It’s hard to believe that there are only five more days to go until Penn State kicks off the 2017 season. DaeSean Hamilton is entering his fifth season in State College. He was a redshirt freshman during Bill O’Brien’s final year with the Lions, coming to the team in the same recruiting class as Christian Hackenberg and Adam Breneman in 2013.
Hamilton came to Penn State not only as a standout athlete but also a star in the classroom. He graduated with honors, receiving an advanced degree, from Mountain View High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia. During his high school career he was a four-time All-Academic selection and has continued this trend in college, receiving Big Ten All-Academic honors for the past three years. He graduated last fall between the Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl with a degree in advertising and public relations and is currently working toward an additional degree in telecommunications.
After sitting out 2013 due to a wrist injury, Hamilton gained national attention with a breakout 2014 season. He led the Big Ten with 82 receptions that year and made just about every Big Ten and All-freshman honor that is available. His sophomore season saw his production drop off, with only 45 catches, but he also had 6 touchdowns on a struggling offense. Last season he finished with 34 receptions in what could be considered a step back in his development on the field.
Hamilton has been the talk of preseason camp. While other, younger, wideouts have gotten the attention of the media, he has been mentioned several times by respected members of the team; Saquon Barkley, James Franklin, and wide receivers coach Josh Gattis. Each praised Hamilton during this preseason camp for being a player that has worked hard to improve his game. That’s a great sign for a guy that is closing in on the all-time Penn State receptions record. He is currently tied with Jordan Norwood at 161 career catches, just 18 behind leader Deon Butler.
Hamilton’s career is similar to Norwood and Butler’s in that their production is gaudy but yet at times they were overlooked or taken for granted during their Penn State career. They seem to do what they do without turning heads with highlight reel grabs; very steady hands, smooth route runners, consistency.
Here is a video of Hamilton during preseason camp running routes. Notice how huge his fellow receivers Irvin Charles (No.11) and Juwan Johnson (No.84) are compared to him. He is mentoring the future wide receivers, as he is seen doing with KJ Hamler (No.1) at the end of the video. While his statistics at Penn State speak for themselves, his work in the classroom and in practice are just as important to the team and university.
Just five more days until kickoff! It’s only Monday, and there’s not a darn thing anyone can do about Wednesday, Friday, or any of the other days between now and Saturday at this point. We have to take a page out of coach Franklin’s book and focus on getting through this final Monday before the season begins. We can talk about Tuesday tomorrow. Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday.