Farmington (Mi.) native and IMG Academy wide receiver K.J. Hamler has verbally committed to the Nittany Lions. Hamler announced his decision on Friday evening, and plans to enroll early at Penn State in January for the spring semester.
I have officially committed to.... pic.twitter.com/51jdmhVTg1
— KJ Hamler (@Kj_hamler) December 9, 2016
Hamler has long been a target for Penn State, but the Lions were seen as an underdog throughout much of the process. The home-state Michigan State Spartans were long considered the favorite to late Hamler. Oregon also received an official visit from the speedy receiver back in October.
Penn State's Big Ten Championship, combined with subpar 2016 performances from the Spartans and Ducks, not to mention the coaching change in Eugene, have certainly played a big role in Hamler selecting the Lions. Wide receiver coach Josh Gattis, who spearheaded PSU's recruitment of Hamler deserves major credit as well.
The HAMLER File
- Class: 2017
- Size: 5-9, 156 lbs.
- Pos: WR
- School: IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fl.
- Composite Rating: ★★★★ (.8919)
- Composite Rank: No. 311/No. 44 WR
In addition to Penn State, Michigan State, and Oregon, Hamler held offers from Arizona, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Pitt, Temple, and Tennessee, among others.
Hamler played his first three years of high school football in the Detroit area at Orchard Lake St. Mary's, the alma mater of recent Nittany Lions Allen Robinson and Rob Bolden. He transferred to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior campaign. Unfortunately, Hamler's first season down south ended abruptly in week one when he tore his ACL.
The Lions' interest in Hamler dates all the way back to June of 2015, when the speedy receiver camped for Penn State and earned his offer. He took part in the February junior day, which marked his first visit to Happy Valley, and returned for the Penn State game versus Temple in September on an official visit.
Thanks to his ACL injury and the presence of similar style players in DeAndre Thompkins and Brandon Polk, a redshirt season is almost a given for Hamler. If he's healthy though, he could be the type of player that the coaching staff won't be able to resist putting on the field as a freshman.
Hamler becomes the 16th member of the Class of 2017, and joins Mac Hippenhammer and Cameron Sullivan-Brown as the wide receivers in this class.
Hamler's commitment bumps the Lions up to 17th nationally, and third in the Big Ten, passing Maryland on both accounts.