COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Pittsburgh Central Catholic defensive back Damar Hamlin had a big day here Sunday at Nike's regional Opening event. He took home DB MVP honors and scored an invite to Nike's national showcase later this summer.
Hamlin also revealed that he intends to trim his extensive offer list to 10 very soon. And if you're a Penn State fan, get ready for the spoiler alert.
The Nittany Lions have made the cut.
Right now, I'm about to narrow my list down, the four-star prospect said. I'll send out a top 10 list next week.
And where do things stand with James Franklin's program?
They'll be in my top 10, Hamlin said.
Penn State's recruiting push is being led by cornerback's coach Terry Smith, and defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop.
They're both from around (western Pennsylvania), Hamlin said. Coach Terry is from the WPIAL, which is where I'm from, so that's a plus. I feel like Coach Shoop is a really good coach, he's knows what he's talking about.
Smith was the longtime football coach and athletic director at Gateway High in Monroeville, Pa., before becoming a college assistant.
I knew him when he was coaching at Gateway, Hamlin said. I was actually gonna go to Gateway when I was going up into high school, but he ended up leaving. But he was recruiting me when he was at Temple (in 2013). Once he left, it just kind of followed through (to) Penn State.
Hamlin does not have quite the same history with Shoop. However, the second-year PSU DC impressed the young defensive back last season.
Their defense was spectacular, Hamlin said. It was great. It's Coach Shoop.
Hamlin camped at Penn State last summer, but won't be participating in any of the Lion camps this year. However, he will likely travel to Happy Valley to see friends from the WPIAL in action.
I'll watch and I'll probably go up there a few times this summer, Hamlin said.
Asked to describe his game, Hamlin said, I'm fearless. I have no fear. I believe in myself, so I feel like my best is good enough. So as long as I do my best, I feel like I can get anything done.
That was the clearly the case as he dominated in Columbus Sunday. And he was happy to do so with several of his pals from the WPIAL --many of whom can be seen hassling him in the video above -- along for the ride.
It means a lot, Hamlin said. I came here last year, and I was by myself. So this year to have everyone from western PA and the WPIAL with me is so much better.