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John Petrishen: ‘Gifted’ Damar Hamlin is a ‘great human being,’ says former college teammate


Damar Hamlin’s former highschool and school teammate John Petrishen stated the Buffalo Bills security’s work ethic is matched by him being a “good particular person.”

Petrishen, who performed with Hamlin at each Pittsburgh Central Catholic and the College of Pittsburgh, instructed CNN that in addition to being “gifted” on the sphere, Hamlin is a “nice human being.”

“Individuals are inclined to overlook that beneath the helmet and the jersey is a human being and Damar Hamlin is a good human being,” Petrishen stated. “I performed with him for 3 years at highschool after which for 2 years in school.

A Pennsylvania native, Hamlin joined the Payments in 2021 as a sixth-round draft decide (212th general) from the College of Pittsburgh.

Previous to that, he gained a Pennsylvania state championship whereas at Pittsburgh Central Catholic highschool in 2015, main the workforce to a 15-1 document as one of many best-rated defenders within the state.

“And we’re mates, teammates, that’s my brother,” added Petrishen. “He’s a fantastic particular person and is somebody you’ll be able to all the time rely on for doing issues the fitting method.

“He leads by instance, he’s the right position mannequin for younger youngsters to look as much as, he offers again to his neighborhood; he checks all of the containers. He’s a fantastic particular person.”

Hamlin leaves the field after an NFL game against the New England Patriots.

After struggling a cardiac arrest mid-game on Monday, Hamlin stays sedated on a ventilator as medical doctors work towards getting him to breathe on his personal, in accordance with an replace from the participant’s uncle.

The 24-year-old Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the sphere through the first quarter of Monday evening’s recreation towards the Cincinnati Bengals, his workforce stated, a second that left gamers weeping, praying and embracing as their teammate was taken away by ambulance.

Hamlin fell on his again simply moments after getting up from an open discipline deal with of Cincinnati Bengals broad receiver Tee Higgins. It stays unclear what prompted the cardiac arrest.

Inside 10 seconds of Hamlin’s collapse, Payments workforce trainers had been treating him. An ambulance was on the sphere in lower than 5 minutes, footage reveals, and he was given CPR, in accordance with an ESPN broadcast.

“Hamlin acquired speedy medical consideration on the sphere by workforce and unbiased medical workers and native paramedics. He was then transported to a neighborhood hospital the place he’s in essential situation,” the NFL stated in an announcement.

Hamlin’s collapse left gamers distraught – in tears, kneeling with arms round each other earlier than returning to their locker rooms. The sport was suspended with practically six minutes left within the first quarter and later was formally postponed.

Petrishen defined that he was on a flight when Hamlin collapsed, saying he received off the aircraft to “a pair hundred texts” sending prayers to Hamlin and checking in on Petrishen.

The previous school linebacker remembers coming via the ranks with Hamlin, throughout which period the 2 shaped a bond.

He additionally recollects internet hosting Hamlin at Penn State throughout his time on the school when Hamlin was contemplating becoming a member of.

Damar Hamlin (3) and John Petrishen (0) lead Pittsburgh out to play the Austin Peay Governors at Heinz Field in 2020. Pittsburgh won 55-0.

“I might say he’s somebody who leads by instance with class. He’s not probably the most vocal particular person … individuals look to him to do issues the fitting method,” Petrishen outlined.

“He has a fantastic work ethic, he’s a fantastic character, he leads from the entrance of the pack and folks can look to him and know that what he’s doing, they’ll comply with. He’s a superb chief. Like I stated, he leads by instance. You all the time know what you’re going to get from Damar.

“He reveals up as the identical particular person day by day, he all the time offers nice effort, in soccer and in life. He’s a light-weight within the room, he’s a superb particular person to be round.”

At Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Hamlin’s jersey hangs within the weight room. And his highschool coach, Terry Totten, described Hamlin as a “quiet chief” to the Athletic.

“Anyone who was keen to achieve throughout any traces to be a revered member of the college neighborhood,” stated Totten.

In an announcement, College of Pittsburgh head soccer coach Pat Narduzzi known as Hamlin “way over only a soccer participant.”

“He’s a loving son, brother and pal. Damar is a hero to hundreds of Pittsburgh youngsters,” Narduzzi stated.

“Damar, we love you. We’re praying for you. Pittsburgh’s all the time had your again. And now it’s apparent the whole nation has your again, too.”

This season has been a breakthrough one for Hamlin, taking part in in each recreation after accidents to the Payments’ defensive backfield. In line with ESPN, the protection has recorded 91 complete tackles, 1.5 sacks, one pressured fumble, and two passes defended in 15 video games because the Payments (12-3) prime the AFC East standings.

Petrishen says he’s “proud” of the expansion Hamlin has proven through the years and the success it has introduced him.

“He’s grown a lot through the years and it’s superior to see him get his probability within the NFL this yr as a result of he’s labored actually onerous and he deserves it,” Petrishen stated.

“He’s clearly very gifted however he’s labored for that. He’s earned all the things he’s acquired and no one can ever take that away from him.

“So I’m actually happy with what he’s achieved this yr and all of the alternatives which have come his method as a result of he deserves it.”

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