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Dorks And Stepfathers: DaeSean Hamilton Shares Training Camp Dirt

Christian Hackenberg’s a dork. Two 6-foot-4 freshmen wide receivers are towers. And projected starting running back Akeel Lynch is a stepfather. It’s not some alternative universe, but it’s the nicknames and descriptions DaeSean Hamilton — and apparently others — use to playfully label and tease some of their teammates.

Hamilton, meeting with the media after Wednesday’s training camp practice, said people expect Hackenberg, widely hyped to soon be a top draft pick and bounce back from his sophomore slump, “to be the coolest guy on earth.”

But instead, according to Hamilton with a laugh, “He’s a dork. He comes in and seems calm cool and collected, things like that. But sometimes a lot of his jokes aren’t really funny. I try to laugh at them to make him feel good.”

“He’s kind of corny to me.”

Hamilton, to his defense, praised him teammates for productive practices, and all jabs were in good nature.

Akeel Lynch, Hackenberg’s backfield partner, is considered a stepfather by some because of the multiple freshman running backs vying for playing time behind, or in front of, him.

“He has like 50 young guys behind him, he’s like their step father out there on the field,” Hamilton said.

“All I see is young dudes, redshirt freshmen, true freshmen behind him, and he’s the only old guy out there, we make fun of him all the time,” he continued. “He’s got grey hairs on him, we call him stepfather, all the young guys look up to your dad. But he’s been showing them the ropes, getting the young guys through practice.”

And finally, Hamilton described Irvin Charles and Juwan Johnson, both listed as 6-f00t-4 lanky wide receivers, as two towers, two big guys “coming from the outside.”

Charles, who has been rooming with Hamilton during training camp, was described as “a goofy, tall kid.” Johnson, meanwhile, is a bit more quiet and to himself.

When he wasn’t dishing dirt on his teammates, Hamilton expressed enthusiasm in becoming more of a leader this year. Only a redshirt sophomore, he’ll be one of several receivers to return starting experience.

“I’m gladly embracing that role [as a leader], just doing what I have to do and going out there everyday,” he said. “Myself, Chris [Godwin], Geno [Lewis] and Saeed [Blacknall], we’re all bringing in the young guys and teaching them, all of us are rooming with young guys during camp.”

Still, it’s an uphill battle for the newcomers to keep pace with the veterans.

“They try to,” he said, “but they cant keep up with us old guys yet.”

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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