season

      Washington State (24-26, 10-17 Pac-12) hosts No. 8 Stanford (37-14, 18-9 Pac-12) to close out the regular season. The series begins Thursday at 6 p.m., continues Friday at 4 p.m. and wraps up Saturday at 1 p.m., all on the Pac-12 Network.

    • WSU to induct six individuals and a team into Athletic Hall of Fame

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University will induct six individuals and a team into its Athletic Hall of Fame Sept. 22-23, 2017, Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Tuesday.   The honorees will join the current 210 individuals and teams in the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction dinner will be held Sept. 22

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • 7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

    7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

    Courtesy: EWU AthleticsCourtesy: EWU Athletics

    Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    More >>

    Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    More >>
  • NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    The defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World SeriesThe defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World Series

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    More >>

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    More >>
  • 2015-16 Academic Progress Rates released by the NCAA

    2015-16 Academic Progress Rates released by the NCAA

    Courtesy: Washington AthleticsCourtesy: Washington Athletics

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's athletic programs continued to thrive in the latest release of the Academic Progress Rate by the NCAA on Wednesday with seven teams earning a perfect 1,000 score and all GU teams combining for a 997 mark. That mark is tied for the second-best combined average for any school in the nation, behind only the Ivy League's Dartmouth.

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's athletic programs continued to thrive in the latest release of the Academic Progress Rate by the NCAA on Wednesday with seven teams earning a perfect 1,000 score and all GU teams combining for a 997 mark. That mark is tied for the second-best combined average for any school in the nation, behind only the Ivy League's Dartmouth.

    More >>