The final weeks that separate the end of summer camps from the regular season is generally a sleepy time in the recruiting world.
Damar Hamlin is an exception.
The Pittsburgh Central Catholic 2016 corner grabbed an Ohio State offer during the last week of August, the latest in a summer that has included the same extension from programs like Penn State and Pittsburgh.
“After my camp [at Ohio State’S Friday Night Lights camp], I kind of realized that I was going to get it [an offer],” Hamlin said. “It was just a matter of time.”
Timing was everything, sure. But so, too, was initiative.
Preseason highlight tapes aren’t the norm. In fact, it’s likely no more than a handful of recruits in the Keystone State have made one. Hamlin did, though, and once Ohio State got its hands on it, defensive coordinator Luke Fickell reached out to Central Catholic head coach Terry Totten.
The Pittsburgh area recruiter for the program wanted the corner to call him as soon as possible. Hamlin’s time had come.
“He just said he really likes me and just stuff like that,” Hamlin said. “It’s an exciting school.”
Ohio State joins Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Temple, and Wake Forest as programs the junior hopes to check out this fall. He has specifics in mind for his second trip to Columbus.
“I haven’t been on a visit like, to a game, but I really like the stadium and everything I saw at the camp,” Hamlin said. “I want to see the locker rooms, the campus … everything.”
Central Catholic won its opener handily over nearby Bethel Park. Recruiting is important to the corner, but his season tops the list.
More than a few minutes were set aside for recruiting Monday, though. Miami, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, and Penn State were just a few of the programs that reached out on the first day college coaches could contact class of 2016 recruits via social media.
At West Virginia, head coach Dana Holgorsen touched base. Corners coach and longtime WPIAL coach Terry Smith did the same at Penn State.
“Coach Holgorsen was just like, ‘we want to get you down here for a game,’” Hamlin said. “He said it would be nice to see me in the defensive backfield with Dravon Henry and all the other Pennsylvania guys in the defensive backfield.”
As for Smith, he too wants Hamlin to come to campus for a game. The junior has yet to set any visits, though.
“We were just having a casual conversation and he asked when I was coming up there,” Hamlin said. “I’ve seen pretty much everything [at Penn State]. I just want to get to a game and see it whenever I can.”