- Josh Moyer, Penn State/Big Ten reporter
A medium-sized suitcase, enough to fit a few days' worth of clothes, sits in the corner of DaeSean Hamilton's bedroom.
But the four-star wideout, who boasts double-digit offers, doesn't lug that around on college visits. No, that stays in the corner -- with dozens upon dozens of handwritten letters stuffed inside like a mailbag.
"It's a bit of motivation" said Hamilton, a receiver out of Stafford (Va.) Mountain View. "I don't try to take it for granted. I just use it as a boost to keep doing what I've been doing."
He's been adding to that suitcase every day, mostly from his top seven schools. There's daily letters from Virginia and Virginia Tech, and a steady flow from Penn State, Duke, Wake Forest, Illinois and Miami (Fla.).
He estimates about 20 or 30 handwritten letters from PSU assistants Charles London and Stan Hixon --- something that doesn't surprise his high school coach.
"I've been doing this for a long time -- 31 years -- and I've had some really good players," Mountain View coach Lou Sorrentino said. "I'm not going to say he's the best, but he's a sharp guy and he's meant a lot to us. What I like about him is some guys are worried about their offers, but not him. He has a 4.1 [GPA], and he's narrowed it down to mostly good academic schools."
The 6-foot, 185-pound wideout hopes to make a decision before the New Year. He insists it's even between all those schools and that the letters help a little bit, but he wants to see what each school has to offer before committing. He traveled to Wake Forest for his first official visit and already has two more scheduled -- Virginia on Dec. 1 and Penn State on Dec. 8.
He might also see Virginia Tech again, but he plans to leave his last official open in case another school starts shipping handwritten letters or sends him an offer, such as Clemson, Notre Dame or North Carolina.
"I'm just hoping to get a better feeling overall of where I want to go and where my heart wants to go," Hamilton said. "I'll probably sit down with my family, talk about everything we've seen and been through and come up with a decision."
He's already traveled to see the in-state schools, and he's looking forward to his first-ever trip to Happy Valley. He's searching for a university that could provide early playing time, good academics and a good staff.
And from what he's heard about PSU, he thinks the school might already have all that.
"I like what they've done this year," he said. "They've gone 8-4 even after all that controversy. I like the coaching staff up there and how they're trying to turn it around. And I like how they throw the ball around to their star receiver there, Allen Robinson."
Hamilton said he might make his decision before Christmas. He's not quite sure of the exact timetable -- he just knows it'll definitely happen before Signing Day.
In the meantime, he'll just keep reading those letters and adding to that suitcase.
"It's a true blessing," Hamilton said.
A medium-sized suitcase, enough to fit a few days' worth of clothes, sits in the corner of DaeSean Hamilton's bedroom.But the four-star wideout, who boasts double-digit offers, doesn't lug that around on college visits.