Teammate Recalls Damar Hamlin’s Exceptional Talent and Compassionate Nature

Bills' Damar Hamlin (Buffalo Bills)

John Petrishen, who played alongside Damar Hamlin in high school and college, praised Hamlin’s exceptional work ethic and character. Petrishen, who shared the field with Hamlin at Pittsburgh Central Catholic and the University of Pittsburgh, told CNN that Hamlin is not only “gifted” athletically but also a “great human being.”

Hamlin, a native of Pennsylvania, joined the Buffalo Bills in 2021 as a sixth-round draft pick from the University of Pittsburgh. During his high school career at Pittsburgh Central Catholic, he led his team to a state championship in 2015, achieving a remarkable 15-1 record and earning recognition as one of the state’s top defenders.

Bills’ Damar ((Buffalo Bills))

Petrishen, who considers Hamlin a close friend and brother, highlighted Hamlin’s consistent dependability and exemplary character. He noted that Hamlin is a role model for young fans, thanks to his community involvement and the positive example he sets both on and off the field.

Hamlin’s recent cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals shocked the sports world. After collapsing following a tackle, he received immediate medical attention from team trainers and was quickly transported to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

The incident left players and fans distraught, leading to the suspension of the game. Petrishen, who was traveling when the incident occurred, was overwhelmed with messages of concern and prayers for Hamlin’s recovery.

He reflected on their time together, recalling how Hamlin had visited Penn State when considering his college options and had always been a reliable and inspiring presence.

Hamlin’s high school coach, Terry Totten, and University of Pittsburgh head coach, Pat Narduzzi, both praised his character and leadership.

Totten described him as a “quiet leader,” while Narduzzi emphasized Hamlin’s impact as a loving son, brother, and friend, and a hero to many young people in Pittsburgh.

This season, Hamlin has emerged as a standout player for the Bills, contributing remarkably to the team’s success. Petrishen expressed immense pride in Hamlin’s growth and achievements, acknowledging the hard work and dedication that have led to his well-deserved success in the NFL.