Player Spotlight: DaeSean Hamilton
One of the receiving corps’ most dangerous weapons is technically Japanese.
Junior DaeSean Hamilton was born on a military base in Okinawa, Japan. His father was in the marine corps. Fast forward a pair of decades and some change (in which he moved to Virginia and became a top 20 recruit out of high school), Hamilton is one of the most statistically dominant figures in the Penn State football history.
His most productive season was his first. After sitting out his true freshman year due to a wrist injury, Hamilton immediately shattered records. In the first game against the University of Central Florida, he broke the Penn State freshman record for receiving yards with 165.
Hamilton wasn’t done breaking records. Later that season, he broke the Penn State single-game reception record against No. 13 Ohio State. A few games later against Michigan, Hamilton broke the Penn State season reception record for freshmen.
Hamilton averaged over 70 receiving yards per game, a stat that only five other freshmen in the NCAA shared. His 82 receptions led the Big Ten.
The historic season came with the proper accolades. According to GoPSUsports.com, Hamilton was named third team freshman All-American by Athlon Sports, second team All-Big Ten by the media, and first team All-Big Ten by BTN.com.
His sophomore season, although not as historic as the previous, Hamilton garnered accolades for his play and was a Big Ten honorable mention. His success in the classroom wasn’t overlooked either as he was named to the Big Ten All-Academic team.
This year, the junior seems to be overshadowed by his teammates. He is the fourth-leading receiver behind DeAndre Thompkins, Chris Godwin, and Mike Gesicki.
Despite being occasionally forgotten in the talented group of receivers, Hamilton has proven to be a vital weapon in the passing game.
Trace McSorley will be looking for him especially against No. 2 Ohio State this weekend, but Hamilton is treating it like any other game.
“They might be held to a higher standard, but they are still football players, and we've got to go out and we are just going to give it our best shot,” Hamilton said. “We are not going to do anything different just because they are the No. 2 team.”
This weekend’s matchup is also the white out game, something that Penn State players and fans know can be a difference maker.
“Compared to anywhere else, I don't think it does compare. It was a great atmosphere (referring to the overtime victory against Michigan his true freshman year),” Hamilton said. “It's been a great atmosphere the past two years, as well. I really can't compare it to anything else.”
If Hamilton can boast a performance as dominant as the ones he displayed his freshman year, the impossible could happen at this year’s white out game.
Paddy Cotter is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.