The rest of the country is beginning to find out what the Penn State faithful have known all-along.
KJ Hamler is electric.
Hamler went to the same high school as former Penn State star, Allen Robinson. After transferring to prolific athletic prep school, IMG Academy, Hamler tore his ACL in his senior year season opener, sidelining him for the season.
Redshirting his freshman year, Hamler was able to get back to 100 percent heading into the 2018 season.
Hamler’s work-ethic, along with his uncanny leadership skills as a redshirt freshman drew him comparisons with former Penn State star, Marcus Allen, from his teammates along with head coach James Franklin.
All of the hype of Hamler’s talents came to fruition in Penn State’s home opener against Appalachian State. Hamler’s 52-yard kickoff return put Penn State fans through a rollercoaster of emotions as the initial decision to take the ball out of the end zone looked to be absurd.
Hamler created something out of nothing, using his ridiculous lateral movement to give Penn State new life in a game they had no business winning.
He then ran a great post route in that same possession to score a touchdown with 42 seconds remaining in regulation to send Penn State’s season opener to overtime.
Yet, that was just the first game.
Hamler proved that week one was no fluke, as he torched the Pittsburgh defense with the ability to make things happen, no matter the manner in which he gets the football.
On the return team, he showed off his athleticism by hurdling not one, but two Pittsburgh players.
When put in motion out of the slot, Hamler took a jet sweep 32 yards to open the game with a touchdown.
Through the air, Hamler found the soft spot in Pittsburgh’s defense to score from 14 yards out on a seam route.
Hamler is a spark plug who makes the types of plays that change the way a defense sets up. The threat of Hamler in the slot will open up opportunities for Juwan Johnson, who, despite his adequate numbers, has not even come close to his potential.
The threat of Hamler will also impact the running game as his presence will take a player out of the box to open up more lanes for Miles Sanders.
Hamler leads Penn State receivers with 107 yards and two touchdown receptions.
In such an early season, it has yet to be seen if Hamler will be able to be the X-factor in games against elite Big Ten defenses. If he is able to keep up the pace against more respectable opponents, Penn State fans are in for four exciting years.
Look for Hamler to put together more clips for his highlight tape coming up next Saturday when Kent State will head to State College as 35-point underdogs.
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