How Damar Hamlin Grabbed a PSU Offer

Pittsburgh Central Catholic junior corner gives the scoop on what led to the Lions offering at Saturday's camp.

Pittsburgh Central Catholic junior Damar Hamlin has long had his eye on a Penn State offer. Saturday, his gaze was rewarded.

The 5-foot-11, 172-pound cornerback camped at University Park back in June. He performed well, but more evaluation was still needed.

By the time Saturday ended, it was completed. Hamlin had worked out with corners coach Terry Smith, and done individual drills with defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and head coach James Franklin. All put together, it led to his third offer.

“I was super excited,” the Class of 2016 prospect said. “It was great. That was the whole purpose of getting up here and hitting the camp.”

Hamlin said he knew a good camp performance would likely lead to an offer, but it was never a certainty. He was aware that he had to run well enough — he turned in a 4.65 40-yard dash ‘ and compete hard enough. The junior did the latter by turning foes away during 1-on-1 drills in front of Smith.

Then, he went and tracked balls, showed off his quickness, and also his instincts, in front of Shoop and Franklin.

“I pretty much showed them everything that they expected,” Hamlin said. “We talked about it before. I just like everything about the school and the campus. It’s a big offer to get, and the academics and facilities are great.”

His rapport with Shoop can be defined that way, too.

“My relationship with Coach Shoop is great,” Hamlin said. “I love Coach Shoop. He’s one of the coolest coaches I’ve gotten to know.”

Visits to Wake Forrest, Pittsburgh and Michigan State could dot the corner’s final weeks of summer before his high school preseason camp begins. He added, though, that none of those trips are set in stone.

The Panthers join Temple and Penn State as the three programs to offer to date. Did the day help make the Lions the leader, though?

“That’s accurate to say,” Hamlin said. “I love everything about the school. The players, the coaches; their facilities are great and everything.

“Coach Franklin basically said that we’re going to offer, and he wants me there on the team and feels like I can do a lot of good things at Penn State and Penn State could do good things for me.”

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