DaeSean Hamilton’s 82 Catches More Than Enough for Penn State Record Book
It’s about time the Nittany Lion with the coolest ’do finally gets his due.
Granted, there was Allen Robinson in 2013.
That’s the year the Penn State wide receiver set the record for most receptions in a season, with 97.
After that, though, there was DaeSean Hamilton in 2014.
As a redshirt freshman last year, Hamilton made 82 receptions despite gamely playing several late-season games with a gimpy hamstring and an offensive line that was game -- but frequently off its game as well.
Still, Hamilton did more than his part with a cool, distinctive style that matches his cool, spikey hairstyle. And he did it against ever-enveloping opposing defenses, who figured out he was both the main -- and mane -- threat of the Nittany Lion offense.
As it turned out, after Robinson’s near-century’s worth of catches, Hamilton’s 6.8 dozen receptions last season rank No. 2 on Penn State’s single-season reception list, dating back 128 seasons and 1,267 games to 1887 -- the first year of Penn State football.
In fact, his 26 receptions in the first three games of the 2014 season were better than Penn State’s leader for an entire season twice over the past 25 years. And Hamilton’s 26 grabs were within five catches of the full season-leader two other years.
It didn’t take Hamilton long to catch on in 2014, even though he missed all of the 2013 due to a lengthy recovery from off-season wrist surgery. He led the Big Ten in receptions, was named to the all-conference second team, was selected to a bunch of All-Freshman squads and also was an Academic All-American.
(For the record, in his first college game ever, Hamilton had 11 catches for 165 yards vs. Central Florida in Dublin. The very next week in his first college football game on American soil, he had seven catches for 69 yards, against Akron. Then, the very next week in his first Big Ten road game and his first night game, he had eight more catches for 103 yards.)
Somehow, it was somewhat of a stealth season for Hamilton. Often, he didn’t get credit – even though credit was often due. Hamilton ran the crispest, most exacting routes of the Nittany Lion receivers. Bubbles, slants, sidelines – Hamilton usually found the light of Dae.
The result? A two-of-a-kind season.
Over the 25 years of Penn State football (1988-2012) that preceded Robinson’s record season of 2013, Hamilton’s 82 grabs in a single season beat out the 164 other players who caught at least one pass for the Nittany Lions.
Among those whose Hamilton’s single-season record surpasses is current Nittany Lion cornerback coach Terry Smith, whose 55 receptions in 1991 tie the coach with Derrick Williams (2007) and current Hamilton teammate, Geno Lewis (2014), for sixth on the all-time chart single season mark.
Smith shouldn’t feel badly. After all, in 2014 Hamilton had more than receptions than every former Penn State receiver not named Allen Robinson who caught at least one ball since 1988.
That includes one Cousins and a father (Richie Anderson) and son (Richy) combo. Combined, for a career. Or brothers Larry (41) and Tony Johnson (34) had the 2002 season. Combined.
More than O.J. McDuffie in 1992 and Bobby Engram in 1995, when they each had 63 catches.
More than Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood and Derrick Williams ever had in a single season, even though they went 1-2-3 in catches for four consecutive seasons (2005-08).
More than multiple players named Brown, Collins, Perry, Smith, Scott, Robinson and Williams.
More than both Browns, Green and Greene, two Goldens, a Redd and a Redman.
More than King, Dukes, Sargeant, a Butler and a Christian (Kuntz, not Hackenberg).
Mrore thvan Mrosko, Jurevicus, Brozeski and, yez, Szczerba.
You get the idea.
More than last-name, first-name players David Daniels, Freddie Scott, Kyle Brady, Mike Archie, Cordell Mitchell, Ryan Scott and Austin Scott (again), David Jakob and Blair Thomas
More than Chip, who had no Dale.
More than Chafie Fields, Bruce Branch and Ray Roundtree.
More than Shelly and Darling.
More than center A.Q. Shipley (one catch, 4.0 yards, 2007) and a bunch of quarterbacks named Collins, Robinson – Michael, not Allen, Casey, McGloin and Mills.
More than catchers turned defenders Scioli, Williams and Rubin.
More than fullback Omar, although it was kinda Easy.
More than double-initial guys Bill Belton, Brandon Beachum, Bruce Branch, Brett Brackett, Chris Campbell, David Daniels and Derek Day. And that’s only through the D’s.
More than Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend’s ex-husband, Matt Hahn.
More than one Drake, three Jays (R.J. Luke, O.J. McDuffie and A.J. Wallace) and three Z’s – Zug, Zordich and Zanellato.
Even more than a guy named Lyon.
And that’s not even the half of it. No matter. For the Nittany Lions these days, there’s only one Hamilton.
Penn State Football: Nittany Lions Hopeful To Land Nation's Top Kicker On Friday
Penn State Football: Thursday Mailbag, Consistency, Leadership And More
Penn State Football: Carter And Mangiro Pick Up Watch List Honors
State College Spikes: Former Spike Brock Holt Makes MLB All-Star Game
Penn State Football: Zettel, Hamilton And Hackenberg Make Award Watch Lists
State College Music Legends Reunite to Carry On Arts Fest Tradition
Olbermann Out at ESPN Months After Penn State-Related Suspension
Unique Artisans Show Off Goods at Arts Fest Sidewalk Sale
'A Piece of My Home:' People's Choice Fest Offers Unique Art of All Kinds
Do You Have What it Takes? Wildlife Rescue Group Needs Home for Baby Skunks
Penn State Recycling Czar Retires
Schlow Library Rethinks Fundrasing Efforts In Midst Of Financial Woes
Arts Fest Helps Young Artists Discover Self-Confidence
Arts Fest is a 'Christmas in July' for Area Businesses