FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Cobi Hamilton knew he was stepping into an already crowded wide receiver position when he came to Arkansas. By the time his career is finished, Hamilton could be the one all other Razorbacks receivers look up to.
Hamilton has made the most of his long-awaited opportunity as the go-to receiver this season for Arkansas, leading the Southeastern Conference with 73 catches and 1,149 yards receiving. The senior has already set the school’s single-season records in both categories, and he’s within striking distance of the career marks.
He’ll face no easy task in reaching those records in the Razorbacks (4-6, 2-4 SEC) final two games, beginning at Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) on Saturday. Regardless of whether Hamilton sets the career records, he has already proven he’s more-than capable of being a No. 1 receiver rather than just a talented understudy.
The Texarkana, Texas, high school star signed with Arkansas despite the presence of three talented receivers who were already on campus. Those three – Jarius Wright, Joe Adams and Greg Childs – are all in the NFL now.
Hamilton could have gone to any number of other schools, including Auburn, Texas or Oklahoma State. However, he chose Arkansas and welcomed the competition with the already established trio – each of whom was selected in the fourth round of April’s NFL draft.
Their departures opened the door for the 6-foot-3, 209-pound Hamilton, who worked tirelessly throughout the offseason to prepare for the lead role.
“This is the year that I expected to have,” Hamilton said. “... I put a lot of time being behind all those great receivers, just learning the little things from them. I’m really excited I have this one year to showcase my skills and what I learned from those guys.”
Hamilton was used as a jack-of-all-trades during his first three seasons while backing up Wright, Adams and Childs. His job was to know everybody’s job, from slot receiver to wideout, and he excelled in each, primarily running deep routes.