Today we’re continuing our annual top ten pre-season football players of 2016 countdown, as voted on by the BSD staff. In creating this list, we considered players’ ability, value to the team, and past performance, among other factors. We continue our countdown with, appropriately, number 5 - DaeSean Hamilton.
How He Got Here:
It all started in Okinawa. Seriously, our 6’1, 214 pound redshirt junior receiver was born in Japan in a military family. But DaeSean made his name in Virginia high school football, a four-time letterman and twice-named captain of Mountain View High School who ended up invited to the U.S. Army All-American Game as a senior. Hamilton committed to then-head football coach Bill O’Brien and redshirted in 2013, his true freshman year.
In 2014, the big question surrounding Penn State was how to replace Allen Robinson, who left early for the NFL as perhaps the greatest receiver in program history. Enter Number 5, who exploded onto the scene as a redshirt freshman under new head coach James Franklin. He led the Big Ten in catches, ranked fifth in total receiving yards, and named to Second Team All-Conference. It was an impressive display, to say the least.
2015 proved to be a struggle for the entire offense, and Hamilton slumped as well. He fell behind Chris Godwin in targets and saw his receptions nearly halved, from 82 to 45. Still, he was named Honorable Mention All-B1G.
What To Expect In 2016:
Catches. All the catches. BaeSean has shifted inside to the slot, which is almost definitely the best fit for him. Slot + Joltin’ Joe Moorhead = Catches and Tuddies. That’s what the kids are sayin’ these days, right?
Make no mistake - DaeSean Hamilton was Penn State’s 2014 offense. Last year, John Donovan’s misery loves company “spread” offense combined with a woeful offensive line brought everyone’s numbers down. This year, we can expect a different story, one that gets DaeSean into open space and allows him to use his quickness and change of direction to put on a show and put defenders on skates. Plus, DaeSean in the slot opens up more opportunities for a young and talented wide receiver corps to join Godwin and Hamilton in the B1G offensive statistics categories. Expect a fun year.