Standout WR KJ Hamler visits Notre Dame, hopes offer comes soon

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

KJ Hamler had a busy weekend.

The 2017 wide receiver prospect started his intensive schedule with a trip to Notre Dame on Friday with his teammates from Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s. Later that night, his team took the field for a 24-21 victory over Penn High School in Mishawaka.

Saturday night was spent at another game: Michigan State’s big win over Oregon. Such is life for a talented football recruit in the Midwest.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound wide receiver wants to find more time for the Irish. After returning to campus on Friday for a tour, he wants to return for a game this fall. He hopes increased contact with the Notre Dame coaching staff will lead to an offer.

“It’s a beautiful campus,” Hamler said. “I loved being up there.”

After the Irish left for Saturday’s game at Virginia, Hamler took the field at Penn and flashed some of the skills that have caught the attention of college coaching staffs. He caught three passes for 65 yards including a 44-yard deep ball. He also gained eight yards on a reverse and saw playing time as a safety on defense.

The St. Mary’s offense rarely threw the ball against Penn and kept Hamler on the sideline for the majority of plays. His chances to show his speed and playmaking ability were limited.

“I don't get frustrated at all. I do my part for the team,” Hamler said. “Everybody has their job. If I have to go out there and block 100 times, I'll block 100 times. It doesn't affect me. As long as I get to play and contribute to them, I'll be good."

Whenever Hamler does take the field, opposing defenses are wise to take note.

“Yeah, sometimes,” Hamler said when asked if defense can tell the ball is coming to him. “We do have a fine line and some fine running backs back there, so they have to watch out for them too."

The three-star recruit has received more than 10 scholarship offers despite constrained opportunities. Offseason camps and seven-on-seven settings have allowed him to gain more attention.

Hamler is enjoying the process and open to all of the schools recruiting him.

“All my schools are trending. They're a blessing to me,” Hamler said. “Some are sticking out: Penn State, MSU, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, San Diego State, Louisville."

Despite his stature, Hamler exudes confidence. He’s out to prove that expectations for him aren't high enough yet. Rivals ranks Hamler as the No. 39 wide receiver in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him 44th at the position.

"I've shown them that I have a big heart and a little frame,” Hamler said. “A heart can beat anything. I don't really care about stars. I don't really care about how big you are, how fast you are. I'm going to play my hardest at all times. I'm going to have a chip on my shoulder."


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

2017 wide receiver prospect KJ Hamler caught three passes for 65 yards in a win against Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn. (SBT Photo/TYLER JAMES)