Hamler eyes camp visit

ADDISON, Ill. - K.J. Hamler walked away with wide receiver MVP honors at The Opening Regional outside Chicago last weekend. Michigan has since offered and Notre Dame is on the radar with another visit possible later this summer.

K.J. Hamler didn’t arrive at The Opening Regional outside Chicago with the reputation of some other athletes taking the field.

But before camp ended, Hamler, a wide receiver in the Class of 2017 from Orchard Lake, Mich., established himself as one of the best performers. He walked away with MVP honors in his position group and solidified himself as one of the best playmakers on hand.

“I showed them the chip on my shoulder and my heart,” Hamler said. “Just my ability to do what I need to do out there on the football field. I’m young, my recruiting process is slow but I’m not gonna stop working and stuff like that. I guess they saw that in me.”

Michigan offered this week. Others already on the list include Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan State, Ohio, Pittsburgh, San Diego State and Toledo.

Others expressing interest include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Notre Dame and Tennessee.

Hamler hopes another strong camp performance helps persuade Florida State, Notre Dame, USC and Oregon that he can be a top playmaker in college despite checking in at about 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds.

He relishes any kind of opportunity to succeed despite doubts over his size.

“I love it,” Hamler said. “I love that I’m the underdog. I love how people underestimate me. I’ve been getting it my whole life. I just block it out and I just laugh. I laugh all the time. It’s always, ‘You’re too small. You’re too this, you’re too that.’ When I blow by you and beat you on a route, it doesn’t really matter to me. You know what I’m saying?”

Hamler visited Notre Dame earlier this spring and is looking to get back, perhaps for Irish Invasion camp next month.

“I just love the tradition,” Hamler said. “The tradition of the school is amazing. It’s just sweet to me. The whole school is sweet to me. I can’t really describe it. It’s just awesome.”

Other visits are beginning to take shape as Hamler plans to take part in a bus tour that will stop at Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and likely other programs. Hamler wants to add scholarship offers and get to know coaches in person.

“It’s the relationship between the players and the coaches and the receivers coach, most definitely,” Hamler said. “If I don’t have a good relationship with them then I don’t want to be bothered with it. I want to have a bond with you. If you love me then I’ll love you back.”

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